US Commander of Indo-Pacific Command Admiral Philip Davidson claimed that it is a “problem” for the US that India is acquiring Russian S-400 air defense system, reported Times of India Saturday.
“India acquiring the S-400. It’s a Russian air defense system from Russia. That’s a bit of a problem. But we continue dialogue. I think they intend to do that.”
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado Admiral Davidson stated that the US military equipment is outperforming and argued that it would be not profitable for India to purchase the S-400s.
“India is quite proud of their nonaligned policy status. They view this discussion about the S-400 as a policy issue and not a technical tactical and a technical one. So, we’ve got a little bit of ways to go there. I tell people all the time we are on a 10,000-step journey with India. We are on step 10-9 (of 10,000),” he said.
Davidson also spoke about the US-India agreement signed last year allowing the two countries exchange information and intelligence.
“It’s really a technical agreement,” he said. “But it allows us, it has allowed us to do some operational collaboration and some planning with India that has opened their eyes and improving our relationship quite quickly to the point they’re telling me now to hurry up.”
Davidson claimed that India “certainly sees the value” of improving its bilateral relations with the US, but added that it may proceed with the S-400 deal.
“There is the issue of S-400 out there, we are still in dialogue with them about that,” he said.
Currently India is considered to be the largest buyer of the US C-17 lift aircraft, yet it already signed an agreement with Russia to purchase the S-400 missile system.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website