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China deploys Russian surface-to-air missile system

Posted January. 20, 2018 07:25,   

Updated January. 20, 2018 08:40


China’s recent deployment of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system is drawing attention about China’s motive. The S-400 is often compared to the U.S.'s Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system. China has not confirmed where the defense system is located. However, if the S-400 is deployed anywhere in the Shandong Province, the Korean Peninsula will be within the radar surveillance range. In this context, it has been speculated that China aims to check moving of South Korean and U.S. forces in time of emergency in the Korean Peninsula.

According to Russia’s TASS and Hong Kong’s Ming Pao on Friday, Russia has recently delivered the S-400 surface-to-air missile system to China. The S-400 system includes missile control station, radar station and fueling installations. China and Russia signed a contract in 2014 to ship three sets of defense system, and the first system has been deployed this time. China plans to complete deployment of all three systems by 2019.

The S-400 system has a maximum range of 400 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 185 kilometers. Its radar can track up to 300 targets within 700 kilometers. It can shoot down multiple fighters and missiles flying at different ranges and altitudes simultaneously. The system is operable, while electric devices are disturbed. The S-400 has been eval‎uated that it can shoot down U.S.’s latest fighters such as the F-35 stealth and more threatening than the THAAD with a maximum range of 200 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 150 kilometers.

Ming Pao reported that, if the S-400 is located in the southern coast of mainland China, such as the Fujian Province, the entire Taiwan falls in the system’s range and China can attack Taiwanese air force. This argument is based on a recent development in China where unification by force is taking a foothold.

In contrast, it has been suggested that China has imported the S-400 in order to destabilize U.S.’s latest fighter and stealth cruise missile. Russia also deployed the S-400 in far eastern areas near North Korean borders such as Vladivostok.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com