The Defense Acquisitions Council (DAC) of India has given its final approval to an agreement to purchase S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia, despite Washington’s opposition, Times of India reported on Sunday, citing informed sources.
The deal gained preliminary approval from the DAC in 2016. However, the final document, which was discussed during the recent commercial negotiations with Russia, still required some adjustment. The council, which gathered on Thursday, approved the deal with “minor deviations,” the paper said.
“The S-400 procurement case will now go to the finance ministry for clearance and the PM-led Cabinet Committee on Security for the final nod. The country’s top political leadership will have to take a call on when the actual contract can be inked,” the Times of India quoted a source as saying.
Indian media reported earlier that the country’s defense ministry expects an approval from the Governmental Committee on Security (CCS) to buy five S-400 complexes from Russia for a total of around $5.5 bln.
The reports sparked concern in Washington. Particularly, the Chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee William Thornberry said in an interview with NDTV, that India’s S-400 purchases from Russia might affect the defense collaboration between India and the United States.