MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) – A new regiment equipped with S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems will be put on combat duty to bolster the air defenses around the Russian capital by the end of 2013, the Defense Ministry said Monday.
“Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces will deploy another S-400 regiment by the end of this year,” Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Dmitry Zenin said.
The new unit will join two S-400 regiments already based near Moscow.
Russia currently has a total of five S-400 regiments, with the remaining units deployed near the port city of Nakhodka in the far eastern Primorye Territory, and in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad and in the Southern Military District.
The S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) air defense system is expected to form the cornerstone of Russia's theater air and missile defenses by 2020.
The system can engage targets at a maximum range of up to 400 km (250 miles) at an altitude of 40,000-50,000 meters (132,000-165,000 feet). The system uses a range of missiles, and is optimized for engaging ballistic and cruise missiles.
Russia plans to have 28 S-400 regiments by 2020, each comprising two or three battalions (four systems each), mainly in maritime and border areas.