First S-400 unit trains in the Moscow region
The first Russian air-defence missile regiment to be equipped with the Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf (Triumph) surface-to-air missile system is being retrained on the new system and will become operational at a location near Moscow. "Last year we completed tests of the S-400 air-defence system and took delivery of a few systems," said Russian Air Force commander General Vladimir Mikhailov at a press conference held on 17 January 2006. The first systems were commissioned in early 2000 and the first operational regiment is expected to be at combat readiness later in 2006.
All 35 air-defence missile regiments will eventually be re-equipped with the S-400. It will be used in co-operation with the A-135 anti-ballistic missile systems operated by the Russian Space Forces (VKS) to protect large industrial centres of Russia, such as Moscow, St Petersburg, as well as the Urals industrial region. S-400 units will receive data on approaching ballistic-missile re-entry vehicles and could engage these in the final stages of their incoming trajectory.
Gen Mikhailov also stated that the Russian Air Force would be receiving some shorter-range air- defence systems from the Land Forces. Incorporating these batteries - a mixture of S-300V (SA-12a 'Gladiator'/SA-12b 'Giant') and unidentified short and medium-range air defence missile systems - into the air defences would improve overall coverage and help reduce operating costs.