Russia’s Armed Forces could receive the first of its next-generation S-500 air defense missile systems as early as in 2013, Air Force commander Maj.Gen. Viktor Bondarev said on Wednesday.
“I think that as soon as next year we will get the first of these (S-500) systems in service,” Bondarev said at a RIA Novosti press conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Russian Air Force.
The commander stressed that Russia’s air defenses are in very good shape with new regiments of a formidable S-400 Triumf air defense system entering service every year.
The crews of air defense systems regularly carry out training drills to improve their efficiency.
“We have improved the response time to airborne threats to 3-4 seconds compared to the previous 9-10 seconds.
Russia currently has four S-400 regiments – two in the Moscow region, one in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, and one in the Eastern Military District.
By 2020, Russia is to have 28 S-400 regiments, each comprised of two battalions, mainly in maritime and border areas.
The S-400 Triumf long- to medium-range surface-to-air missile system can effectively engage any aerial target, including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cruise and ballistic missiles at up to 400 kilometers and an altitude of up to 30 kilometers.