- - Thursday, November 12, 2015

China is getting in on the Russian air defense systems act and will accept delivery of multiple S-400 anti-aircraft missile units in the coming years, with the first unit to be delivered within 18 months.

TASS, the Russian state news agency reports, the signing of a contract for the supply of S-400 to Beijing was officially announced in the spring of 2015. “I would not disclose the contract details, but yes, China has indeed become the first buyer of the Russian newest air defence system, which only emphasizes the strategic level of our relations,” Director General of arms exporter Rosoboronexport Anatoly Isaykin said in April.

The S-400 is an extremely sophisticated system that uses multiple different range missiles to engage targets from a distance of 2 to 400 km and can detect targets out to 600 km. The system also can engage targets at very high altitude and up to 80 targets at once while controlling 160 missiles in flight.

Russia is calling the Chinese arms purchase as an indication of the cooperation between the Chinese and Russian armed forces. The S-400 was developed in the late 1990s and fielded about a decade later. Currently the domestic system protects high value locations inside of the Russian Federation. Typical targets of the system would be long range bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, cruise missiles, fighter aircraft and ballistic missiles. Russia has announced that India, the arch-enemy of China, is also looking to acquire the export version of the S-400.

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