Russian Antimissile Radar Could Fill Azeri Base's Role, Insider Says

Russia's new missile defense radar station at Armavir could monitor an area presently handled by a system based in Azerbaijan, a Russian defense sector insider told Interfax on Wednesday.

Certain earlier reports asserted Moscow and Baku had reached a stalemate in negotiations to extend Russia's permit to operate from the Gabala radar site. The radar was said to be critical in monitoring Iranian ballistic missile tests and watching for potential missile strikes launched from the Indian Ocean or other southern areas.

Russia's new Voronezh-DM system "is a new generation of radar stations," said Sergei Boyev, who heads the Russian firm OAO RTI. "The Armavir station is capable of covering the Gabala sector." 

The new radar could stand in for the Azeri base without a problem, according to Viktor Yesin, a one-time head of Russia's strategic missile forces.

"Voronezh-DM operates in the decimeter range; it has a range of [3,728 miles]," he said. "It is capable of simultaneously tracking 500 objects. The Armavir radar covers the southwest and controls space from southern Europe to North Africa. Its second segment will cover the Gabala radar zone."

The Armavir station was slated to become operational around the end of this year, according to a previous report.

November 30, 2012
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Russia's new missile defense radar station at Armavir could monitor an area presently handled by a system based in Azerbaijan, a Russian defense sector insider told Interfax on Wednesday.