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Russia to boost space defense with new missile system

RIA Novosti

08/08/2007 10:35 MOSCOW, August 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is developing a fifth-generation air defense missile system that is superior to S-400 Triumf complex and capable of hitting targets in space, the Air Force commander said Wednesday.

Russia recently deployed the first S-400 air defense battalion to protect the airspace around Moscow, and is planning to equip over two dozen battalions with the system by 2015.

"While working on the S-400, we have been developing a fifth-generation air defense system, which will be more compact, more maneuverable, and will certainly have superior technical characteristics," Colonel General Alexander Zelin said.

The new missile system will combine elements of air, missile and space defense, and will be developed by the Almaz-Antei air defense consortium, which designed and built the S-400 system, he said.

The Air Force commander said major enhancements would be made to the system's electronic components.

"The enhancement of electronics will allow the systems to see farther, higher and react quicker, which will significantly expand the range of their capabilities, including repelling strikes from space," Zelin said.

The latest S-400 Triumf (NATO codename SA-21 Growler) has been designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), or twice the range of the MIM-104 Patriot, and 2.5 times that of the S-300PMU-2.

It is capable of destroying stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles with an effective range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and a speed of up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second.

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