Defence & Security News - Russia & China
|Thursday, November 27, 2014 10:26 AM|
|China and Russia sign agreement on S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems delivery|
Russia is in the process of selling cutting-edge S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to China, which would hand Beijing a defense system capable of deterring even the most advanced air powers from infringing on Chinese airspace, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Wednesday. The two countries are reported to have recently signed an agreement for at least 6 divisions of the S-400 system.
China this fall signed an agreement with Russia's arms export agency, Rosoboronexport, that calls for the delivery of at least six divisions of the S-400 system costing over $3 billion, the paper said citing unidentified Defense Ministry and industry officials.
The report comes a week after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on a visit to Beijing agreed to deepen military-industrial ties and hold more joint naval exercises with China.
The Moscow Times was unable to receive confirmation from Rosoboronexport that a contract has been signed, but a representative of another government agency involved in defense exports, the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told the RIA Novosti news agency the contract had not yet been signed.
A next-generation air defense system originally designed to counter the increasing air power of the U.S., the S-400 can strike F-35 stealth fighters and shoot down ballistic missiles.
Built by Russia's largest defense contractor Almaz-Antey, primarily for use by the Russian military but also for export, the system provides a coverage of up to 400 kilometers and an altitude of 30 kilometers, and is ideal for defending cities, military bases and sensitive facilities from enemy aircraft, according to Russian media reports.
Armed with three types of missiles suited for short-, medium- and long-range intercepts with aerial targets, a single S-400 battery can engage up to 36 targets with 72 missiles simultaneously, according to Russian media reports.
The S-400's ability to deter well-equipped foreign aggressors has earned both it and its predecessor, the S-300, high demand among nations that do not consider themselves to be U.S. allies.
China appears to be particularly interested. It already has Russian-made S-300s, and is licensed to produce its own versions of that system. But the defensive capabilities and wider range of the S-400 give it superiority over anything else that Chinese industry can field at the moment, which is limited to about 200 kilometers.