MOSCOW, November 2. /TASS/. India, China and some of Russia’s partner states may be the first buyers of the S-500 next-generation anti-aircraft missile system, Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev said in an interview with the RBC media group on Tuesday.
"We consider India, as well as China and all the states that we have long-standing, partner and predictable relations with as prospective buyers of this latest system," the defense official said in response to a question about whether India could be the first foreign buyer of the Russian-made S-500 weapon.
India is a long-standing strategic partner of Russia, the director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation stressed.
"We have concluded a contract for the S-400 and they will receive the first battalion set of this system by the yearend. That is why it is quite logical that they will display their interest in the foreseeable future and request the S-500 from us as well," Shugayev said.
Russia will start the exports of the S-500 surface-to-air missile system only after the required amounts of this weapon are delivered to the Russian troops, he said.
"Time will show when this happens. We will examine potential requests individually in each specific case," the defense official said.