December 22, 19:26 updated at: December 22, 19:40 UTC+3
The Russian Airborne Troops conducted about 40% of military drills abroad in 2017
S-400 air defense missile systems
BALASHIKHA (Moscow Region), December 22. /TASS/. The Russian Army’s air defense missile systems are capable of repelling any air attack weapons, Army Commander-in-Chief Colonel-General Oleg Salyukov said at an enlarged board meeting of the Defense Ministry on Friday.
“Air defense missile systems and complexes operational in the troops are able by their characteristics to fight all existing air attack weapons,” the general said.
Military threats in the aerospace sphere prompt the need “of the coordinated development of the systems of missile space-based and air defense, considering qualitatively new requirements,” Salyukov said.
Russia has set up new air defense missile formations armed with S-300V4 and Buk-M2 complexes, he said.
Russian troops are being rearmed with Buk-M3 and Tor-M2 air defense missile complexes and the Verba man-portable surface-to-air missile system, the general said.
“The Army’s modern air defense hardware surpasses its predecessors in many respects and has no analogs in the world, which is confirmed by its high competitive edge on the arms market,” Salyukov said.
Russia’s Airborne Troops’ exercises
The Russian Airborne Troops conducted about 40% of military drills abroad in 2017, Airborne Troops Commander Colonel-General Andrey Serdyukov said on Friday.
“The [Russian] Airborne Troops closely cooperated with various countries in 2017. Joint military drills were conducted, with more than 60% of them held in Russia and 40% in the allied nations,” Serdyukov said during the break in the year-end meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry board.
According to Serdyukov, the Russian Airborne Troops conducted about 400 command and staff exercises in 2017. Airborne Troops units conducted joint exercises in Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan and some other countries in 2017 maintaining the most active cooperation with the Belarusian Special Operations Forces.
S-400 air defense systems in Crimea
Two battalions with S-400 air defense systems will take up combat duty in Crimea in the first days of 2018, Air Force and Air Defense Fourth Army commander Lieutenant General Viktor Sevostyanov told reporters on Friday.
“We will put two battalions with S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems on duty in the coming days,” he said.
The general specified that the battalions are in the region already. “They are in Crimea already. They just occupied their home stations and took up test combat duty. In the nearest time – I guess it will be on the first days after the New Year – they will take up permanent combat duty,” Sevostyanov specified.
It will be a new air defense missile regiment in Crimea that fields S-400, he said. The lieutenant general reiterated that one of the regiments deployed in Crimea had already received S-400 Triumf air defense systems earlier.
The air defense system in Crimea “is sufficiently and successfully developing,” he said.
The S-400 Triumf is a long-range anti-aircraft missile system that became operational in 2007. It is built to destroy aviation and cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range ones, and can be deployed against ground objects as well. In April, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Force Viktor Gumenny reported that missiles for S-400 systems capable of destroying near space targets entered the inventory.