A new-generation Voronezh-DM class anti-missile radar will enter combat duty near the town of Armavir in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region around the end of the year, the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces commander, Oleg Ostapenko, said on Tuesday.
“The [radar] station is in the final stage of preparations for entering combat duty,” Ostapenko told journalists at the radar site. “We are planning to almost wrap up the work on the station approximately by the end of the year.”
He added that the station may enter combat duty “ahead of the approved schedule.”
The anti-missile radar near Armavir is one of the four new-generation Voronezh-class radars that have been put into operation in Russia in recent years.
Two Voronezh-M radars have been deployed in Lekhtusi near St. Petersburg and near the town of Usolye-Sibirskoe in Siberia’s Irkutsk Region.
Another Voronezh-DM class radar stationed in the westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad was put on combat duty in November last year in what then-President Dmitry Medvedev said was part of Russia’s response to U.S. and NATO European missile defense shield plans.
Voronezh-DM class radars have a range of 6,000 kilometers. They can be more quickly deployed to a new site and require a smaller crew to operate it compared to previous generation stations.
Two sections of the Armavir radar that have been put into operation have allowed monitoring the area from France and Spain in the west, to Algeria in the southwest, Sudan in the south, and Iran, Afghanistan and parts of India and Pakistan in the southeast, its crew said.
Ostapenko also said on Tuesday the Aerospace Defense Forces plan to complete the entire Voronezh radar deployment program before the 2020 deadline.
“We are doing everything we can to narrow this timeframe,” he said.
Aerospace Defense Forces spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin has previously said Voronezh-class radars were planned to be deployed near the town of Pechora in Russia’s Komi Republic, the Siberian cities of Barnaul and Yeniseisk.