Washington is yet to give notice about possible Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanction Act (CAATSA) waivers, which could cover New Dehli’s purchase of five mobile S-400 systems worth $5.4 billion.
The Russian S-400 mobile air defence system platform is widely recognized to be the most advanced of its class, and several orders for the Russian product, particularly by China, have been filled with additional nations in negotiations currently.
Two countries concluded a contract for the supply of the missile system during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India in October, the Hindustan Times reported.
Indian officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said that negotiations for the S-400 purchase predated CAATSA and any exemptions granted by the US will only be known when the Indian Defense Ministry makes its initial payment.
“With Russia already under US sanctions, it is for both Moscow and New Delhi to decide one mode of payment. Whether CAATSA has been waived or not will only be known once the Defense Ministry negotiates the mode of payment with its Russian counterpart,” said a senior government official, cited by the Hindustan Times.
Indian officials believe that a presidential waiver under CAATSA will be granted both for the purchase of S-400s and the manufacturing of AK-47 rifles in a joint venture by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) of India and the Russian Kalashnikov Concern.
Indian military forces reportedly intend to use the AK-47 rifle or its derivative in the hinterlands, especially in counter-insurgency operations, according to the Hindustan Times.
India kept the US updated about its purchase of the S-400 purchase system as National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on September 14 reassured Washington that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has the precise technical knowhow to shield electronic signatures of its US aerial platforms from being shared with the S-400 system.
Doval’s visit to Washington was preceded by an IAF technical team visit to the Pentagon to discuss the S-400 deal with Russia.
India signed a $5.43 billion deal to purchase five mobile units of the Russian S-400 Triumf during a bilateral annual summit in October. US government officials have previously warned India that it could face secondary sanctions if it goes ahead with its decision to purchase S-400.