A S-400 Missile Transport Vehicle

RIA Novosti News Agency reported June 28th 2012 that a new longer range missile for Russia’s potent S-400 ‘Triumf’ Air Defense system was nearing service entry. Quoting Major General Andrei Dremin, head of the Russian Air and Missile Defense Command, the report indicated that the new missile which had already undergone trials was likely to appear with units already equipped with the highly capable S-400 platform. The S-400 Triumf Air Defense System is one of the world most capable system and Russia’s best. According to the article it is currently strategically deployed with four regiments guarding the Moscow’s sector, the Baltic approaches and the Eastern region.

Built by Almaz Antey Joint Military Concern, the S-400 Triumf (designated SA-21 Surface to Air Missile (SAM) consists of several highly mobile components deployed on 8-wheeled all terrain heavy vehicles. They consist primarily of a truck mounted main phased array acquisition radar, a command vehicle,  missiles transporter/erector/launcher vehicles and optionally passive radar emission locating sensors. In fact with the option of at least 4 different radars and 4 missiles of various ranges, the S-400 can flexibly adapt to a variety of tactical scenario.

Highly resistant to ECM, the system can be used to defend against small, stealthy and very low flying targets such as newer generation cruise missiles. But increasingly it has been fitted to be used against AWACS. A combination of factor will soon put the AWACS and other such flying high value force multiplier critical sensor systems at a disadvantage; their lack of frequency-hoping radar capability (typically found on phased array radar antenna, unlike the AN/APY-2 AWACS radar using traditional antenna), their relative proximity to the battle field due to the range of the AN/APY-2 (250 miles/400 km) and massive radar signature.

With the typical 92N6E Grave Stone Active Electronically Scanned Array target tracking and acquisition radar,  the new longer range 40N6 missile is described by expert Carlo Kopp as “equipped with an active and semi-active homing seeker, intended to kill AWACS, JSTARS and other high value assets, such as EA-6B/EA-18G support jammers”.


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