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China to buy air defence systems from Russia: Report

Last Updated: Friday, April 2, 2010 - 15:56

Moscow: China has agreed to buy a large number of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia, Interfax news agency reported on Friday, citing the director of the Russian plant that makes the weapons.

The truck-mounted S-300, known in the West as the SA-20, can shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft.

Interfax quoted Igor Ashurbeili, director general of Almaz Antei which makes the missiles, that China would receive a total of 15 batteries of S-300s. He did not give the value of the deal.

In Russia`s armed forces, a S-300 battery normally consists of four truck-mounted installations, each consisting of four missiles held in metal tubes.

Moscow has said it plans to fulfil a contract to supply the S-300, nicknamed "the favourite" in Russia, to Iran, unnerving Israel and its close ally the United States.

The possible sale to Tehran of the S-300, which could protect Iran`s nuclear facilities against air strikes, has become a sensitive issue in Russia`s relations with Israel.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, April 2, 2010 - 15:56
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