Russia is focussing on improving its air defence shield, prime minister, Vladimir Putin, said Wednesday to members of the Duma, the Russian parliament. He said deliveries of advanced S-400 air defence and missile defence systems to the Russian air force had begun and manufacture of the next-generation "ůS-500 systems would start in the future.''
"They (S-500 systems) are capable of meeting air defence and missile defence tasks and destroy targets in near space," Putin said.
Meanwhile, defence minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, said Moscow intended to transfer some early-generation S-300 systems to ally Belarus for the purpose of augmenting defences of north-west air region.
Serdyukov's remarks followed Wednesday talks in Belarus capital Minsk between Belarusian and Russian military officials.
The S-300 series was developed to defend an area's airspace and to safeguard industrial assets and other sites from airstrikes. The system's radar can monitor as many as 100 objects at the same time and engage a maximum of 12 targets.
It can target hostile aircraft from as far away as 93 miles.
"In 2010, we completed the first stage of repairing and modernizing the Belarusian S-300 air-defence missile system," Interfax quoted Serdyukov as saying. "We agreed to intensify further supplies of these missile systems to Belarus."