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S-400 Missile Systems

S-400 Missile Systems

The S-400 Triumf (Russian for Triumph) Missile System, developed by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau, has been a significant focus in global headlines. Since 2007, it has been actively utilized by the Russian Armed Forces and adopted by various international operators. However, recent attention has centered on India’s interest in procuring the system from Russia. This decision has sparked widespread objection, particularly from the United States, with many expressing strong disapproval of the move.

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History of S-400

  • The groundwork for the S-400 system began towards the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s.
  • The Russian Air Force officially unveiled the S-400 system in January 1993.
  • Successful testing commenced on February 12, 1999, marking a significant milestone.
  • Initially slated for deployment in the Russian Army by 2001, delays emerged due to technical challenges.
  • Dr. Alexander Lemanskiy, heading the project at Almaz-Antey, played a pivotal role as Chief Engineer.
  • By 2003, it became evident that the system wasn’t yet fit for deployment, prompting a redesign.
  • The project’s overhaul was completed and announced in February 2004.
  • In April of the same year, a pivotal moment arrived as the upgraded 48N6DM missile successfully intercepted a ballistic missile during testing.
  • Following rigorous testing and improvements, the system gained official approval for service in 2007.
  • Since then, the S-400 system has been actively utilized, proving its effectiveness in military operations.

Components of the S-400 function?

The S-400 Missile System comes with an integrated multifunction radar with autonomous detection and targeting systems. It also consists of anti-air missiles launchers and command and control missiles It is capable of firing the following missiles for a layered defence

  1. 48N6DM: This missile is designed to take down airborne targets within a range of 250 kilometers.
  2. 40N6: This missile boasts an impressive claimed range of 400 kilometers. It utilizes active radar homing technology to intercept airborne targets from afar.
  3. 9M96E: Specifically engineered for accuracy, this missile can effectively strike moving targets such as fighter aircraft with precision.
  4. 9M96E2: A variant of the 9M96E missile, this one is tailored for medium-range air-to-air combat, with a range of 102 kilometers, and is designed for direct impact.

The system is also capable of exchanging data with other defence systems such as SA-12, SA-23, and S-300. The radar can detect and track aircraft, rotorcraft, cruise missiles, guided missiles, drones and ballistic rockets within a distance of 600km. It can simultaneously track up to 300 targets.

Read also: Defence Technology

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