New Delhi (Sputnik) — A defense analyst has suggested that America's reservations against India acquiring the Russian air defense system is mainly borne out of the fear that if the S-400 is used to test the stealth capabilities of American fighter jets, India would have access to the data of American jets and that data could be leaked to Russia or other adversaries of the US.
"US aircraft like the F-35 Lightning 2 does not feature all aspects of stealth. The aircraft is optimized for front aspect stealth to make it invisible to adversary fighter X-band radars approaching head-on. From the side and rear aspects, the aircraft is not perfectly stealthy. Ground-based radars, such as the S-band 91NE6 acquisition and battle management radar of the S-400 system, can detect and track the F-35 because they would be rarely located head on to the F-35. The 91NE6 radar could record the various radar signatures of the F-35 and store them in an electronic library. The stored signatures could be used by other S-400 systems or other ground-based radars not only to identify a radar track as belonging to an F-35 but to also possibly determine the configuration of the F-35. For example, whether it is with or without external stores," defense analyst Vijainder Thakur told Sputnik.
"This fear is false and unfounded. India does not have a track record of supplying or passing defense technology of one country to the other. Nobody including the US can ever accuse India of this. The US has been selling defense equipment to India over the last one-and-a-half decades. But none of this defense technology has reached any other foreign country. In fact, a mix of defense equipment from Russia, USA, France, and Israel have worked well for the Indian military," an official in India's Defense Ministry told Sputnik on condition of anonymity.
A radar signature electronic library is a very closely guarded secret. There is no question of the Indian Air Force sharing its radar signature library with the Russian Air Force. If the US is skeptical about India's ability to guard its secrets, it would choose not to share its F-35 assets with the Indian Air Force or Indian Navy, he added.
Another source told Sputnik that this, on the other hand, establishes the fact that the S-400 system is sophisticated defense equipment with hardly any parallel at this stage. The S-400 system has proved its worthiness in theaters of war and this has influenced India and other countries like Turkey, which has an entire line of US F-series fighter jets, to enter into negotiations with Russia to purchase the S-400 system. The US is particularly upset with Turkey as Turkey is a NATO member and mainly has US arms.
Negotiations between India and Russia on this multi-billion dollar deal have reached an advanced stage and it is understood that a contract could be signed during the forthcoming Indo-Russian annual summit during the first week of October. China has already sealed a deal with Russia to purchase the S-400 system.
The views and opinion expressed by the speakers in this article are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.