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MOSCOW: Russia will deliver an order of S-400 anti-aircraft systems to India within the agreed timeframe, Interfax news agency quoted a senior Russian defence export official on Monday as saying.

India is the world’s biggest arms importer and still mostly uses Russian technology for traditional arms, but officials in New Delhi have expressed concern that Russia’s war in Ukraine could delay planned deliveries of weapons and equipment.

“The production of S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems is being carried out according to schedule,” Interfax quoted Dmitry Shugaev, head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, as saying. “The delivery of the equipment of the S-400 Triumf system is expected to be completed within the agreed time frame,” he said in comments made during an armed forces event.

India purchased the S-400 Triumf air defence system units in 2018 for $5.4 billion. Three of the systems have been delivered and two more are still awaited.

The deliveries are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024, according to Interfax. The Indian Air Force said in March that the war in Ukraine was holding up vital defence supplies from Russia.

New Delhi has been seeking in recent years to diversify imports or replace them with home-built hardware.

It is buying French fighter jets, Israeli drones and US jet engines. But Russia still accounted for $8.5 billion of the $18.3 billion India has spent on arms imports since 2017, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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