Russia can offer new generation system for European missile shield

Russia could deploy its future S-500 anti-missile systems as part of a U.S.-led missile defense shield in Europe, a leading aerospace design chief said on Monday.

Russia said it was ready to cooperate on the program at a Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon last year.

Igor Ashurbeili, the former head of air defense manufacturer Almaz-Antei, said Russia “should have its share” and be fully integrated in the scheme.

“The weakness of our position is because we are not offering our systems. We could offer the S-500,” Ashurbeili said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Otherwise, he warned, the U.S. “will request only our territory for the deployment of their interceptors as our contribution [to the shield].”

Washington is not particularly interested in Russia’s involvement, because “they think we have nothing to offer,” Ashurbeili said.

Speaking after the Lisbon summit in November 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia’s involvement should be “full-fledged” or “we won’t take part at all.”

The S-500, successor to the S-300 and S-400 systems, is expected to enter service by 2016. It has an extended range of up to 600 km (over 370 miles) and can simultaneously engage up to 10 targets.

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