MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Part of the equipment included in the first shipment of the S-400 air defense missile systems, which was sent to China under the 2014 contract, has been damaged by a storm and returned to Russia, the press service of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation told TASS on Friday.
"In order to implement a contract on supplying the S-400 air defense missile systems to China, a vessel carrying support equipment departed from the Ust Luga port in the Leningrad region in late December. However, on its way to China, the vessel got caught in a strong storm, which damaged part of the equipment. A decision was made to return to the port of departure," the press service said.
Work is currently underway to assess the damage in order to make it possible to cover losses in accordance with insurance. After the work is completed, undamaged equipment will be sent to the customer, the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation added.
The damage will not affect the timeframe for the implementation of the contract on supplying the S-400 air defense missile systems to China, the press service said.
In November 2014, it was announced that Russia and China had signed a contract on S-400 supplies, and in November 2015, Russian Presidential Aide on Military Cooperation Vladimir Kozhin confirmed the contract. In June 2016, head of Russia’s Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov said that the Chinese Army would receive the S-400 systems no sooner than 2018. On December 7, 2017, Chemezov said that the delivery would begin in the near future.
China is the first foreign purchaser of these air defense systems, while the second one is Turkey. In July 2017, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that "certain documents" concerning the purchase of the S-400 systems had been signed. On September 12, 2017, Russia confirmed that a contract had been made. Turkey is the first NATO member state to purchase the S-400 Triumf systems.
The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the most advanced long-range antiaircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range ones, and can also be used against ground objectives. The S-400 complex can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.
At present, only Russia’s Armed Forces are equipped with the S-400 systems. There are plans to supply them to four countries - China, Turkey, India and Saudi Arabia.