Moscow: Deployment of Russia's S-400 Triumf missile defense systems (NATO codename SA-21 Growler) will now be deployed later than previously announced. According to Colonel General, Alexander Zelin, commander of Russia's Air Force,
deployment of the system had been postponed "due to objective reasons."
Gen Zelin did not provide any reasons for the development. He, however, added that the S-400 would certainly be deployed in summer. Earlier announcements had said that the first S-400 systems were to be deployed by July1, 2007.
The S-400 Triumf, developed by the Almaz Central Design Bureau, is an upgrade of the S-300 family of air defense missile systems. The Triumf 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.
In April, Colonel-General Yury Solovyov, commander of the Air Defense Forces Special Command (former Moscow Military District Air Defense Command), had said that the system could also be used for limited purposes in missile and space defence, though it was not intended to destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles.
According to Gen Solovyov, the system was very effective against 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.
The Russian Air Defense Forces, which are part of the Russian Air Force, currently deploy more than 30 regiments of the S-300 missile systems. These are due to be gradually replaced with the S-400 systems.