The S-400 Triumf, previously known as the S-300PMU-3, is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed in the 1990s by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. It has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007. Considered to be the most advanced missile defense system in the world, the S-400 ‘Triumf’ system is capable of destroying targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers and a height of up to 30 kilometers.
In 2017, the S-400 was described by The Economist as “one of the best air-defense systems currently made”, and Siemon Wezeman of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said it “is among the most advanced air defense systems available.” China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, and Qatar expressed their appreciation for the S-400 system, and China was the first foreign buyer to make a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014.
Amid a global uproar against China – coronavirus, a military standoff with India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the South China Sea, US – in just the past six months, Moscow has now announced the suspension of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to Beijing, with the resumption of deliveries yet to be ascertained.
Russia has announced the suspension of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to China and said the resumption of further deliveries is yet to be ascertained. Citing Chinese newspaper Sohu, UAWire reported, “This time, Russia announced the postponement of the delivery of missiles for the Chinese S-400 system. To a certain extent, we can say that it is for the sake of China. Getting a gun is not as easy as signing an invoice after receiving a weapon.” “They say that the work on delivering these weapons is quite complicated. While China has to send personnel for training, Russia also needs to send a lot of technical personnel to put the weapons into service,” Sohu said.
Post-Russia’s announcement, China has reportedly said that Moscow was forced to make such a decision as it “is worried that the delivery of S-400 missiles at this time will affect the anti-pandemic actions of the People’s Liberation Army and does not want to cause trouble to China.” In 2018, China received the first batch of S-400 missile, a military-diplomatic source told Russia`s TASS news agency. Meanwhile, it should be noted that the suspension comes merely days after Russia had accused China of espionage, despite the two nations sharing considerably good relations over the years. This assertion had come up after Russian authorities had found the president of its St Petersburg Arctic Social Sciences Academy, Valery Mitko handing over classified material to the Chinese intelligence.