Russia sells China S-400 surface-to-air missiles
This is one more concession that Russia has made in its arms sale to China following the exports of Su-35 fighter jets, and the Chinese version of the Lada class submarines.
“Kanwa says: China hopes to get the S-400s and has been making request for it for quite a few years at the annual meetings between the two governments. However, due to fears that China might copy it and other reasons, the Russian government did not clearly agree to sell he S-400s to China until 2012.
At the end of 2012, Russia for the first time directly told Beijing that it agreed to sell the S-400s. No formal agreement has so far been entered into, but negotiation about that has already been included in the agenda.
“Russia decided that it might sell China the radar and command and control systems of the S-400. What kind of missile system will be exported will be the key issue in the negotiations. One thing is clear: the versions allowed to be sold include the interception missiles with a range of 380 kilometres.
However, no final decision has been made as to whether sale will go ahead of the full set system of the S-400 interception missiles, also having a range of 380 kilometres.”
Kanwa’s article believes that China wants to get Russian technology to improve its Hongqi-9 surface-to-air missiles, which has only a range of 125 kilometres. In order to lengthen its range, it needs a new generation of engine, and improvement of its filling technology.
The 380 kilometre range of the S-400 is longer than most similar US missiles, and is therefore extremely attractive to China.
Moreover, due the modular structure of the S-400s, they can be used in combination with the S-300 missiles China has imported from Russia.
As for the reasons why Russia has decided the export: Kanwa believes that besides mutual political needs, the major reason is further US-Japanese cooperation in developing their ballistic missile defence system with the final target of obtaining an interception missile flying at the speed of 6.5 km/second.
As a result, China and Russia have intensified their discussions and cooperation in developing their ballistic missile defence systems.
Source: huanqiu.com “Russia has decided to export S-400 to China” (excerpts and summary translated from Chinese by Chan Kai Yee)