Russia is planning to replace the outdated S-300PS air defence system with its new mid-range Vityaz system by 2014, Almaz-Antei former chief designer Igor Ashurbeili has said.

Ashurbeili told RIA Novosti that the Vityaz should be ready to enter service in 2013-2014.

“Only the insufficient funding of the testing of a new missile for this system could cause a delay,” he added.

The Vityaz, which will complement the Morfey, the S-400 and the S-500 air defence systems, is expected to have additional radar and a launcher with 16 missiles compared to the four on the S-300.

The Vityaz will capable of engaging targets at ranges from five to 400km, and at altitudes from five metres to near space.

The S-300 service life will come to an end in the next two years.