Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Russian Defense

S-400 installed in Dec 2007


Russia to deploy second S-400 regiment near Moscow in 2008

RIA Novisti Russia
01/ 21/2008

MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will deploy a second regiment equipped with new S-400 air defense systems at the end of 2008, a missile defense official said on Monday.

The new systems will protect the air space around Moscow and industrial zones in the center of the country's European part. The S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) air defense system is expected to form the new cornerstone of Russia's theater air and missile defenses up to 2020 or even 2025.

"We are planning to put a second S-400 regiment on combat duty in the Moscow Region by the end of 2008," said Colonel-General Yuri Solovyov, the head of the Russian Air Force Special Command.

Russia successfully conducted last year live firing tests of the S-400 air defense complex at the Kapustin Yar firing range in south Russia's Astrakhan Region, and deployed a battalion of the first missile regiment equipped with the new system to protect the airspace surrounding Moscow.

The S-400 is designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), twice the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot, and 2.5 times that of the S-300PMU-2.

The system is also believed to have high capability to destroy stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles, with an effective range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and a speed of up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second.

Solovyov said that in addition to new surface-to-air missiles already in service, S-400 systems must have anti-ballistic missiles that can be used to destroy targets in near space, which would allow full use of the system's capabilities.

A regular S-400 battalion comprises at least eight launchers with 32 missiles and a mobile command post, according to various sources. The new state arms procurement program until 2015 stipulates the purchase of at least 18 S-400 battalions during this period.

The Russian Air Force Special Command currently provides air defense for 140 strategic sites in 13 regions of central Russia, including administrative, industrial, and transportation facilities, and nuclear power stations.

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Czech Officials Urge Indus Deals In Missile Shield Project - AFP

CNN Money
January 16, 2008: 11:52 AM EST

PRAGUE (AFP)--Czech officials Wednesday called for their country to benefit from specific industrial spin-offs if a U.S. defensive missile shield is to be sited in the Czech Republic.

"This is not only a strategic alliance, it is not only a military alliance but it is also a business alliance that we want to promote," Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Tomas Pojar told a meeting that is to lay the ground for a cooperation agreement.

Czech Deputy Defense Minister Martin Bartak told the two-day missile shield seminar: "We need specific projects.

"In less than a year, negotiations have made good progress," he said, but regretted the "partnership has been only on a political level".

The Czech Republic and Poland have difficult decisions to make on hosting parts of the shield, amid Russian fury at the prospect of U.S. interceptor missiles based so close to its borders.

Washington is currently in negotiations with Warsaw to install 10 interceptor missile sites in Poland by 2012 to ward off potential attacks by so-called rogue states, notably Iran. The U.S. plan calls for associated radar stations in the Czech Republic.

It has scant backing among Czechs and Poles, who fear housing the missile shield would make them targets of attacks by extremists and sour relations with former Cold War ally Russia.

Top U.S. officials and leaders in the country's defense industry had come over for the Prague seminar.

Over 40 Czech companies and institutes were also lined up to attend the meeting where they will be wooed by U.S. defense and aeronautics giants like Raytheon (RTN), Boeing Co. (BA), Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) and Northrop Grumman (NOC).

"The to offer the possibility of Czech-U.S. cooperation in the areas of research, development and industrial production of anti-missile defense systems," the Czech foreign ministry has said.

Nancy Morgan of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said talks were in "a broad exploration phase".

Negotiations between Prague and Washington over a framework agreement paving the way for Czech involvement in the missile shield was expected to be launched by the two sides Friday.

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek hopes to put an agreement on the shield before lawmakers as early as April.

But his new Polish counterpart Donald Tusk is cranking up demands for security guarantees and other concessions from Washington and distancing himself from the unquestioned pro-shield stance of his predecessor.

The U.S. missile defense budget stands at $10 billion, with the cost of deploying the system in the Czech Republic and Poland estimated by the MDA at between $4 billion and $4.5 billion.

Analysis: U.S. rockets face Polish hurdles

Berlin (UPI) Jan 15, 2007

U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic may be delayed because Poland wants extra security guarantees. Warsaw also hopes a government change in Washington won't affect the controversial system.

It's not easy to be the Polish government these days. Warsaw has said it wants to take the heat out of its difficult relationship with Russia, while at the same time aiming for closer military cooperation with the United States.

Over the weekend, Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich called for a special military treaty before negotiations on the U.S. missile shield get to the nitty-gritty on Tuesday in Washington.

"Special military agreements link the United States with certain allies like Italy or Turkey," Klich told the Polish newspaper Dziennik. "The signature of such an accord with Poland seems justified in our view given services rendered to the Americans over recent years."

The reaction by the United States, he said, will be an indicator if Washington really considers Poland as its partner in central Europe. At the moment the United States treats Poland more "like a distant cousin."

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in the past weeks has also called for greater security guarantees for Poland, and according to observers, eyes a Patriot missile air defense system similar to one already deployed in neighboring Germany.

Tusk and his Czech counterpart, Mirek Topolanek, last week at a joint news conference said they were "not in a rush" to strike a deal with Washington on the missile defense system. Both leaders know they have quite a bargaining chip in their hands.

Washington by 2012 wants to install 10 interceptor missile sites in Poland and a radar unit in the Czech Republic to ward off potential attacks by so-called rogue states, namely Iran. However, public opposition against the system is fierce in both countries, with Poles and Czechs fearing they would be a terror target if their governments agreed to harbor U.S. missiles.

That's why Warsaw and Prague are in no rush to give the Americans the green light. They fear that in case of a Democratic victory in the U.S. presidential elections, the system may not be built, but still hand political damage to the governments that have signed on to it. After all, teaming up with the United States in security matters has proved disastrous for several European governments in the past.

A Democratic victory likely won't change the plans significantly, Alexander Bitter, a German military expert, wrote in a recent study published by the German Institute for International and Security affairs, a Berlin-based think tank.

The Russians have also protested heavily against the system, which they say is a tool of NATO's military eastward expansion, a direct threat against Russia and the start of a new arms race in Europe. Washington has denied that, but has since failed to convince Moscow that the system poses no threat but is aimed at protecting U.S. allies in Europe from nuclear attacks.

The new Polish government, frustrated by the diplomatic progress between Washington and Moscow on the issue, has since started to talk to the Kremlin directly, a move the previous government of conservative Prime Minister Jaroslav Kaczynski refused to make. So far, however, the talks have been fruitless.

After meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak, Polish top diplomat Radek Sikorsk said the discussions with Moscow merely tested the waters.

"I came away with the impression that our neighbor is happy that we are finally talking, but fundamental differences in views remain," he said, according to Deutsche Welle.

While some experts question the technical feasibility of missile defense systems, others say they work well in warding off nuclear attacks while at the same time helping to contain the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

If defense systems exist in strategic locations, a dictator or a leader of a rogue state may then question to finance a multibillion-dollar nuclear weapons program that leads to political isolation and has been rendered militarily useless.

The next weeks will likely bring some developments on the issue, with NATO to discuss missile defense at its summit in Bucharest, Romania, in April 2008. There, talks will circle around the question of whether to join the U.S. efforts in Poland and the Czech Republic.

US ready to meet key condition on missile shield: Poland

The United States is "ready to begin talks" about modernizing the Polish military, a key condition set by Warsaw for allowing US defensive missiles to be sited in Poland, Poland's defense minister said here Tuesday. "The readiness of the American side to talk about this issue is the major result of my visit to Washington," Bogdan Klich told reporters after meeting separately with State Department officials and his US counterpart, Robert Gates. "In Poland, we don't see the right balance between the costs and benefits of the installation of the missiles on our territory, and we would like to improve this ratio with the contribution of our American friends in the process of modernizing our air defense system," Klich said. "I appreciate the declaration of the Americans that they are ready to talk about a US contribution to the modernization of our armed forces," he said. Washington wants to install 10 interceptor missiles in Poland by 2012 as part of a defensive system against possible missile attacks by so-called rogue states such as Iran. The plan calls for associated radar stations in the Czech Republic. Poland's recently installed liberal government, led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk, has broken with the previous conservative government's tendency to give unconditional backing to the US proposal to site the missiles in Poland. Klich was the first high-ranking official from the new Polish government, which took office in November, to travel to Washington for talks on the missile defense shield and Poland's contribution to international military missions.

Japan working on central Tokyo missile shield: official
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 15, 2008

Japan on Tuesday carried out studies to deploy a missile defence shield in central Tokyo, officials said Tuesday, amid concern that the capital is at risk from North Korea.

The defence ministry conducted investigations on Monday and Tuesday into two locations for US-developed Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air interceptors, a defence spokesman said.

Two PAC-3 units were installed in suburban Tokyo last March as Japan's relations remained tense with nuclear-armed North Korea.

"We took surveys of buildings, which would be obstacles for the PAC-3, and conducted technical tests on communications," the spokesman said.

The sites looked at were Shinjuku Gyoen, a major park in central Tokyo, and the Ichigaya military post on the premises of the defence ministry headquarters, he aid.

"We plan to do more investigations on other sites to seek places that the PAC-3 mobile system can be moved into," he said.

No date has been set for installation of the PAC-3 in central Tokyo. Japan has set a goal of establishing the system at 11 bases by March 2011.

Japan's first Patriot missiles were set up by US forces in 2006 on the southern island of Okinawa.

Japan also plans to conduct a missile test-launch in the US state of New Mexico later this year, he said.

Japan and the United States started working on a more advanced missile shield after North Korea in 1998 fired a missile over Japan's main island.

Russia's S-400 Missile Defense

Russian ICBMs, defense interceptors, AA, SAM

Russian Nuclear Defense and Long Rance Launch Sites

US Nuclear Defense and Long Range Threat Protection
- US wants to build defence system against possible missile attacks
- Part of defences would be in Eastern Europe - which Russia opposes
- Russia suggests US should use its Gabala, Azerbaijan base instead

S-400 air defense systems to be deployed in central Russia

RIA Novosti Russia News

January 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's advanced S-400 air defense missile systems will be initially deployed in central regions of the country, the Air Force commander said on Monday.

The S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) air defense system is expected to form the new cornerstone of Russia's theater air and missile defenses up to 2020 or even 2025.

"The S-400 air defense systems will be primarily deployed in central Russia, and only after that in other regions of the country, when more systems become available," Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said.

Russia successfully conducted last year live firing tests of the S-400 air defense complex at the Kapustin Yar firing range in south Russia's Astrakhan Region, and deployed a battalion equipped with the new system to protect the airspace around Moscow.

The S-400 is designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), twice the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot, and 2.5 times that of the S-300PMU-2.

The system is believed to have high capability to destroy stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles, with an effective range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and a speed of up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second.

A regular S-400 battalion comprises at least eight launchers with 32 missiles and a mobile command post, according to various sources.

Belarus to buy Russia’s S-400

Belarus Charter 97 News
Dec 21 2007

Russia’s ambassador to Belarus Aleksandr Surikov said in the interview to Russian edition “Vremya Novostei” the military cooperation of the two countries “is in good progress” and mentioned as an example the fact that Belarus is going to buy Russia’s new anti-missile weapon system S-400, which Russia sells our country at inner prices.

The today’s issue of “Vremya Novostei” contains an interview with Alyksandr Surikov, Russia’s ambassador to Belarus.

– Is strengthening of military cooperation between the countries is necessary?

– The military cooperation is in good progress, both presidents confirmed it. Last year we delivered anti-missile systems S-300 in Belarus, which are already in service. Now the Belarusian side wants to buy new systems S-400. We stand ready to sell weapon to Belarus at inner prices of Russian market that, like gas prices, can be lower than world prices.

– What support does Moscow expect from Minsk regarding the US missile defense system deployment?

– The negotiations with the US, as well as with Czech Republic and Poland, on problem of deployment of missile defense system elements are not completed. We are thankful to Belarus for its political approval of our position concerning this issue and one of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). We are satisfied with what we have now.

– Can the question on reintroduction of nuclear weapon in Belarus be examined?

– As for today, it can’t be examined. In 1990ies Belarus signed the treaty on removing nuclear weapon form its territory, which was signed by Russia, the US and the UK. These three countries guaranteed inviolability of Belarusian borders and its independence. Moscow, Washington and London will stop being guarantors of Belarusian sovereignty. This situation is obviously dangerous for Belarus.

– What are the perspectives of economic cooperation?

– Vladimir Putin and Alyaksandr Lukashenka confirmed their adherence to the agreements reached a year ago. I mean agreement on shared duties on oil products, produced in Belarus of Russian oil. On the worked out formula, this year 70 per cent of taxes goes to Russia’s budget, and 30 per cent – to Belarus’ one. Next year the taxes are to be shared as 80 to 20. The parties confirmed their adherence to the contract, which defines a formula for gas price for the next three years. Gas price for Belarus is known for the first part of 2008, it will be established two or three times more during the year depending on international oil market.

– How can gas price vary?

– It’s difficult to forecast. One doesn’t know what international oil prices will change. If they fall, gas price will reduce, too.

Russia warns of Belarus missiles

BBC News
Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Russia could place missiles in neighbouring Belarus to counter a planned US missile defence system, a senior Russian general has said.
Col-Gen Vladimir Zaritsky spoke after Belarus, a close ally of Russia, said it would re-equip its forces with new Russian Iskander short-range missiles.

Russia says the US plan to site parts of a missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic is a threat.

The US says it is needed to counter missiles fired by states such as Iran.

"Any action must have a counter-action, including with the US anti-missile elements in the Czech Republic and Poland," Gen Zaritsky was quoted as saying by Russia's Itar-Tass news agency.

Gen Zaritsky is the commander of Russia's artillery and rocket forces.

'Battle of words'

The US missile shield system would see a radar site set up in the Czech Republic and a base in Poland for 10 missile interceptors.

Map of US missile defence systems
The chief of staff of Russia's armed forces, Gen Yury Baluyevsky, said on Tuesday that Iran posed no missile threat to Europe or the US and that the missile defence plan would be aimed at Russia.

The US has said that the limited system it proposes could not threaten Russia's own missile arsenal.

Belarus says it will buy Russia's Iskander-E conventional missile system by 2020.

Gen Zaritsky's comments are a new stratagem in bitter battle of words between the US and Russia, says the BBC's James Rodgers in Moscow.

In October, US President George W Bush said: "The need for missile defence in Europe is real and I believe it's urgent."

He warned that Iran could have a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe or the US by 2015.

A few days later, Russian President Vladimir Putin compared the US plans to the missile crisis of 1962, which saw the US and the Soviet Union go to the brink of nuclear war over Russian missiles in Cuba.

Russia and USA Deadlocked on Missile Defense
January 15, 2008

The tensions between the USA and Russia seem to be building and becoming more strained almost daily.

Russia will not allow other countries to put restrictions on its arms exports, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

President Putin said that Russia would not take into consideration attempts to impose restrictions “based on unilateral and politicized assessments”.

Putin also said deliveries of Russian weapons are focused exclusively at increasing the capability of the countries receiving them, and at maintaining their stability and safety. He did not go into detail regarding these comments. However he did say:
“It is an absolute priority for us. Russia has strictly observed, is observing, and will strictly observe all international commitments in the military technical sphere, in particular, the export control regime,”

U.S.A. authorities have called on Russia to discontinue arms deliveries to countries whose political regimes Washington disapproves of. What are all these countries exactly? Last week, U.S.A. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns urged the Russian government to cease arms deliveries to Iran.

The United States and Russia have had on ongoing deadlock on missile defense in Europe, with the US defense secretary saying the US has gone as far as it can to make Russia happy.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ comments came after Moscow rejected US concessions on its plans for missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.
“I guess my view is I think we’ve leaned about as far forward as we can. We’ve offered a lot. And my view is, now I want to see some movement on their part,” Gates told reporters as he flew back from Europe today.

Robert Gates said the USA proposals “represent a very forward-leaning posture in terms of partnering with the Russians.”

“And I think the question is whether the Russians are serious about partnering with us, or whether this is merely a pose to try and stop us from going forward with the Czech Republic and Poland,” he said.

Earlier today Russian Defense Minister Viktor Serdyukov said the US proposals were not enough to satisfy the Russian concerns.

“All that has been proposed to us does not satisfy us, our position remains the same,” the ITAR-TASS and Interfax news agency quoted Serdyukov as saying at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in the Netherlands.

The tougher position by Gates came amid rising US tensions with Iran and a warning by President Bush on Wednesday that missile defenses were urgently needed to defend Europe.
“The need for missile defense in Europe is real, and I believe it is urgent,” Bush said, in a speech at the National Defense University that was interpreted as being at odds with Gates’ softer approach to the Russians.

During a visit to Moscow earlier this month, Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presented the Russians with ideas for a regional missile defense scheme that would include Russia as well as NATO.

They proposed posting Russian liaison officers at US missile defense sites as well as at the radar site in the Czech Republic if Prague agreed. The Czech leader said: “No comment” when asked if it would be okay to have Russian soldiers in the Czech Republic. There are old tensions between Russia and the Czech Republic.

Gates stated during a trip to Prague, the United States would delay making the European site fully operational until there was “definitive proof of the threat.”

He said Russian leaders have made clear that they recognize that Iran poses a security threat, but differ with Washington on how long it will take the Iranians to develop progressively longer range missiles. Russian thinks this time period is much longer than the the US does.

A US defense official, said the US had offered to tie the activation of the system to a agreed upon understanding with the Russians of what would constitute a proven and real Iranian threat.

“What we are saying is we’re prepared to sit down with Russia and discuss what we would both regard as indications of increasing capability” of Iran’s missiles, the official said.

Gates and US defense officials have said Russian President Vladimir Putin was intrigued enough by the proposals to agree to experts meetings and a follow-on round of talks at the level of defense and foreign ministers.

Russia is concerned about the possibility that the missile defense system could be used against Russia at some point in the future.

The United States, which is still negotiating with Poland and the Czech Republic for access to their territory, insists that the planned missile defense system is no match for Russia’s nuclear arsenal and are aimed at a looming Iranian missile threat. This is a difficult concern for Russia to accept and agree to.

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