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JANE'S DEFENCE WEEKLY - DECEMBER 22, 2004
S-400 air-defence system operational
HENRY IVANOV JDW Special Correspondent
Additional reporting James O'Halloran Editor Jane's Land Based Defence
The Russian Federation Air Force (RFAF) has confirmed that two S-400
(Triumph) low- to high-altitude air-defence systems are in service with line
units but that an extension of the re-arming effort depends on funding.
This information confirms a statement by Lieutenant General Aytech Bizhev,
Deputy Commander-in-Chief (CinC) for the Commonwealth of Independent States
Unified Air-Defence, that two S-400 systems are deployed with the air force
for field testing and that these will be deployed fully in 2005.
The RFAF CinC General Vladimir Mikhaylov said on 11 December that the
air-defence priority is to upgrade existing equipment and further develop
the new S-400 for air defence and non-strategic missile defence.
Plans to re-arm the air force surface-to-air missile (SAM) units with the
S-400 remain highly dependent on the availability of funds, and the
manufacturing capacities of the industry, according to RFAF officials,.
Colonel General Boris Cheltsov, RFAF chief of staff, said the S-400 would
achieve full operational readiness in 2005 after receiving a number of
upgrades. Gen Bizhev also confirmed that the upgrades would allow the S-400
and the A-135M to share target data information.
Together with upgraded variants of the in-service SAM systems, the S-400 is
part of an effort to "solve the issues of non-strategic missile defence".
Gen Cheltsov, who headed the air force commission that supervised S-400 fire
trials, said the commission has recommended to the Russian Ministry of
Defence (MoD) that it accepts the S-400 in service "in a variant with a
standard missile". Earlier it had been recommended that the S-400 enter
trial service with missiles already used by the S-300 series.
Gen Bizhev said the S-400 would initially be located to protect Moscow, St
Petersburg and the Urals industrial region, as well as border stretches
"where missile attacks can be expected". He also said the S-400 could
destroy cruise missiles and aircraft at a range of 250 km and at a range of
heights from several dozen metres to the stratosphere.
The S-400, when operational with the new long-range missile (40N6), is
claimed to have a range of 400 km and it is believed to have passed firing
tests with all missile types.
The existing S-400s are currently undergoing capability enhancements for
interoperability with the space forces assets.
The Russian armed forces say that the S-400 can potentially be used against
strategic ballistic missiles after separation of warheads. In that role the
S-400s will be co-operating with the A-135 anti-missile system in service
with the Russian Space Forces. Provision is made for the S-400s to receive
targeting information on approaching space threats from the Russian Space
Forces in an automatic mode.
The S-400/A-135 will be the first block of the Air and Space Defence (ASD)
system, a future structure concept recently formulated by the Russian
defence ministry. The latter said that the MoD has recently approved the ASD
concept and it is currently being improved for final validation by the
Among other things, the ASD calls for a unitary radar field over Russia,
similar to that which the Soviet Union had, but "on a new quality level". To
achieve this, a united air traffic control/air-defence radar field will be
created, combining the means of civil and military structures. Almaz-Antei
(Air Defence Concern or Kontsern PVO) has been selected to lead the effort.
Almaz-Antei will act as systems integrator and also supplier of major
elements such as phased-array radar systems and 'identification friend or
'Moscow reveals new missile for S-400 system' (JDW 12 May 2004)
Antei S-400 (Jane's Land Based Air Defence)