BE2C2 Report — China has made an advance payment on its $3 billion purchase of six battalions of the S-400 mobile surface to air defense systems from Russia.
According to the head of manufacturer Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, deliveries of the systems could begin in the first quarter of 2017.
A source in the system of Russia’s military and technical cooperation earlier told TASS that Beijing would receive the first S-400 antiaircraft missile systems no sooner than in twelve or eighteen months.
Despite the payment, Chemezov did highlight that a number of formal procedures still have to be completed between Beijing and Moscow, which should be concluded by the end of the year.
China is the first foreign export customer of the S-400 which is currently being rolled out throughout the Russian Armed Forces.
According to media reports, the deal involves no less than six S-400 battalions worth a total of $3 billion.
The S-400 Triumf is the most advanced Russian medium- and long-range antiaircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. Besides Russia and China, Algeria also has the system.
India is also procuring the S 400 ‘Triumf’, which would at the earliest be delivered by 2019-2020. The first five units to be bought is expected to cost $ 6.1 billion — the most expensive air defense system ever bought by India.
One S-400 system can acquire 36 targets at a time with 72 missiles at a distance of 400 km. The S-400 Triumf antiaircraft complex is capable of hitting targets at an altitude of 30 km and can be used against ground objectives.
Meanwhile, according to a report in the Defense Industry Daily, Argentina has expressed interest in the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets (a joint project with Pakistan), and has held discussions with China for possible purchase.
“Speaking at the Paris Air Show in mid-June, officials from Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA) told IHS Jane’s that the company has had multiple discussions with Chinese officials over co-producing the fighter in Argentina. Although the FC-1/JF-17 is already jointly built with Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, FAdeA officials stressed that they are dealing solely with the Chinese…. While discussions are said to be far from over, if realised they will open up a wide panoply of Chinese weapon systems to Argentina…”