Skip to comments.Keeping S-300 Alive
Posted on 12/17/2010 12:45:34 AM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
The recent cancellation of a billion dollars worth of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran has left the manufacturer with lots of unsold gear. So now Russia is hustling to find new customers, offering attractive prices. Venezuela was given a $4 billion line of credit, part of it going to pay for S-300 systems. Now Kazakhstan has been persuaded to make a purchase (for $150 million). Kazakhstan has oil and gas, and can be expected to pay cash. Despite all that, about a third (the older models) of the S-300 systems used by Russia are in storage. Russia currently has about 100 S-300 battalions in service. Russia has to sell lots of S-300 launchers, radars and missiles to pay for developing the system, and keeping it competitive. The S-300 has been much modified, thus there are many variants on the basic S-300 (which arrived in the late 1970s as the SA-10). Earlier this year, Russia activated its first S-400 (also known as the S-300PMU-3, SA-21 or Triumf) anti-aircraft missile system, around Moscow. This new version of the S-300 pays particular attention to electronic countermeasures that the Americans might have, or be developing. The missiles are also physically larger and have longer range. Two years ago, Russia announced that the first S-400 had entered service around Moscow. But that didn't actually happen, and development work continued. Recent test firings of the missiles were successful. Each S-400 battalion has eight launchers, each with two missiles, plus a control center and radar. The two year delay allowed more system components to be built, so two more battalions were in place around Moscow by the end of the year
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