S-400 Current Affairs - 2020

Russia: Production of S-400 missiles begins; China-India-Russia meet in March 2020

On January 17, 2020, Russia announced that the production of S-400 air defence missile system for India has begun. The missiles are to be delivered by 2025. Russia also announced that the foreign Ministerial meet of Russia, India and China is to be held in March 2020.

Highlights: Missiles

The upgraded version of the S-400 missiles that were previously available only to Russian forces are to be delivered to India by 2025.

China, Russia and India

China was the third country in the world to hold S-400 missiles after Russia and Belarus. India was the fourth country to possess S 400 missiles only after China. Also, it has been announced that China will be the first country to get S500 missile system from Russia.

S500

The S500 missile is still under development and testing phase in Russia. S500 is very much similar to the US THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) system. S500 is a surface to air missile system with a range of 600 km.

China-India-Russia meet

Russia also announced that the foreign ministers of China, India and Russia is to be held in March 2020. This is the 17th time the ministers of the countries are meeting. Russia is also keen that Kashmir issue will not be brought up at the meet.

Kashmir issue and UNSC

China has lately been raising the Kashmir issue and abrogation of Article 370 in global organizations. Recently, China tried to bring up the Kashmir issue at the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) through a closed-door meet. However, 15-member body voted against China and the issue couldn’t be brought for discussion. China had earlier tried to conduct similar closed-door discussions in August 2019 and couldn’t succeed.

Report says arms sales increased by 5% in 2018

On December 9, 2019, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute published a report according to which arms sales rose by 5% through out the world in 2018.

Key findings of the report

The report said that the turn over of 100 biggest arms manufacturers came to 420 billion USD. Amongst arms manufacturers, US manufacturers accounted for 59% of global weapon market. Next to the US, Russia ranked second in arms production contributing 8.6% of the weapon market. UK and France ranked third and fourth contributing 8.4% and 5.5% respectively.

The study did not include China as there was insufficient data. However, the report said that China has spent 1.9% of gross domestic product on defence every year since 2013.

Findings on S-400

The increase in sales of weapons continued to grow particularly in the exports of S-400 air defense system. Turkey was the largest buyer of S-400 missiles in spite of US threat of sanctions. Two arms industries of Turkey are in the top 100 with an annual turn over of 2.8 billion USD.

Arms Exports