Moscow: Russia will place several new S-400 Triumf air defence systems near its borders in 2012, Air Force Commander Alexander Zelin has said.
The S-400 can engage targets at a range of up to 400 km and an altitude of 40,000-50,000 meters. The system uses an array of assets optimised for engaging ballistic and cruise missiles.
"The Russian Armed Forces will receive several S-400 Triumf air defence systems this year," Zelin said Monday. "This time they will be deployed in air defence units guarding Russia`s border regions."
An S-400 air defence regiment consists of two or three battalions equipped with four systems each. Russia is planning to arm 56 battalions with S-400 systems by 2020.
Russia currently has two S-400 regiments protecting the airspace around Moscow.
Zelin did not specify the deployment locations for new S-400 units, but some of them will most likely be placed in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad as part of the response to the planned European missile shield initiative, which Moscow considers as a threat to its national security.
The S-400 (SA-21 Growler) air defence system is expected to form the cornerstone of Russia`s theatre air and missile defences by 2020.