A new radar of the fourth Voronezh class will be put into operation near the Siberian city of Irkutsk by the end of this year as part of Russia’s early warning system, a missile defense spokesman said on Sunday.
The current overhaul of Russia’s missile defenses is also due to the new strategic challenges presented by the U.S.-led missile shield plans in Europe.
“This year a new generation radar will be put on combat duty. It is not complete but it is already working in the test regime,” said Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin, spokesman for the missile defense troops in the Russian Defense Ministry.
Three other Voronezh class radars are already operating in Lekhtusi near St. Petersburg, in Armavir in the Black Sea area and in Pionersky near Kaliningrad.
The Voronezh class radars are a serious breakthrough compared to the previous generation radars of the Dnepr and Daryal class. The radar in Pionersky has a range of 6,000 km and can simultaneously track about 500 objects.
Under the national defense program until 2020, the Defense Ministry is to replace all Soviet long-range radars and close all gaps in radar coverage on Russia's borders.