The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it had received the third S-400 Triumf missile air defense system regiment set last week. The Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defense Corporation JSC handed over the missile system ahead of time.
“Within the framework of its obligations under the state defense contract, the Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defense Corporation JSC handed over another (the third in year 2020) regiment set of the S-400 missile air defense systems to the Ministry of Defense ahead of time,” the Russian Ministry of Defense told state media.
The commissioning trials with target missile took place at the Kapustin Yar proving ground, which is located about 100 kilometers east of Volograde. It was established by the Soviet Union in May 1946.
During the tests of the S-400 there were no complaints as to the equipment, and the crew performed their task to the “A” grade. Specialists from Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defense Corporation JSC accompanied the Russian representative throughout the trials.
The S-400 Triumf system (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler), which was developed and produced by Almaz-Antey, was designed to provide protection from air strikes including cruise, tactical and operation ballistic missiles as well as intermediate-range missiles in a radio-jamming environment. It can also be used against ground installations. The S-400, which can also launch 40N6 missiles, is designed to engage targets at a distance of up to four hundred kilometers at up to six times the speed of sound, and at an altitude of up to thirty kilometers under intensive enemy fire and jamming. It entered service in 2007.
Earlier this month the Russian Ministry of Defense also announced that two Eastern Military District air defense regiments would be equipped with the S-400 missile system. A total of three regiments will be equipped with the Triumf along with four sets of the S-350 ‘Vityaz’ battlefield air defense launchers by 2032 under new contracts with the Russian defense contractor.
At the beginning of September, the Russian military employed the anti-aircraft platform in a live-fire exercise during drills in the south Astrakhan Region involving the Central Military District’s air defense division. The drills involved more than 450 Russian military personnel and some two hundred pieces of military hardware.
The S-400 is also being widely exported, but the United States imposed economic sanctions on countries simply for buying the system. Despite that fact, many nations have still expressed interest in it including India, which agreed to a $5 billion deal to buy five units of the air defense missile system in August. That deal follows Saudi Arabia’s agreement to purchase the system earlier this year.
This use of the S-400 as an economic warfare tool has been seen as an example of Russian Hybrid Warfare against the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as it has caused a rift with Turkey, a key NATO partner.
Moscow and Ankara entered into an advanced stage of talks earlier this year for the delivery of the second regiment set of the S-400 systems to Turkey. In addition, Russia was ready to discuss the possibility of technological cooperation with Turkey, which could imply the participation of Turkish companies.
Surprisingly, in July Russia suspended further S-400 sales to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), suggesting that while Russia continues to look for foreign buyers those may not include Beijing.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.