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    Second S-400 air defense regiment put into service in Russia

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    The second regiment equipped with advanced S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems has been put into combat service in Russia, the defense minister said on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) - The second regiment equipped with advanced S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems has been put into combat service in Russia, the defense minister said on Tuesday.

    In 2007, Russia successfully conducted live firing tests of the S-400 air defense complex at the Kapustin Yar firing range in south Russia's Astrakhan Region, and deployed the first missile regiment equipped with the new system to protect the airspace surrounding Moscow and industrial zones in the center of Russia's European territory.

    The S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) air defense system is expected to form the new cornerstone of Russia's theater air and missile defenses up to 2020 or even 2025.

    The S-400 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 also 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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