Russia Plans Further Purchases of Missile Defense Systems

GSN: Russia is looking into purchasing the latest generation S-500 antimissile system over the next decade, RIA Novosti reported today (seeĀ GSN, May 19).

“We will buy a significant number of S-400s before 2020. They will not just go to the five anti-aircraft missile regiments equipped with this system, but also to a much larger number (of regiments). We are also discussing the (purchase of) S-500 anti-aircraft missile systems,” said Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, head of the Russian air force (RIA Novosti I, July 13).

Russian First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin told theĀ Rossiyskaya Gazeta the agency intended to purchase another five S-400 systems to defend Moscow against missile strikes, Interfax reported. Up to two systems could also be deployed to far eastern Russia.

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov had also suggested constructing two more factories to produce the S-400 system in order to to meet international demand, he said.

“Ninety percent of S-400 equipment, including command posts, will remain modern for 25-30 years,” Popovkin said.

Russia also requires a “new, more energetic missile” that can take out “tactical, operative-tactical and strategic missiles and warheads” that are traveling 4.35 miles per minute, the deputy minister said (Interfax I, July 12).

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin announced yesterday that envoys to the NATO-Russia Council were set to meet Friday for a briefing on alliance antimissile plans, Interfax reported (seeGSN, June 25).

Rogozin said a Kremlin proposal for NATO to make use of its radar facilities was still on the table (Interfax II/Kiev Post, July 12).

Elsewhere, President Dmitry Medvedev reaffirmed yesterday his government’s stance against the militarization of outer space, RIA Novosti reported.

“We stand against unilateral approaches to missile defense issues and against the placement of weapons in space,” he said (RIA Novosti II, July 12).