A defense expert argues that American concerns about India's plan to acquire Russia's air defense system, mainly due to fear that the S-400 is used to test stealth capabilities of American fighter jets, India would have access to American jet data and that data could leak to Russia or other US enemies, released Sputniknews.com, Thursday, 20-9-2108.
Former Indian Air Force squadron leader and independent defense analyst Vijainder K Thakur confirmed that the S-400 system could be used not only to identify the American F-35's radar footprint but also possibly determine the F-35 configuration.
US aircraft such as the F-35 Lightning 2 do not have all aspects of stealth. The aircraft optimized its stealth aspect from the front side so that it would not be seen by the opposing X-band fighter jet approaching directly. From the side and back aspects, the plane is not really hidden. Ground-based radar, such as S-band 91NE6 and S-400 system battle management radar, can detect and track F-35s because they rarely head on to F-35 aircraft. Radar 91NE6 can record various F-35 radar signs and store them in an electronic library. Signs that are stored can be used by other S-400 systems or other ground-based radars not only to identify the F-35 radar paths but also possibly determine the F-35 configuration, said defense expert Vijainder Thakur to Sputnik.
However, sources at the Indian Defense Ministry said that the US did not need to worry.
"Fear is wrong and baseless. India does not have a track record to supply or forward defense technology in one country to another. No one including the US can accuse India of this. The US has sold defense equipment to India in the past decade and a half. But none of these defense technologies have reached other foreign countries. "In fact, a mixture of defense equipment from Russia, the US, France, and Israel has worked well for the Indian military," an official at the Indian Defense Ministry told Sputnik on condition of anonymity.
An electronic library of radar signs is a closely guarded secret. There is no question about the Indian Air Force distributing radar sign libraries with the Russian Air Force. If the US is skeptical about India's ability to maintain its secrets, it will choose not to give F-35 assets to the Indian Air Force or Indian Navy, he added.
Another source told Sputnik that the fact that the S-400 system is now a new defense equipment with almost no equal ability at this stage. The S-400 system has proven its worth on the battlefield and this has affected India and other countries such as Turkey, which has a whole line of US F-series fighter jets, to enter into negotiations with Russia to buy the S-400 system. The US is very disappointed with Turkey because Turkey is a member of NATO and mainly has US weapons.
The US military industrial complex is concerned that more and more countries are interested in buying the S-400 system. First, this would imply that the US anti-missile defense system loses market share if more and more countries get the S-400 because no US system can match its caliber. Secondly, the US defense establishment is concerned that countries that buy S-400 systems and also have US fighter jets or plan to acquire US fighter jets will be a challenge for Washington, the source added.
Negotiations between India and Russia on a multi-billion dollar agreement have reached an advanced stage and it is understood that the contract can be signed during the upcoming India-Russia annual summit, the first week of October. China has signed an agreement with Russia to buy the S-400 system.