Sources – Bulgarianmilitary

The Republic of India has publicized its commitment to establishing a comprehensive national initiative dedicated to the development of a high-range anti-aircraft missile system, recognized henceforth as Project Kusha.

The country’s eminent Defence Research and Development Organization [DRDO] is tasked with the scheme. The prerequisites dispatched necessitate a target elimination latitude of up to 350 kilometers and the capability to counteract aircraft with minimized visibility in conjunction with ballistic missiles.

In essence, the project proposes to epitomize an enhanced and tangible equivalent of the S-400, the model to which India’s fledgling entity is collectively juxtaposed. As reported indirectly by those well-versed with the stratagem, the automotive assembly of India’s indigenous expansive range air defence system will be executed over a relatively truncated timeline; the project’s initial prototypes are projected for implementation between 2028 and 2029. The comprehensive fiscal allocation for the initiative is gauged at approximately $2.5 billion.

An analysis of the figures in the table discloses that the anti-aircraft system will be equipped with three distinct missile classes, stipulating ranges of 150, 250, and 350 kilometers; emulating the strategic design adopted by the S-400 missiles. To be precise, the existing 9M96 missile has a reportedly specified range of 120-135 km, the 48Н6DM class – 250 km, and the model 40Н6 – 380 km.

False Flag Plans

It could be postulated that this assertion might serve as a smokescreen for India’s ongoing interest in acquiring more S-400s, a transaction finalized in 2018 entailing five regimental sets [later downgraded to two divisions] at the cost of $5.43 billion. The perpetuation of this acquisition was impeded by the palpable hostility ignited by purchases of armaments from the Russian Federation, after the initiation of the Ukrainian conflict.

Notwithstanding, the hypothesis proposing a concealed influx of Russia’s S-400s to India disguised as its indigenous air defence system should not be discarded. However, the possibility of such a scenario appears low, as suggested by multiple determining factors.

Primarily, the stipulated delivery timeframe begins only from 2028 – a duration seemingly brief, yet unlikely to align with the narrative of covertly integrating Russian weaponry into Indian defence. Secondarily, arms exports of such stature are traditionally announced with evident publicity by the Kremlin. Lastly, there has been no discernible inclination by the Russian Federation towards localizing a primary component of their armaments exportation by 2021.

A Look At Israel

In a relatively recent development, India joined forces with Israel for the implementation of a project aimed at locating the Medium-Range Surface Air Missile [MRSAM] defence system. Essentially, the operation sought to modify the maritime version of Barak 8 into a terrestrial variant. This signifies a proven and effective collaboration with another nation, which may potentially lead to the development of a system analogous to the S-400.

Reverse Engineering Is A Realistic Plan

There exists significant potential for India to independently develop an equivalent to the S-400 system, given its capacity, and potential prior experience, in reverse engineering air defence systems procured from the Russian Federation.

The approach India may undertake involves a deconstruction of the Russian model, akin to the strategy employed by China in the mid-1990s. Following the purchase of the S-300 system, China subsequently fabricated an identical variant, the HQ-9.

Such an endeavour is feasibly accomplished within the allocated five-year period; upon completion, India stands to reap the benefits of owning a proprietary air defence system. Furthermore, this creates an avenue for the potential export of the domestically-produced system, bolstering India’s global defence offering.