January 27, 2015

China buys six S-400 missile battalions from Russia: report

China has purchased six battalions of Russian-built S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to enhance its air defense capability against the United States and its allies in the Western Pacific, reports the Washington-based Strategy Page.
Each battalion has eight launchers, a control center, a radar and 16 missiles available as reloads. A launcher can fire two missiles simultaneously and all equipment is mobile. The cost of each battalion is US$500 million. Originally known as the S-300PMU-3, SA-21 or Triumf, the system was renamed the S-400 because the missile turned out to be far more than just another upgrade of the S-300. Russia deployed its first S-400 battalion in 2010.
The development of the S-400 was undertaken particularly with electronic countermeasures in mind. Compared to its US counterpart, the Patriot system, the S-400 is physically larger and has a longer range but is very expensive, according to the report. With a range of 400 kilometers, the S-400 missile can hit targets at altitudes as high as 31,000 meters and its radar can acquire targets 700 kilometers away.
Two types of missiles are compatible with the S-400. The smaller missile has a shorter range of 120 kilometers. Four of those missiles can be deployed to a launcher, similar to the S-300 systems. The larger missile has two versions as well. One is designed with a range of 250 kilometers while the more expensive one has a range of 400 kilometers.
however, without real combat experience the system's performance still remains unknown, said the report.


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