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New Russian S-400 Antimissile Unit Ready For Deployment

Russia's air defense forces are to shortly receive another sophisticated S-400 antimissile unit, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday (see GSN, June 28).

"A long-range missile for S-400 has passed all trials and will soon be delivered to air defense units," Russian air and missile defense command Maj. Gen. Andrei Demin said.

Though Demin did not specify the S-400 variant, analysts believe it might be the 40N6 model, which has the ability to destroy enemy fighter planes and ballistic and cruise missiles at a distance as great as 250 miles.

Russia presently has two S-400 regiments based in the Moscow area, another one is located in the Eastern Military District and a final one in the Kaliningrad. Moscow envisions having 28 such regiments no later than 2020 (RIA Novosti, June 28).

Officials on Tuesday announced that a system of Russian long-range missile sensors will begin normal military operations earlier than previously slated, Voice of Russia radio reported (Voice of Russia, June 26).

Voronezh-class radar systems are presently fielded in the Kaliningrad, Siberia's Irkutsk region and in Lekhtusi, close to St. Petersburg. Another one of the radars located near Armavir in the Krasnodar region is expected to begin combat duty close to the end of the year, according to older reports. The early threat detection technology can detect missiles at a distance of more than 3,700 miles. The radars can also be moved around more quickly than previous generations (see GSN, June 20).

Elsewhere, Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov on Thursday told reporters he is optimistic his government and Moscow will agree to the terms of a new lease for a Russian radar deployed in Azerbaijan before the current one expires in December, Interfax reported (see GSN, May 24).

Russia and Azerbaijan have thus far been unable to agree on the financial terms for a new lease. The radar at Gabala occupies a critical geopolitical location for Russia as it tracks Iranian ballistic missile tests and monitors for possible missile attacks from the Indian Ocean region or other southern areas, previous reports said (Interfax, June 28).

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