Vol. 7 No. 2 (2019): A Journal of Strategic Studies, Winter 2019

S-400 Deployment in South Asia and the US’ Regional Interests

Mr. Sameer Ali Khan
Mr. Sameer Ali Khan is a former visiting fellow of Atlantic Council's South Asia Center, Washington D.C USA
CISS Insight - A Journal of Strategic Studies - Winter 2019
Published January 10, 2020
  • S-400,
  • Russia,
  • India,
  • China,
  • Strategic Stability,
  • nonproliferation,
  • Ballistic Missile Defense,
  • South Asia
  • ...More
How to Cite
Mr. Sameer Ali Khan. (2020). S-400 Deployment in South Asia and the US’ Regional Interests . CISS Insight Journal, 7(2), 36 - 61. Retrieved from https://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/12


India has signed an agreement with Russia for purchase S400 system. Unlike the systems like PAC-3 and THAAD, S-400 can be employed against ballistic missiles and aerial targets; making it both a missile and air defense system. S-400 is a more advanced system than India’s indigenous system. It is equally sought by the US’ allies and adversaries. Besides India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar other US allies are considering to purchase S-400 system. Unlike these states, India has central place in the US Asia Pacific strategy aimed at countering China. The recently passed Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) obliges the US President to sanction India for trading with Russia. This could possibly have long term implications for the Indo-US relations. Besides countering China, the US has other objectives in the region like maintenance of peace/strategic stability and prevention of an arms race. This study explores the possible configuration of this system’s deployment in India and its relevance against China and/or Pakistan. The paper also analyses this system’s impact on US’ regional interests which include strategic stability between India and Pakistan, the prospects of an arms control and nonproliferation in the region, and the long-term Indo-US relations which are critical for countering China.