The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to supply the S-300 surface-to-air missile (SAM) defence system to Kazakhstan, a senior Russian military official has revealed.
Russia Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying during a visit to the Central Asian state that approximately five battalions of S-300PS systems are expected to be supplied free-of-cost from the inventory of the Russian Army.
The S-300 delivery will enhance protection of Kazakhstan’s airspace and also strengthen the air defence network of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) military alliance, Antonov added.
Kazakhstan reportedly has several S-300 systems deployed, primarily around the capital city Astana.
Russia also signed an agreement to establish an integrated regional air defence network with Kazakhstan in January 2013, according to the news agency.
The S-300 variant to be supplied to Kazakhstan includes the S-300PS, which was introduced to the Soviet armed forces in 1985, and has an operational range of 90km.
Code-named SA-10 Grumble, the system features 5V55R missiles, and is designed to lock in on a target following launch using an active detection system that steers the missile directly at the target.
Developed by NPO Almaz Bureau, the S-300 is a mobile, long-range air defence system designed to detect, track and destroy incoming cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and high and low-flying strike aircraft.
The high-precision missile system is capable of tracking up to 100 simultaneous targets from a distance of 150km, and requires no maintenance over its lifetime.
Different S-300 variants featuring different missiles and improved radars are currently operational with Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, China, Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.
Image: A S-300 anti-aircraft missile system at the Victory Parade at Red Square in Russia. Photo: courtesy of kremlin.ru.