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Russia’s state arms seller confirms S-400 missiles damaged during delivery to China

The storm damaged auxiliary equipment aboard the ship
S-400 missiles Vitaly Nevar/TASS
S-400 missiles
© Vitaly Nevar/TASS

MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport has confirmed filing a lawsuit against Baltic Trans-Port LLC for damaging S-400 surface-to-air missiles during their transportation to China by sea, the Rosoboronexport press office told TASS on Thursday.

The details of the case file are available on the Moscow Arbitration Tribunal’s website, Rosoboronexport said.

The S-400 missiles destined for China were damaged in a storm during their transportation by sea. A regiment set of S-400 air defense missile systems was loaded onto three ships, one of which, as Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation reported in January 2018, was hit by a severe storm in the English Channel and was forced to return to the port of departure.

The storm damaged auxiliary equipment aboard the ship. Head of Russia’s State Hi-Tech Corporation Rostec Sergei Chemezov said on February 18, 2019 that the damaged missiles had to be destroyed: instead of them, a new batch of missiles will be manufactured and delivered to the customer.

"The lawsuit has been filed and the documents have been submitted a year after the incident [the damage of S-400 missiles during the storm]," the company said.

The Rosoboronexport press office declined to disclose the details of the case file and said that all the open information was available on the website of the Moscow Arbitration Tribunal.

The Moscow Arbitration Tribunal earlier reported on its website it had registered two lawsuits filed by Rosoboronexport against Baltic Trans-Port LLC. The case file indicates sums in US dollars and euros for recovery.

"Judge Yu. Yu. Lakoba examined the issue of initiating judicial proceedings on the lawsuit filed by Rosoboronexport versus Baltic Trans-Port LLC on recovering losses in the amount of $161,482,640 and 1.79 million euros," the document says.

The case file also notes that Rosoboronexport has requested that the judicial proceedings should be held behind closed doors "to keep commercial, business and other secrets protected by law."

S-400 deliveries to China

It was announced in November 2014 that Russia had signed a contract with China on the delivery of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems. In November 2015, Russian presidential adviser for military-technical cooperation Vladimir Kozhin confirmed the conclusion of the contract. In June 2016, Head of Russia’s State Hi-Tech Corporation Rostec Chemezov said the Chinese army would get the S-400 no earlier than 2018.

China became the first foreign customer of this air defense missile system. It was reported in early April last year that the first two ships that continued their voyage arrived in China, delivering the basic part of the S-400 regiment set.

Russia’s S-400 Triumf is the latest long-and medium-range surface-to-air missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and can also be used against ground installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of up to 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km under intensive enemy fire and jamming.