Despite recent discussions between Russia and the NATO alliance, Russia remains determined to put up defense against NATO where it matters. This time, it is setting up an air defense system to counter the alliance in Crimea.
Russia has expressed its disapproval when it comes to recent actions undertaken by NATO, specifically to the increase of security and defense of allied countries near Russian borders. During the summit in Warsaw, NATO confirmed it will be deploying multinational battalions in the Baltic Area with the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Canada committing to sending as much as 1,000 troops each.
Aside from that, the U.S. said it will increase troops in the surrounding area as part of its commitment to add presence in Europe to help enhance the security of the NATO alliance. Aside from this, the U.S. helped commission the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System in both Poland and Romania.
Following these developments, Russia announced on Friday that it will deploy its S-400 regiment to Crimea. According to a report from Sputnik News, the announcement was done by Lt. Col. Eugene Oleynikov, the deputy commander of the 18th anti-aircraft missile regiment, which belongs to the 31st Air Defense Division. Oleynikov said that this has always been in Russia’s plans since its annexation of the region.
Meanwhile, Crimea’s Vice Premier Ruslan Balbek remarked, “The S-400 will serve as a major deterrent for ‘air hooligans from NATO’s air force.’ The sheer fact that the most advanced air defense missile system will be installed on [the peninsula] will keep all NATO air forces based in the Black Sea on the edge of their seats.”
According to Military Today, the S-400 Triumph air defense system entered Russian service in 2007. It can hold between four to 16 and has a maximum range of 400 km as well as a maximum altitude of 56 km. It is capable of taking out ballistic, cruise and aircraft missiles.
Recently, the Russian Ministry of Defense also announced that it will soon involve its S-400 Triumph crews in a series of tactical exercises. Recently, its Buk-M2 and Pantsyr-S air defense systems carried out some combat firing exercises at an imitated high-speed modern aircraft.