Russia developing new air defense systems

Russia is developing two air defense systems as part of future multilayered aerospace defense network, Air Force Commander Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said on Tuesday.

“The Morfey is a short-range air defense system with effective range of five kilometers,” Zelin said. “It is designed to protect military installations and has both active and passive weapons [launchers and radars].”

Another system, the Vityaz, is a further development of the S-300 medium-range air defense system, whose combat capabilities largely surpass those of its predecessor.

“In fact, it could be considered a brand new system,” Zelin said, adding that the Vityaz would have a launcher with 16 missiles compared to only four on the S-300.

Both systems will complement the S-400 and S-500 air defense systems in the future aerospace defense network to engage targets at ranges from 5 to 400 kilometers, and at altitudes from 5 meters to near space.

The Morfey, the Vityaz and the S-500 are expected to enter service with the Russian Air Force in 2015, while the S-400 has been in service since 2007.

Zelin said the Russian Air Force would receive two more regiments of S-400 Triumf air defense systems by the end of 2011 in addition to two regiments already deployed in the Moscow Region.

The S-400 (SA-21 Growler) system can engage targets at a maximum range of up to 400 kilometers at altitudes of up to 50,000 meters.

The system uses a range of missiles optimized for intercepting ballistic and cruise missiles. It can simultaneously track up to 300 targets and engage 36 of them.

An S-400 air defense regiment consists of two or three battalions equipped with four systems each. Russia is planning to arm 56 battalions with S-400 systems by 2020.

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