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    Russia testing new missile for S-400 air defense system

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    The Russian Air Force is testing a new missile for the S-400 Triumf air defense system, the Air Force commander said on Friday.

    CHKALOVSKY (Moscow Region), December 26 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Air Force is testing a new missile for the S-400 Triumf air defense system, the Air Force commander said on Friday.

    The S-400 (SA-21 Growler) is designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), twice the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot, and 2.5 times that of the S-300PMU-2.

    The system is expected to form the cornerstone of Russia's theater air and missile defenses up to 2020 or even 2025.

    "The S-400 system is being successfully deployed with air defense units. At present, we are testing a new missile for this system," Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said.

    Russia successfully conducted last year live firing tests of the S-400 air defense complex at the Kapustin Yar firing range in south Russia's Astrakhan Region, and deployed a battalion of the first missile regiment equipped with the new system to protect the airspace surrounding Moscow.

    The system is believed to be able to destroy stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles, with an effective range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and a speed of up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second.

    A regular S-400 battalion comprises at least eight launchers with 32 missiles and a mobile command post, according to various sources. The new state arms procurement program until 2015 stipulates the purchase of enough S-400 air defense systems to arm 18 battalions during this period.

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