MOSCOW --- Russia has rearmed 16 air defense missile regiments with advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile complexes over the past five years, Chief of General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov said on Tuesday.
"Over the past five years, 16 air defense missile regiments have been rearmed with the S-400 surface-to-air missile complex. This system detects and destroys targets at a distance that exceeds by more than two times the capabilities of the latest Patriot modifications operational in NATO countries while the S-400 deployment time is five times less compared to its US variant," the general said at a board meeting of Russia’s Defense Ministry.
Russia has set up 19 battalions armed with the Pantsyr-S missile/gun system capable of striking all air assault weapons, including small-sized unmanned aerial vehicles, the chief of Russia’s General Staff said.
"Over 130 advanced radar stations capable of detecting low-signature and low-flying air attack weapons have arrived for radio-technical troops," Gerasimov said.
Currently, work is nearing completion to deploy an over-the-horizon radar station, which will help "perform missions for detecting massive takeoffs of aircraft and the launch of missiles, including hypersonic weapons, at a range of over 1,000 km from our borders," the general said.
"Overall, the share of advanced armaments in the Aerospace Force has reached 72.8% This figure makes up 72% in the Air Force, 68% in air defense and anti-ballistic missile forces and 81% in the Space Troops," the chief of Russia’s General Staff noted.
As Gerasimov stressed, "the capabilities of airspace reconnaissance and control, and also the firing potential of the air defense system have increased by 1.5 times."
Russia’s air units and military formations have been annually receiving over 200 advanced aircraft since 2013, such as Sukhoi Su-30SM, Su-34, Su-35S and Mikoyan MiG-31BM tactical aircraft, Kamov Ka-52, Mil Mi-28N and other combat helicopters, the General Staff chief said.
"As a result, 12 air regiments, three brigades and six army aviation regiments have been rearmed with the advanced hardware," the general stressed.
The S-400 Triumf is the most advanced long-range antiaircraft missile system that went into service in Russia in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and can also be used against ground objectives.
The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.
Russian Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Viktor Gumyonny said in April that the troops started to receive missiles for S-400 systems capable of destroying targets in outer space.