India will send a group of 100 officers to Russia in January to train them in the handling of advanced S-400 anti-aircraft systems, the Times of India newspaper reports.
“A first team of almost 100 officers and pilots will travel to Russia in the last week of January to train in the handling and maintenance of the S-400,” a military source told the newspaper.
In October 2018, India signed a contract with the Russian corporation Rosoboronexport for the purchase of five S-400 anti-aircraft systems for more than $ 5.4 billion.
The source specified that India will receive the first anti-aircraft batteries between September and October 2021 and they will be operational by the end of this year or early next year.
The acquisition of the S-400 anti-aircraft systems caused tension between the Indian government and the United States.
Washington threatened to impose sanctions on India if it didn’t give up the purchase of advanced Russian defense equipment. New Delhi rejected the American threats and continued with its plans to reinforce its anti-aircraft shield.
The newspaper said New Delhi has already transferred a significant advance to Rosoboronexport and is designing a mechanism to make the final payment and circumvent possible unilateral US sanctions.