By Jonathan Wade, @TheSentinelCA
Russia’s Central Military District (CMD) confirmed it has successfully conducted combat launches with its new S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system during a military exercise in the Russian Far East.
According to an aide to the district’s commander, Colonel Yaroslav Roshchupkin, an air defence unit of the CMD “has successfully carried out combat launches as part of a joint exercise between the air force and air defence forces at the Telemba training range in the Republic of Buryatia."
More than six missiles were launched, hitting multiple targets. Included in those targets are the Kaban target missile. According to Sputnik News, the target is “moving along a flat ballistic trajectory at a speed of 1,500 meters per second (4,000 feet per second) and at a height of 45 kilometers (28 miles).”
"The crews excellently coped with combat launches, made in a joint exercise with the 14th Air Force and Air Defense Army at the Telemba proving ground in Buryatia," Roshchupkin said.
"Six missiles were launched to destroy hard-to-hit high-speed missile targets Kaban travelling along a flat path at a speed of 1,200 meters per second at an altitude of 45 kilometers," he added.
The S-400 missile system can engage air targets up to 400 km (40N6 missiles) and 120 km (9M96E2 missiles) for a tactical ballistic target. Capable of intercepting a target flying a maximum speed of 4,800 m/s (48N6E3 missiles) and an altitude of 30 km (9M96E2 missiles), the variety of missiles offers a formidable defence against any type of aircraft and incoming ballistic missiles.
India and China have been looking into acquiring the S-400 Triumph missile system. However, nothing official has been signed nor announced as of today. Russia will most likely equip its own air defence units before exporting the missile system.
That said, both countries could see the S-400 in their ranks in the near future as Russia’s anti-aircraft missile system have proven successful in Syria.
Jonathan Wade served in the Canadian Forces for 14 years and is a combat veteran of Afghanistan. He owns The Sentinel, a blog on Canada, Russia and the Arctic. Specialized in military and foreign affairs, his military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war, and has a fondness for technical details. Join Jonathan’s community on Twitter @JonathanWadeCD.