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    Russia's soldiers stand guard near Russia's air defence system S-400

    Russian S-400 Air Defense Systems Good Investment in China's Security

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    Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko said that China is making a good investment in its national security by purchasing the Russian S-400 (SA-21 Growler) air defense system.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — By purchasing the Russian S-400 (SA-21 Growler) air defense system Beijing is making a solid investment in China's national security, Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko told Sputnik Monday.

    Earlier on Monday, head of Russia's state arms trader Rosoboronexport Anatoly Isaykin confirmed that China has become the first foreign buyer of Russia's S-400 air defense missile system.

    "I believe there are two main lines for using these systems: they will cover Beijing as the major political center and one of the sea regions. By purchasing S-400 China is making a good investment in its national security," Korotchenko said, noting that the S-400 is capable of destroying various targets, including cruise missiles and stealth-type fighter aircraft.

    Senior researcher with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program Siemon Wezeman also believes that the new S-400 defense system will be deployed around China's top political and military headquarters that are currently guarded by the Russian S-300 and Chinese HQ-9 systems.

    "The S-400 has… a capability against ballistic missiles which for those top targets would be a major threat," Wezeman told Sputnik Monday.

    Wezeman added that since the S-400 have substantially longer range than the S-300 air defense system, Beijing would probably also use them to cover the Taiwan Strait and part of the airspace over Taiwan as well as part of the East or South China Sea.

    Vassily Kashin, senior research fellow at the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies told Sputnik that the S-400 purchased by China have a range of up to 250 miles – and thus would allow Beijing to engage targets in the East China Sea.

    "These missiles are capable of shooting down targets in the Diaoyu [Senkaku] islands airspace from mainland China," Kashin said.

    Wezeman also noted that the purchase of new and modern air defense systems will have an impact on the regional balance of power. However, the change will not be dramatic.

    "I would expect countries in the region to take a good look at the new situation and decide how to react to it (likely at least partly to see what they can acquire to offset the S-400 — e.g. stealth combat aircraft, anti-radar missiles, long-range land-attack missiles or electronic warfare system)," Wezeman said.

    The Russian S-400 air defense system can engage targets at an altitude of up to 165,000 feet. The system uses a range of missiles, and is optimized for engaging ballistic and cruise missiles.

    Related:

    Russia Confirms Arms Deal to Supply China With S-400 Air Defense Systems
    S-400 Air Defense Regiment Takes Up Duty in Russia's Northwest
    S-400 Air Defense Systems to Protect Skies Above Moscow
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    S-400, Siemon Wezeman, Igor Korotchenko, China, Russia
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