V. Muraleedharan, India's minister of state of external affairs, said that the need for the missile defence system has been conveyed to the US several times, including during US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent visit to New Delhi.
"Government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard it. Our requirement for the S-400 system has been clearly conveyed to the U.S. side", the minister said.
He was replying to the threat of sanctions issued by the Donald Trump administration over the $5.43 billion deal with Russia. The agreement was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's two-day visit to India.
The contract for the supply of the Russian S-400 long range surface to air missile systems to India was concluded in October 2018.
The Trump administration has threatened India with sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) if it decides to go ahead with the purchase.
CAATSA requires the imposition of certain sanctions on persons/entities that have knowingly engaged in a “significant transaction” with the defence or intelligence sectors of Russia. The US Department of State will determine whether a transaction is “significant” for purposes of Section 231 of CAATSA on a case-by-case basis.
Earlier this week, Russia's Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Vladimir Drozhzhov told reporters that Moscow was hoping to receive an advance payment for S-400 air defence systems from India by the end of 2019 so that the deliveries can begin in 2020 and be completed by 2025.
The S-400 is an advanced mobile air defence missile system which can carry three different types of missiles capable of destroying a variety of aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range, from reconnaissance aircraft to ballistic missiles.