Russia is selling its cutting-edge S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to China. Anatoly Isaikin, the CEO of Russia’s state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport told Sputnik International News that China has become the first country to get the coveted S-400 Triumf. Beijing is spending more than $3 billion for at least six battalions of S-400, according to The Moscow Times.
S-400 can strike any aerial target including F-35 stealth fighter
Isaikin declined to disclose the details of the contract, but said that Beijing has indeed signed the contract for the purchase of the air defense systems. The S-400 Triumf would help China deter even the “most advanced air powers from infringing on Chinese airspace.” Russia originally designed the air defense system to counter the rising air power of the United States.
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The S-400 is capable of striking any aerial target including the F-35 stealth fighters. It can also shoot down any cruise and tactical ballistic missiles with a speed of three miles per second. China already owns the Russian-made S-300. The latest S-400 is built by Almaz-Antey, Russia’s largest defense contractor. The system offers a coverage of 250 miles and an altitude of 20 miles.
Russia may sell S-300 to Iran
Almaz-Antey says the system is ideal to defend military bases, cities and sensitive facilities. It can engage up to 36 targets with 72 missiles simultaneously. Isaykin said many other countries have also expressed interest in the system. The company has expanded its production capabilities, but is still finding it difficult to deliver these systems to several countries.
Separately, Russia announced Monday that it has lifted the ban on delivery of S-300 anti-missile rocket systems to Iran. Russia had initially signed an $800 million deal with Tehran to sell five S-300 systems. But it canceled the contract due to intense pressure from the West following U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran over its controversial nuclear program. Lifting the ban has set the groundwork for the potential sale of S-300 to Iran.