The deliveries of Russian-produced S-300 air defense systems to Kazakhstan will be started this year, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the Minister of Defense of Russian Federation, General of the Army, Sergey Shoygu.
"This year we will deliver enough S-300 air defense systems to grant the protection of Kazakhstan’s airspace", — Shoygu said after completing negotiations with his Kazakh colleague, Adilbek Dzhaksibekov.
The number of S-300 systems to be delivered and the details of the contract have not been unveiled.
Commander-in-Chief of Kazakhstan’s Air Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Alexander Sorokin, said in 2010 that Moscow will provide Astana with S-300 air defense systems for free. He also said that the number of divisions to be formed is about 10.
However, deputy head of Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Konstantin Biryulin, said in May 2012 that the agreement for delivery of S-300 systems was not finalized in 2010.
S-300 is the air defense system intended for protection of large industrial and administrative facilities, military bases and control posts from air and space attacks.
At present Kazakh Air Defense Forces are operating a small number of S-300 air defense systems mostly used for protecting the capital of the country.
In addition, the Kazakh army also operates older air defense systems outmatched by S-300 in terms of combat capabilities. The Kazakhstan’s officials unveiled their intention to upgrade the systems operated by the Air Defense Forces several years ago.