Moscow: Russia has deployed an advanced anti-aircraft missile defense system at two locations in the Arctic, a military source said Tuesday.
Two S-400 Air Defense System, known to NATO as SA-21 ‘Growler’, along with missile and gun units, have been activated in locations in the Russian Arctic.
The advanced missile system, which is understood to have a maximum range of 250 miles is capable of bringing down an aircraft at a maximum altitude of 90,000 feet – which is more than twice the height of a cruising passenger airliner.
As well as deploying the missile system, the Russian Defense Ministry has created a new military district in the Arctic to protect the country’s northernmost borders and cover an area which ‘includes the North Pole’.
‘Two S-400 regiments have been activated and deployed to the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago and the city of Tiksi in Yakutia [Sakha Republic] this year under the program on reinforcing the 2014-formed Arctic force, with the program dubbed Northern Fleet – Unified Strategic Command,’ a source in the Russian General Staff told news agency TASS.
‘Aircraft control posts and radio-technical, radar and space surveillance unit positions have been established in all of their stations along the Northern Sea Route from the Kola Peninsula and Novaya Zemlya to Anadyr and Cape Schmidt in the east. All of them are on alert duty,’ the source added.
The ‘Growler’ missile system comes in three sections, with a central control point, a radar complex capable of tracking 300 targets and controlling six anti-aircraft missile launchers.
The S-400 is also able to intercept cruise missiles and other potential airborne threats. It is also believed to be a major threat to military aircraft such as the RAF Tornado and the US Air Force F-15 and F-16.
Russian defence officials claim it can even target the fifth-generation F-22 Raptor aircraft.
Russia is also selling the older-generation S-300 system to Iran and is considering exports of the newer weapon to India, China and Saudi Arabia.
According to a Russian missile commander speaking to Sputnik News: ‘Even if a plane is flying low and with the same speed as a vehicle moving on the ground, the radar will show it on the screen. For the S-400 there is no such thing as “stealth” aircraft, the system will see it and will shoot it down.’
A Russian S-400 is already in position at an airbase in Syria, with at least one system pictured at the Latakia Airbase on the Syrian coast last month.
source: Daily Mail