Russia Moves Missiles to Finnish Border
(Source: Finnish Broadcasting Corp.; issued Sept 22, 2016)
The S-400 Triumph long-range anti-aircraft missile system is designed to target aircraft and cruise missiles at a distance of up to 400 km. (Tass photo)
Russia has announced that two S-400 missile defence systems have been moved to the Finnish border. Finland's Defence Minister says that there's nothing unusual about the move, except the way it was reported.
Russian news agency Interfax reported on Thursday that two S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems had been moved towards the Finnish border. Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö told Yle that there is nothing strange about the move.
"Russia has earlier indicated that it is placing for example these S-400 anti-aircraft missiles in the Kola Peninsula, and it has earlier said it's placing these missiles in Crimea," said Niinistö. "This is normal practice. Russia is using these systems to replace the older S-300 rockets."
Niinistö says that the renewal programme is a product of the resources Russia has put into weapons technology recently. The minister did say that some of the reports on the move were a little odd.
"The reporting was a bit surprising," said Niinistö. "There was a tinge of foreign policy in the Moscow Times piece that cited President Putin's comments on (potential Finnish membership of) Nato."
The Moscow Times article had included comments made by Putin in July, when he had warned Finnish President Sauli Niinistö of the potential consequences if Finland were to join Nato. Niinistö, meanwhile, emphasised that the weapons in question are defensive in nature.
"The positioning of S-400 Triumf missiles near Saint Petersburg is evidence that Saint Petersburg is an important metropolis for Russia," said Niinistö.
Russia to Deploy S-400 Air Defense Missile Systems In Leningrad Region
(Source: TASS; published September 21, 2016)
MOSCOW --- Two regiments of the S-400 air defense missile systems will be delivered to the Air Force and Air Defense unit deployed in the Leningrad region in the near future, the head of Russia’s Western Military Command’s press service Igor Muginov told journalists on Wednesday.
"At this time, military servicemen are preparing to hold an operational readiness exercise at the Ashuluk military station in the Astrakhan region. They are going to engage low-flying aerial, high altitude, evading and ballistic targets… After the operational readiness exercise is completed, the missile complex will be brought into operation so it can be used to protect the aerial borders of North-West Russia," the officer elaborated.
The S-400 Triumph is a long-range anti-aircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to target aircraft and cruise missiles at a distance of up to 400 km, it is also able to engage ballistic targets flying at the speed of up to 4.8 km per second at a distance of 60 km.
As reported earlier, in 2016 the Russian Army is supposed to receive five regiments of the S-400 systems. Consequently, by the end of the year the Russian military will have 16 regiments armed with these air defense missile systems.