Russia sees no problems on air defense system sale to Belarus

MINSK, May 19 (RIA Novosti) - There are no problems with the sale of Tor-M2 and Buk-M2 air defense systems to Belarus, with only technical issues under discussion, the head of the Russian state-run arms exporter said on Tuesday.

"Today, major problems at the negotiations have been resolved and the issues are being discussed from the technical viewpoint. Price guidelines are being determined," Rosoboronexport chief Anatoly Isaikin said at the opening of the MILEX 2009 arms exhibition in the Belarusian capital.

Isaikin also said the issue of the purchase of S-400 advance missile systems by Belarus from Russia was being discussed by an inter-governmental commission and no decision had been made.

Earlier in May, Rosoboronexport department head Valery Varlamov pointed to complex problems in the negotiations on the purchase by Belarus of Tor-M2 and Buk-M2 air defense systems. He also said that the issue of the purchase of advanced Iskander and S-400 missile systems could only be resolved at the political level.

Belarus announced in February 2008 its intention to purchase S-400 air defense systems from Russia as part of the modernization of its armed forces.

The Tor-M2 (NATO reporting name SA-15 Gauntlet) is a low to medium-altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system designed for intercepting aircraft, cruise missiles, precision guided munitions, unmanned aerial vehicles and ballistic targets.

The Buk-M2 (NATO codename SA-17 Grizzly) is an upgraded version of the proven Buk-M1 mobile air defense system and retains its main features. It comprises a command post, a target acquisition radar, and up to 6 loader-launcher vehicles carrying four 9M38 ground-to-air missiles.

The system has a target acquisition range of up to 50 km (31 miles), maximum target altitude around 25 km (82,000ft) and maximum target speed about Mach 4.

The S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) is designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), twice the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot, and 2 1/2 times that of Russia's S-300PMU-2.

The system is also believed to be able to destroy stealth aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, and is effective at ranges up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and speeds up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second.

The Iskander-E (SS-26 Stone), which is an export version of the Iskander-M missile system in service with the Russian army, is a tactical surface-to-surface missile complex designed to deliver high-precision strikes at a variety of ground targets at a range of up to 280 km (170 miles). It carries a single warhead with a payload of 400 kg to comply with the limits laid down by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).



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