India agreed to purchase five advanced S-400 Triumf missile-defense systems from Russia last month — the third US ally to do so since September.
Saudi Arabia also agreed to purchase the S-400 in early October, and Turkey finalized and made a deposit on a $2.5 billion deal for the S-400 in September, deepening tensions between Washington and Ankara.
Czech Gen. Petr Pavel, the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, recently said that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 may bar it from any integrated air-defense system with NATO allies.
The S-400 is a very capable missile-defense system, somewhat comparable to the US’s MIM-104 Patriot, according to CSIS.
Here’s what it can do.
The S-400 Triumf, which NATO calls the SA-21 Growler, is a fourth-generation long-range missile-defense system that Russia began developing in 1993.
It’s also the successor to the S-200 and S-300 air-defense systems and became operational in 2007.
It’s capable of taking out aircraft, drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles in the terminal phase.
However, it does not have hit-to-kill ballistic-missile-defense technology, which means it can’t physically collide with incoming warheads.