Russian enterprises will stop production of S-300 air defense systems in 2015, Lenta.ru reports with reference to a source close to the military-industrial sector. This refers to production of export versions of the air defense system as well as the ones intended for Russian armed forces. At that the production of components and spare parts for S-300 will continue.
In future S-300 systems operated by the armed forces will be replaced by new S-400 air defense systems. Russian enterprises focus on promotion of S-400 systems at the global market; however, the deliveries will be started in 2016 at the earliest, because the industry has to meet the requirements of Russian Ministry of Defense first.
It was reported earlier that the new S-400 air defense missile system received export clearance allowing Russia to export this system. According to Deputy Director General of Almaz-Antey Concern, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, negotiations with potential foreign customers are in progress. He noted that the system is “very efficient and expensive”, that is why only developed countries will be able to purchase it.
In late April 2014 the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, said that it is necessary to increase the volume of exports of air defense systems. According to him, significant share of the global market is accounted for this class of weapons; one third of deliveries of air defense systems are accounted for Russia. Earlier Putin approved the export of S-400 systems to China.
Mass production of S-300 systems was launched in 1970s; S-300 was put into service by USSR armed forces in 1975. 14 versions of the air defense system were developed during these years; they were operated by Russian air forces, army and navy.
Technical specifications of different versions of the system vary significantly. For example, S-300PMU may destroy air targets having a speed of up to 1300 m/s, while S-300PMU-2 may destroy targets having speed of 2800 m/s.