Russia will place several new S-400 Triumf air defense systems near its borders in 2012, Air Force Commander Alexander Zelin said.
“The Russian Armed Forces will receive several S-400 air defense systems this year,” Zelin told RIA Novosti on Monday. “This time they will be deployed in air defense units guarding [Russia’s] border regions.”
Zelin did not specify the deployment locations for new S-400 units, but some of them will most likely be placed in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad as part of the response to the planned European missile shield initiative, which Moscow considers as a threat to its national security.
The S-400 (SA-21 Growler) air defense system is expected to form the cornerstone of Russia's theater air and missile defenses by 2020.
The S-400 can engage targets at a range of up to 400 km and an altitude of 40,000-50,000 meters. The system uses an array of assets optimized for engaging ballistic and cruise missiles.
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.