An S-300 anti-aircraft missile launches during a Greek Army exercise on the island of Crete. Russia has ordered four of the systems for neighboring Belarus. (Costas Metaxakis / AFP)
WARSAW — The Russian Defense Ministry has ordered four S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to be supplied to neighboring Belarus. The systems, made by local defense company Almaz-Antey, will have a range of 300 kilometers.
“We are planning to hand over four S-300 units to Belarus,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told local news agency ITAR-TASS. This will be done “to develop and increase the combat potential of the unified regional air defense system,” the minister said.
“To this end, we are building up the Belarusian air defense capability,” Shoigu said.
The latest procurement follows increased efforts by neighboring Poland to upgrade its anti-missile and air defense system. The Polish Ministry of Defense, which is carrying out a tender to buy new middle-range missile systems, said June 30 it had shortlisted two bids by Raytheon, with Patriot interceptors, and France’s Eurosam consortium by MBDA and Thales, with its SAMP/T system.
The Polish air and anti-missile defense program is reportedly worth up to 26.5 billion zloty (US $8.5 billion).
Established in 2002 and based in Moscow, Almaz-Antey makes a wide range of weapons and military equipment, including short-, middle- and long-range missile systems, radars and automated control systems. The state-run firm has 60 subsidiaries in Russia and a workforce of over 94,000, according to data from Almaz-Antey. ■