Saudi Arabia agreed to purchase Russia’s advanced S-400 Triumf missile-defense system on Thursday during King Salman’s visit to Moscow.
The agreement marked the second time in the last month that a US ally has agreed to purchase the S-400 system from Moscow.
In September, Turkey finalized and made a deposit on a $2.5 billion deal for the S-400, deepening tensions between Washington and Ankara.
The S-400 is a very capable missile-defense system, somewhat comparable to the US’s MIM-104 Patriot, according to CSIS.
Here’s what it can do.
The S-400 Triumf, which NATO calls the SA-21 Growler, is a fourth-generation long-range missile-defense system that Russia began developing in 1993.
It’s also the successor to the S-200 and S-300 air-defense systems, and became operational in 2007.
It’s capable of taking out aircraft, drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles in the terminal phase.
However, it does not have hit-to-kill ballistic-missile-defense technology, which means it can’t physically collide with incoming warheads.
The S-400 has a range of about 150 miles to 249 miles.
On the low end range of 150 miles are the 48N6 missiles, which have 315-pound fragmentation warheads and can also hit ballistic missiles across a 37-mile radius.
On the high end of that range are the 40N6 missiles, but their deployment and true capabilities are unknown.
Russia is also testing the 77N6, designed specifically to take out ballistic missiles with hit-to-kill technology.
Below is the S-400’s radar, which can detect targets up to about 373 miles.
Source: The National Interest
S-400s are currently deployed in Kaliningrad, Syria, and Crimea.
The CSIS map below shows where Russia’s and NATO’s air-defense systems are deployed. (The interactive map is linked below).
The orange circles indicate Russian anti-air missiles systems, including the S-300 and S-400. Countries in green and corresponding circles belong to NATO. Screenshot/CSIS
You can see the full interactive map here.
Russia has exported the S-400 to countries other than Turkey and Saudi Arabia. In 2015, China bought six S-400s, and India bought five of them in 2016.