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China becomes first foreign buyer of Russian S-400 air defense system, according media.

| 2015
Defence & Security News - China
China becomes first foreign buyer of Russian S-400 air defense system, according media
China has purchased S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, director general of Russia's major arms exporting company Rosoborobexport Anatoly Isaykin has told the Kommersant daily in an interview, according Tass Russian news agency.
S-400 (NATO code-name SA-21 Growler) is a long range surface-to-air missile systems

Isaykin refused to disclose terms of contract but confirmed that China had become the first buyer of the cutting-edge air defense system. He noted that it emphasizes the strategic nature of Russian-Chinese relations.

The head of Rosoboronexport said that the Russian defense industry is obliged to supply the S-400 air defense system to the Russian Defense Ministry first of all, despite the fact that many foreign countries are interested in purchasing the system.

The systems, which are capable of launching up to 72 missiles and engaging up to 36 targets simultaneously, entered service in 2007 to replace the S-300 systems. S-400 Triumf is designed to shield from air strikes, strategic, cruise, tactical and operating tactical ballistic missiles and medium-range ballistic missiles.

Design bureau Almaz is responsible for the development of the S-400 Triumf. It is a long-to-medium-range surface-to-air missile system, designed to intercept a range of ground-based and airborne targets, such as stealth aircraft, strategic carriers and cruise and ballistic missiles at a distance of 400km.

The S-400 is code-named the SA-21 Growler. It is an upgrade of the S-300 missile system and features three different missiles, including the extremely long-range 40N6, 48N6 long-range and a 9M96 medium-range missile.

Apart from China, the system has also attracted interest from a number of foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia, Belarus, and Turkey.

Russia plans to buy up to 200 launchers (each with two or four missiles) by 2015, and phase out the older S-300 and S-200 systems. This would mean deploying at least 18 battalions by 2017 and 56 by 2020 (or organized into 28 battalions containing two battalions each).

China plans to deploy its first S-400 battalion opposite Taiwan. That one battalion can cover all Taiwanese air space. The next battalions will be deployed to deal with Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.
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