The S-400 uses three different missiles to cover its entire performance envelope. These are the extremely long range 40N6, long range 48N6 and medium range 9M96 missile. Each one has different capabilities.
The development of the S-400 system began in the late 1990s. The system was formally announced by the Russian Air Force in January 1999. On 12 February 1999, the first tests were performed at Kapustin Yar in Astrakhan which were reported successful. As a result of this, the S-400 was scheduled for deployment in the Russian army in 2001.
In 2003 it first became apparent that the system was not ready for deployment, but in August two high-ranking military officials expressed concerns that the S-400 was being tested using 'obsolete' interceptors from the S-300P and concluded that it was not ready for production.
Finally the completion of the project was announced in February 2004. In April, a ballistic missile was successfully intercepted in a test of the upgraded 48N6DM interceptor missile.
The 40N6 very long range missile is capable of destroying airborne targets at ranges up to 400 km (250 mi). Active radar homing head. (expected in 2012)
The 48N6E3/48N6DM long range missile is capable of destroying airborne targets at ranges up to 250 km (160 mi). Semi-active radar homing head.
The 9M96E2 extended range missile is capable of destroying airborne targets at ranges up to 120 km (75 mi). It has the highest hit probability against fast, manoeuvrable targets such as fighter aircraft. Active radar homing head.
The new anti-ballistic missiles 77N6-N and 77N6-N1 to enter service in 2014 supposedly add inert/kinetic anti-ballistic capability to the system. The same missiles will also be used by the S-500, which has a clearly stated anti-ICBM role.
Deployment[edit source | edit]
A regular S-400 battalion consists of at least eight launchers with 32 missiles and a mobile command post. On May 21, 2007 the Russian Air Force announced that S-400 would be put on combat duty around Moscow and Central Russia by July 1, 2007 The S-400 was also deployed near the town of Elektrostal.
On August 6, 2007, the first regiment equipped with S-400 entered active service in Moscow Oblast' near the town of Elektrostal, according to Channel One Russia. This is the 606th Guards Anti-air Rocket Regiment, 9th PVO Division, 1st PVO Corps, of the Special Purpose Command.
On February 8, 2008, Lt. Gen. Vladimir Sviridov announced that Russia will be replacing the S-300 systems in the Northwest of Russia with the more technologically advanced S-400. Russian military experts expect that Russia plans for this system to be in place and represent a major component of their ballistic missile defense system until 2020.
On March 17, 2009 Russia's defense minister announced that a second regiment equipped with advanced S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems has been put into combat service.
On August 26, 2009, the General Staff said S-400 systems had been deployed in the Russian Far East to counter possible North Korean missile tests and prevent fragments from falling on Russian territory.
In February 2011 a second unit of S-400 missile systems was deployed at Dubrovki, north of Moscow. The 210th Air Defence Regiment consists of two battalions, each consisting of eight launch points, each with four missiles. In February 2011, it was also announced that the missile system will be deployed in southern Kuril Islands "to protect Russia's sovereignty in the Far East".
The Baltic Fleet in Kaliningrad received S-400 SAM systems in February 2012 and these went into operational status in April 2012. One S-400 division is deployed on combat duty in the Russian far east city Nakhodka.
As of 2012, one system (in Electrostal) is operational, with three more S-400 battalions being deployed. All 56 battalions will be delivered by 2020. Russia is also setting up two regiments of S-400 in Eastern Military district.
Foreign interest[edit source | edit]
On August 23, 2007 RIA Novosti reported that their sources indicated that Russia will not export the S-400 for the next few years.
Vice Chairman of Russia's State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky has urged the fast delivery of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran.
On August 24, 2009, RIA Novosti reported that their sources indicated that Belarus had submitted a formal request for two battalions of S-400 systems.
In September 2009, it was reported that the S-400 system is part of a two billion dollar arms deal being negotiated between Russia and Saudi Arabia. As of March 2010, this was still under negotiation. The Saudis want to buy twelve systems, each of eight launchers. The Saudis were trying to buy the more modern S-400, but the Russians reportedly only wanted to sell the older S-300.
^"Russia to Belarus fearing of Ukraine". Charter97.org. April 15, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2010. "...sources report the regiment based at Elektrostal is the 606th Guards Anti-air Rocket Regiment, 9th PVO Division, 1st PVO Corps, of the Special Purpose Command"
^"Iran's army to be equipped with S-400". PressTV. September 5, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2010. "Vice Chairman of Russia's State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky has urged the fast delivery of the magnificent S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran."