China’s People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force has carried out a second successful test firing of the S-400 Triumf missile system purchased from Russia, wrapping up its trials. The second test firing of the S-400 was carried out in December last year at a Chinese firing ground. The 48N6E missile fired by the system’s launcher hit an aerodynamic target simulating an aircraft] flying at a speed of more than 600 meters per second. The target was struck at a maximum range of around 250 km, the source added. The S-400 trial program in China has been completed, no other test firings are being planned at the moment.
In March 2014, it was announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave authorization to sell the S-400 system to the People’s Republic of China. If China should acquire the S-400, reported to initially consist of six batteries, it would significantly improve China’s ability to defend its own air space and serve as an effective stand-off weapon against air attacks. With a 400 km (250 mi) coverage range, aircraft in disputed areas off the coast could be targeted by SAMs from the mainland; all of Taiwan would be covered from Fujian province, and the Diaoyu Islands would be covered from Shandong province, making it difficult for the US and Japan to deploy combat aircraft over those airspaces.
On 13 April 2015, the chief executive of the Russian state-run arms trader Rosoboronexport has confirmed that China secured a contract with his company for the purchase of the S-400 air defence systems. Delivery of the system began in January 2018. China has become the first buyer of the Russian S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems. Under the contract, Russia will deliver two regiment sets of S-400 air defense missile systems to China. In July, a source told TASS that a certificate of acceptance of the first S-400 regiment set had been signed and its delivery by sea had been completed in May 2018.
Russia’s S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler, S-300 PMU-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 is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and can also be used against ground installations. It has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007. The S-400 uses four missiles to fill its performance envelope: the very-long-range 40N6 (400 km), the long-range 48N6 (250 km), the medium-range 9M96E2 (120 km) and the short-range 9M96E (40 km).