As India Awaits S-400, China Signs Deal With Russia For S-500 Missiles

Recently, Pakistan expressed concern over the Indian purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system from Russia and stated this could destabilize the region.

As India still awaits the highly sophisticated S-400 missiles, China has reportedly signed a deal with Russia to procure an advanced version of the S-400 air defense missiles – the S-500.

China may become the first and main foreign buyer of the S-500 air defense system once sales abroad begin, independent defense publication Military Watch Magazine believes.

“While China has made significant progress in developing its own indigenous air defense systems with platforms such as the HQ-9B, their capabilities remain limited relative to the latest Russian platforms such as the S-400 and S-300V4, meaning for the near future, Beijing will continue to rely on Russian platforms,” the publication noted.

Noting the popularity of advanced Russian weaponry and the recent start of deliveries of the second batch of S-400s to the country, the magazine suggested that Beijing could very well become “a leading client for Russia’s upcoming S-400 missile system.”

China became the third country after Russia and Belarus to receive the S-400, currently fielding one regiment of S-400s after deliveries began and concluded last year. “The deployment of [that] missile system has” already “been heralded as a game-changer for the defenses of China’s east coast,” Military Watch Magazine emphasized.

S-500 vs S-400 Anti-Missile System

The S-500, as per experts, is not a continuation of the S-300 and the S-400 series but a completely new complex, created from scratch with completely new radar, a new computer system, and new missiles. The primary operating mode in the S-500 will be automatic and the complex will require minimal intervention from the operator.

Assessing reports leaking from the Internet, the S-500 Missile will be able to hit both ballistic targets, including intercontinental missiles, as well as aerodynamic targets like fighter jets and cruise missiles. The range of the S-500 system for the interception of aerodynamic targets is estimated to be 500 kilometers.

The S-500 Complex will also be equipped with an anti-ballistic missile to destroy ballistic targets and will be capable of hitting targets at altitudes over 100 kilometers, but how much higher is still now known.

Along with China and Turkey, India has also signed a contract with Russia for S-400s, with deliveries to Turkey starting earlier this month, and India expects to get its systems by 2023.