Russia delivers 15 S-300 air-defense batteries to China
MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has delivered a total of 15 batteries of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to China, the manufacturer said on Friday.
Igor Ashurbeili, general director of the Almaz-Antei concern, said it had thus completed the contract with China but gave no indication of how much it was worth or specifically how many S-300s had been delivered.
An S-300 battery is typically comprised of four truck-mounted installations, each consisting of four missiles.
He added that there was a "huge line" of foreign clients waiting to buy S-300s and a more advanced version, the S-400, but that no new contracts would be signed for the time being.
"First we have to arm the Russian military. If there are available production capacities and we fulfill our current contracts, then this process [the signing of new contracts] will resume," he said.
Ashurbeili added that the "available capacities situation" would not become clear until after the Defense Ministry adopted a state arms procurement program through 2020.
He offered no indication of when that could be. Nor was it clear whether Russia was behind on its current contracts.
The advanced version of the S-300 missile system, called S-300PMU1 (SA-20 Gargoyle), has a range of over 150 kilometers (over 100 miles) and can intercept ballistic missiles and aircraft at low and high altitudes, making the system an effective tool for warding off possible airstrikes.
First deployed by the Soviet Union in 1979, it is still considered to be one of the most potent antiaircraft missile systems currently available.
It can simultaneously track up to 100 targets and engage up to 12.
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