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Russia will deploy the first air defense battalion equipped with new S-400 missile systems around Moscow on August 6
Russia will deploy the first air defense battalion equipped with new S-400 missile systems around Moscow on August 6, an Air Force spokesman said. The S-400 Triumf (NATO codename SA-21 Growler) is a new air defense missile system developed by the Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. "A battalion equipped with S-400 Triumf air defense systems and a command post will be put on combat duty [around Moscow] August 6," Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky told a news conference Tuesday. Russia successfully conducted July 12-13 live firing tests of S-400 air defense complex at the Kapustin Yar firing range in the Astrakhan Region. Drobyshevsky said units of the first battalion had arrived at their deployment site in the Moscow Region and were preparing to assume combat duty. A regular S-400 battalion comprises at least eight launchers and 32 missiles and a mobile command post, according to various sources. S-400 has been designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), or twice the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot, and 2.5 times that of the S-300PMU-2. The system is reportedly highly capable of destroying stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles with an effective range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles), and a speed of up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second. Experts believe that the ability to intercept and destroy cruise missiles and ballistic missiles makes S-400 Triumf a crucial part of theater missile defenses. Lieutenant General Alexander Gorkov, the Air Force air defense chief, said earlier in July that Russia planned to deploy new air defense systems primarily around all strategically important administrative and political centers in two stages by 2015. The Russian Air Defense Forces, which are part of the Air Force, currently deploy more than 30 regiments equipped with S-300 (NATO reporting name SA-10 Grumble) missile complexes, which will be gradually replaced with S-400 systems.
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