DEFENCE ACQUISITION COUNCIL APPROVES PURCHASE OF S-400
It has been reported that the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has given its final approval to an agreement to purchase S-400 air defence missile systems from Russia, despite opposition from Washington. The deal was given preliminary approval by the DAC in 2016. However, the final document, which was discussed during the recent commercial negotiations with Russia, still required some adjustment. Accordingly DAC approved the deal with “minor deviations,” on June 28, 2018. The case will now be processed as per the procedure which implies that it will be cleared by the Finance Ministry and the final clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Security. The deal involves for the purchase of five S-400 systems from Russia for a total of around $5.5 billion. On June 5, 2018, India’s Minister of Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman said that Moscow and New Delhi had reached the final stage of negotiations on the S-400 deal. US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, during a recent visit to India, said in an interview that the issue of India’s defence contracts with Russia will be discussed during the first round of the 2+2 US-India talks which have been postponed and its future dates have yet to be finalised.