Russia deploys new air defence system

A new Russian air-defence system has reached operational status in the town of Elektrostal in the Moscow region. It can monitor a radius of 400 kilometres at almost any altitude and is capable of countering any kind of rocket or aircraft.

The skies over Moscow have become safer as the Russian Air Force received its first S-400 Triumph air-defence system. It was first tested back in 1999 but the decision to adopt the system came only last month.  

I have made a proposal to prepare S-400 air-defence systems to ensure the security of the Olympics. While others will be building hotels and sport ventures, we will work out a plan to secure these facilities for the time of the games.

Aleksandr Zelin

The S-400 is meant to counter all kinds of missiles and aircraft flying at a speed of up to 4.8 km/sec and even Stealth technology aircraft are not capable of hiding from it. The system can hit targets flying as far away  as 400 KM and as low as 10 metres off the ground, while the U.S.-made equivalent Patriot system only hits targets starting from  60 metres above ground.

This state-of-the art system with its obvious advantages is likely to prompt demand from international buyers. However, the price tag on the Triumph is expected to be very high and the system will not be available to foreign customers for some years.

“In the next two years this system will be used by the Russian Army. After that we’ll be able to see if any modifications are necessary and we’ll be ready to start production of this system for export no earlier than  2009,” commented Igor Ashurbeily, CEO of the Almaz Corporation .

There are two modifications of the system: a stationary version and a mobile one. The Russian military prefer the second as it takes just five minutes for the mobile S-400 to be deployed. The U.S. equivalent Patriot system takes half an hour to be deployed.  

The Patriot system was used by the U.S. during the Salt Lake City Olympic Games and the Russians are thinking of using S-400 Triumph to ensure air-space security during the Sochi 2014 winter Olympics.  

“I have made a proposal to prepare S-400 air-defence systems to ensure the security of the Olympics. While others will be building hotels and sport ventures, we will work out a plan to secure these facilities for the time of the games,”  said Aleksandr Zelin, Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chief.  

It is the first deployment of the system; another one is planned for next year. However, even a single Triumph could replace three of its predecessors, and its ability to survive attack is five times greater than that of its predecessor.

The S-400 Triumph system looks just like its predecessor, the S-300. It is made so as to confuse the reconnaissance of the possible enemy. Moreover, it is a totally new generation, which can be used as an element of the anti-ballistic missile system.