The acquisition of S-400 Missile Defense System by India is the talk of the town these days. After signing 36 Rafale aircraft with France, this is India’s second defense deal in less than one month. The S-400 Missile Defense System is Russia’s premier air defense system and is available only with them presently. Though China did sign a deal of same with Russia, it will be long before they acquire the missiles defense system. The S-400 Missile Defense System is the best surface-to-air missile system currently.

1. Introduction


The S-400 is an air defense missile system developed by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau in the 1990s. It is known as the “Triumf” at home and better known as SA-21 “Growler” to NATO. It has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007. By December 2015, Russia has over 152 launchers deployed in 19 divisions protecting its aerospace from all sorts of threats.

2. Capability


The S-400 is a new generation system of medium and long-range air defense, capable of destroying all modern air weaponry, including tactical and strategic airplanes, ballistic missiles and hyper-sonic targets. It can neutralize drones as well as cruise missiles. Russian experts proclaim that the S-400 system can shoot down fifth-generation fighter jets, like America’s most advanced F-35s!

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3. Range


The maximum hitting range of S-400 is a staggering 400 km and the tracking range is 600 km! It is capable of tracking 300 targets and can shoot down around three dozen of them at a time. The next big anti-air defense system – America’s MIM-104 Patriot – has meager range of 35 km. The S-400 covers the huge range with three different types of missiles. These are the extremely long range 40N6, long range 48N6 and medium range 9M96 missile.

4. Speed


The S-400 can hit targets at a whopping speed of 17,000 km an hour at an altitude of 30 km. This is faster than any aircraft in the world! In contrast, the PAC-3 missiles of MIM-104 Patriot have speed of only 5,040 km an hour. America’s F-35 fighter, dubbed as Missile Killers, is said to jam any missiles launched against it. But with this speed, it will not be easy for the F-35s to shake off S-400.

5. Radar System


The radar system is more powerful as compared to the other missiles system. It uses two radar systems for simultaneous detection and tracking targets. The radar used for target tracking and fire controlling is 92N6E. While 91N6E can perform multitask like detecting cruise, ballistic and guided missiles UAVs and aircraft in a range of 600 km. The radar is also capable of detecting stealth units and maintaining a target lock until the missiles hit the target.

With such range and speed, S-400 Missile Defense System would be a very formidable deterrent against any incoming threats. According to reports, out of five S-400s, three will be deployed in the west (against Pakistan) and two in the east (against China).