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India, China may opt to buy Russia’s S-500 air defense system

Ten countries interested in buying S-400 system

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 2, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Nov 2, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Photo: Caspian News

New Delhi and Beijing may become the first among 10 potential buyers of Russia’s S-500, the next-generation anti-aircraft missile system, Director of Moscow’s military-technical cooperation service Dmitry Shugayev said on Tuesday.

However, Shugayev said that Russia would start exporting its latest surface-to-air missile system “only after its own troops received the weapon in sufficient quantity”.

A report appearing in the Russian newspaper Pravda quoted him as saying that some other Russian partners were also interested in buying the missile system.

“We consider India as well as China and all states that we have long-standing partnerships … as prospective buyers of this latest system,” the defense official said in response to a question about whether India could be the first foreign buyer of the S-500 weapon system.

“We have concluded a contract for the S-400 and they will receive the first battalion set of this system by the end of this year. This is why it is quite logical that they will … request the S-500 from us as well,” Shugayev said.

“We will examine potential requests individually in each specific case,” the defense official said.

As many as 10 countries have expressed interest in buying the Russian-made S-400 medium-to-long range air defense systems, Shugayev said.

According to him, signing a contract for buying S-400 missile systems with foreign customers “is a … complex process”.

He said that domestic defense procurement plans “remain a priority and we have to see available industrial capacity before committing to deliver”.

“Therefore, 10 requests do not necessarily mean they are all ready to sign a contract,” the defense official said.

Shugayev said that there did not appear to be any obstacles for potential deliveries of S-400 air defense systems to Belarus.

S-400 air defense systems and Pantsyr-S1 anti-aircraft missile/gun launchers remained popular defense hardware among prospective buyers throughout this year, Shugayev maintained.

“Our S-400 air defense systems and Pantsyr-S anti-aircraft missile/gun launchers proved their efficiency, especially destroying drones. The entire range of our aircraft accounts for at least 50% of cumulative sales. Kornet anti-tank missile systems, Smerch multiple launch rocket systems are also in great demand,” the defense official said.

The spike in demand for Russian air defense and electronic warfare systems suggested that methods of warfare had been changed, he pointed out.

“We are witnessing the dawn of an era of drones and robots. The more frequently drones and robotic vehicles are used, the greater the need for weapons to destroy them and counter them using electronic warfare systems,” the defense official said.

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