According to a Pentagon spy master, India plans to deploy the S-400 missile defence system it received from Russia by June 2022 to defend itself against threats from Pakistan and China.
During a recent congressional hearing, Lt Gen Scott Berrier, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, informed members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that India began receiving deliveries of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia in December of last year.
For example, India’s military was looking to purchase advanced surveillance systems in October 2021 to strengthen its borders and enhance its cyber defences.
First deliveries of the Russian S-400 air defence system arrived in India in December, and the country plans to begin using the system in June 2022 to protect against Pakistani and Chinese threats, Berrier said.
The development of hypersonic, ballistic, cruise, and air defence missiles by India continued in 2021, with several tests being conducted. Increasing numbers of Indian satellites are in orbit, and the country appears to be pursuing “offensive space capabilities,” he stated. “
According to Berrier’s testimony, the Indian government is pursuing a comprehensive military modernization effort that includes air, ground, naval and strategic nuclear forces, with a focus on domestic defence production.
Indian military forces are working to establish Integrated Theater Commands, which will help them work together more effectively.
Increasing the domestic defence industry and implementing a negative import list, which limits India’s reliance on foreign suppliers, have been top priorities for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2019.
A joint foreign and defence ministerial meeting between India and Russia was held in December for the first time, a joint meeting previously held only with the United States, Japan and Australia.”
Despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Berrier told lawmakers, “India has maintained a neutral stance and continues to call for peace.”
To maintain its position as a leading power and net provider of security in the Indian Ocean region, New Delhi continued to implement foreign policy in 2021, according to Berrier.
Aiming to promote prosperity and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, India seeks strategic alliances to build influence through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and ASEAN, he said.