The Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), Dmitry Shugaev, haas elaborated on the possibility of Russia exporting its S-500 long range air defence system. “We are considering India, as well as China and all the states with which we have a longtime partnership and predictable mutual relations, as future owners of this cutting-edge system”, the director said in an interview with the RBC News outlet. He added that the FSMTC would consider each request individually. Following over five years of delays the S-500 is set to enter service within two months and before 2022. The weapons system is expected to set multiple performance records with several outstanding features including an ability to neutralise hypersonic missiles and satellites, a 600km engagement range and an unprecedented level of situational awareness.
The S-500 has not been designed to replace previous air defence systems such as the S-400 or the A-135, and will instead complement these with new capabilities. The missile system’s first deployment will be to guard Moscow, although deployments to hotspots including the Kuril Islands, Crimea and possibly even Kaliningrad are expected. Russia’s defence sector has been heavily reliant on export revenues since the collapse of the USSR, and as a result from the 1990s the policy of refraining from exporting the best air defence systems was dropped. It has this long been speculated that, like the S-400 before it, the S-500 will be marketed for export even before the Russian military’s own needs are met with Algeria, China and India expected to be the leading potential clients.