The US has serious concerns about India’s plans to buy the S-400 air defence system from Russia as it will inhibit ability of militaries from the two nations to operate together, chairman of the powerful US House Armed Services Committee has said. Concerns about India’s potential purchase of the S-400 have been conveyed to different levels of the government and the Russian system would also make it difficult for the US to share sensitive technology in the future, committee members who are in India said. “There is a lot of concern in the US administration and Congress with the S-400.
There is concern that any country that acquires the system will complicate the ability of interoperability (with US forces),” House Armed Services Committee chairman Mac Thornberry said in response to a question by ET.
Making it clear that the question of the S-400 purchase was beyond sanctions planned against Russia, Thornberry said that he hoped India will ‘take it’s time’ and carefully consider acquiring the system. India is on the path to acquire the air defence system from Russia for an estimated Rs 39,000 crore, with the deal to be signed by October.
US committee members linked the transfer of high-end technology for the Indian fighter aircraft production plan to the S-400 too.
“India wants to have more technology sharing and production like the F-16. The issue there is when you talk of technology and then there is the S-400...we do have some concerns that we have brought up to different levels of your government,” Democrat Congressman Harry Ceuller who represents Texas said.
Thornberry who heads the committee that oversees the Pentagon, all military services and all Department of Defense agencies including their budgets and policies also raised concerns about China’s ‘newly aggressive posture’ that has been creating new military bases in the Indian Ocean region and South China Sea.
“There is concern about China using debt to acquire bases and other sorts of things and then turn around to militarise them. That shows a newly-aggressive posture by China and that is an issue of concern,” he said.
India's purchase of Russian S-400 to curb military cooperation: US