Russia’s S-400 Missile Defense System Has No Equal Globally

A woman walks near Russia's air defence system S-400 Triumf launch vehicles at the military exhibition

 

The S-400 Triumf, a top-tier anti-aircraft weapon system produced in Russia, has no parallels across the globe in terms of combat capabilities, defense expert Konstantin Sivkov told Radio Sputnik.

Take the US-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, for instance. “The THAAD has shorter range and is incapable of hitting targets beyond the horizon. In addition, it is purely an anti-ballistic missile system designed to shoot down ballistic missiles,” he added.

The S-400, developed in response to President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), also known as Star Wars, has a lot more to offer.
The Triumf’s first unique feature is its long range.

“The S-400 is capable of hitting targets at a height of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles). Its second distinctive feature is fire-and-forget capability. Its missiles are fitted with a homing device which can lock on a target and destroy it. Unlike US systems, the S-400 does not need to track the target,” Sivkov explained.

In addition, the S-400 is the only missile complex in the world capable of hitting targets located beyond the horizon, the expert noted. The system is also well protected against electronic warfare.Unsurprisingly, the S-400 Triumf has caused a stir. So far only China signed a contract for the deliveries of the cutting-edge missile defense system but many are likely to follow.

Saudi Arabia is said to be interested in purchasing the S-400s, while a $10 billion arms deal with India is expected to be inked during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow in December.

The S-400 Triumf Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft Missile System (AAMS)
The S-400 Triumf Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft Missile System (AAMS)
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Third batch of equipment for S-400 missile regiment arrives in Russia’s Kamchatka

 

April 29,  MOSCOW
The batch comprises more than 50 units of equipment, spare parts and accessories of the S-400 missile system that will soon replace the S-300

 

“The batch comprises more than 50 units of equipment, spare parts and accessories of the S-400 missile system that will soon replace the S-300. The rearmament will be completed soon and the new S-400 air defense missile system will be put on combat duty to protect air frontiers of Russia’s northeast,” Martov said.

The first batch that included more than 20 equipment units for the S-400 system had arrived in Kamchatka in early February. The second batch arrived to the peninsula in April. According to previous reports, the delivery of the regimental set of the Triumph missile systems will take five trains.

A Russian Defense Ministry source told TASS previously that the S-400 regimental set for Kamchatka would comprise three battalions, and not two as before. 

The S-400 missile systems are already protecting the skies over Moscow and St. Petersburg, and Severomorsk – the headquarters of the Northern Fleet, the Kaliningrad region – the most western part of the country, locked between Poland, Lithuania and Belarus and home to Russia’s Baltic Fleet, and also southern regions and the coast of the Sea of Japan in the Far East. The S-400 is a new generation anti-aircraft system, which can be equipped with very long-range missiles (up to 400km), long-range (250km) and medium-range (120km). It’s capable of shooting down anything from small aircraft to cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk, and even ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

Russian S-400 for China: Challenge for Asian Geopolitics?

Preparing to fire an S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile at the Ashuluk proving grounds during an Aerospace Defence Forces tactical drill

Russia is ready to sell China its state-of-the-art S-400 missile system. Japan is worried by the prospect, fearing it could undermine its security amid an ongoing territorial dispute surrounding the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands in China.
 

Russia’s business daily Vedomosti reported last November that Moscow was in the process of selling S-400 anti-aircraft missiles to China.The news was confirmed on April 13 when Anatoly Isaikin, CEO of Russia’s arms export agency Rosoboronexport, said in an interview that China hads purchased Russia’s advanced air defense system, Japan’s business newspaper the Nikkei, wrote in a comment on Monday.

Moscow, however, had been reluctant to deliver the system to China. It was concerned that Beijing would buy only a small number of the coveted system with the intent of disassembling it and learning how to build it.

Although Moscow and Beijing have yet to officially announce the deal, it seems almost certain that they have agreed on the sale, which Tokyo fears may upset the subtle military balance in the East China Sea.

If the deal is finalized, China will become the first foreign country to buy the S-400 missile system.

China already owns the latest air defense system’s predecessor, the S-300. However, the older system has a range of just 300 kilometers, which means it can only reach as far as some parts of Taiwan.

The 400-kilometer-range system will, for the first time, allow China to strike any aerial target on the island of Taiwan, in addition to reaching air targets as far as New Delhi, Calcutta, Hanoi and Seoul and also closer to the disputed Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Tokyo and Beijing have recently been slowly but steadily working at mending diplomatic relations, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe having met Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.

It seems unlikely that the two countries would use force to take the islets anytime in the near future. However, Beijing may mull taking bolder actions in the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands if it becomes convinced of any military advantage in the Senkaku area.

Moscow, meanwhile, is also well aware of the threat that sales of the S-400 system to China may present to Japan.

Moscow is increasingly frustrated by Tokyo’s sanctions, even though they are not as harsh as those imposed by Washington. The source said that the Kremlin feels that Japan was just trying to please Washington by forcing Russia to pay for its alleged intervention in Ukraine.

It is possible that Vladimir Putin authorized the sale of the S-400 to raise funds amid economic grievances arising from Western sanctions.

Some within Abe’s government said that Japan should not be too strict with Russia, because sanctions that are too harsh may push Moscow closer to Beijing, which is against the national interest of Japan, Nikkei wrote in a comment.

Russian S-400 Triumf Air Defense System
Russian S-400 Triumf Air Defense System

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Russian official confirms S-400 sale to China

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China may be about to finally receive the Almaz-Antei S-400 (SA-21) Triumf air defence system from Russia: a sale it has been pursuing without success for years.

In November 2010 Russia’s then-defence minister, Anatoliy Serdyukov, returned from a series of meetings in Beijing with proposals in hand for two major sales: the S-400 and a large number of the NPO Saturn 117S jet engine.

Russian authorities held off on selling these two state-of-the-art systems because Chinese industry has consistently reverse-engineered and then produced copies of every major weapons system Beijing has acquired.

Russian industry and government officials previously protested against the continued production of Chinese-made copies of the Sukhoi Su-27 (Shenyang J-11B), Su-33 (J-15), and Su-30 (J-16) fighters and the S-300 (HQ-9) air defence system.

Fourth S-400 missile defense regiment put on combat duty near Moscow — Defense Ministry

The Triumf system is twice as effective as the previous systems and can attack 10 targets with up to 20 missiles

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Bobylev
 

Modernization and reorganization of the Russia’s Armed Forces in 2014. Infographics by TASS

MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. A new regiment equipped with the S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems has taken up combat duty in the Moscow Region, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.”The Russian Aerospace Defense Forces currently have four anti-aircraft regiments equipped with the newest S-400 Triumf systems that ensure air defense of Moscow and the central industrial region,” Alexey Zolotukhin said.

The Triumf system is twice as effective as the previous systems and can attack 10 targets with up to 20 missiles. The S-400 uses 3 different missiles to cover its entire performance envelope.

Supplies of new, upgraded types of weaponry and hardware to the Russian Armed Forces are growing. By 2020 the Russian Armed Forces will have at least 70% of advanced weapons.