Two battalions supported by S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems will begin combat duty in Russia’s Crimea at the start of 2018, the defense ministry has announced.
The battalions have already been deployed to the peninsula and have taken their assigned positions, lieutenant general Viktor Sevostyanov told the media Friday. The crews are now in training mode, the official added, saying permanent combat duty will start “in the first days of the new year.”
Air defense in the region “has been developing quite successfully,” Sevostyanov said. The current S-400 deployment is not the first in Crimea, he said, as one of the regiments had the advanced surface-to-air missile system previously installed.
Over the past five years, 16 guided weapon regiments have been equipped with the S-400 Triumf, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said Friday. Earlier in the day, military officials in Russia’s Far East said contingents with these systems also assumed combat duty in the Primorye Region. The S-400s replaced S-300 missile systems which had proven their worth as reliable air defense systems, according to the military.
The S-400 Triumf was put into service in 2007, deployed to counter and destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as land-based military objects. This year, new missiles that can destroy targets in outer space were introduced.