'In the near future, the new system will be put on combat duty to protect Russian airspace and replace the previous air defence system', Astafyev said, adding that this would take place by the end of the year, albeit without mentioning the place of deployment.
Russian servicemen have started to prepare the military hardware for transfer to a loading station, from where the air defence systems will be delivered to a place of permanent deployment by train.
In September, a law enforcement source told Sputnik that the fourth battalion of S-400s would be deployed to Crimea near the town of Dzhankoy soon. The Russian Black Sea Fleet said in a statement on September 21 that the third battalion of S-400s was put into active service in the Crimean city of Yevpatoria.
S-400 Triumph (NATO reporting name SA-21 Growler) is Russia's most advanced surface-to-air missile system. It has a range of 400 kilometres (248 miles) and is capable of tracking and destroying all existing aerial targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.