Russia has discontinued production of its most popular arms export - the S-300 (NATO: SA-10 Grumble) long-range, surface-to-air missile systems. The rocket batteries have been deployed in a number of countries around the world to protect large targets, such as military bases and even cities.
The Russian Army last inducted these batteries in 1994, and since then has only produced them for export.
China has produced them under license.
Iran was the last of the potential buyers, but the transaction ran into trouble as the country came under the UN sanctions regime and Russia was forced to backtrack on the deal.
''The next generation of missile-defence systems which will replace the S-500 complexes (expected to enter service by 2016) will not be ground, but air-based,'' said co-chairman of Russia's Expert Air and Space Defence Council, Igor Ashurbeili. ''They are already being developed and tested.''
Russia is planning to replace the air defence systems around Moscow and other major cities with brand new S-500 missiles by 2050.
''The S-400 and S-500 are very versatile systems,'' said a military analyst. ''They are able to hit not only aircraft and cruise missiles like classic air- defence systems, but also ballistic missiles, naval and ground targets. While the S-500 is only in development, the S-400 missile has three different missiles to cover its operational envelope and longest distances of up to 400 kilometres which is far beyond any system in the world.''