TRIUMPH ADVANCES TO FIRING LINE
The missile was launched without a hitch in the closed control loop at 12.25 Moscow time and engaged its target precisely at the desired point. The main objective of these tests was the functional check of new electronic equipment and software at the ground facilities, as well as the evaluation of missile guidance efficiency.
The Triumph's leading developer is the Almaz Central Design Bureau. According to Alexander Lemansky, General Designer of the Bureau, the comprehensive manufacturer's tests of the new-generation air defense missile system have demonstrated that it possesses considerably higher performance qualities in terms of the engagement envelope, effectiveness, and a variety of potential targets than was available with the previous generation systems. This phase of the preliminary design tests is scheduled to be completed by late 1999, A. Lemansky stressed.
The S-400 system is intended to engage current and future air threats such as tactical and strategic aircraft, Tomahawk cruise missiles and other type missiles, including precision-guided ones, as well as AWACS aircraft, at ranges of up to 400 km. It can also detect stealth aircraft and other targets at all altitudes of their combat employment and at maximum ranges.
Air Force Colonel General Anatoly Kornukov, Air Force Commander-in-Chief, characterizes the Triumph air defense system as a fourth-generation system with a brilliant future because its components are based on the most advanced know-how in the field of radiolocation, missile manufacturing, microcircuitry and computing technology.
Work on the development of the S-400 air defense missile system is a visible embodiment of cooperation among weapon developers. Besides the Almaz Central Design Bureau, these include leading enterprises of the Russian defense industry, such as the Fakel Machine-Building Design Bureau, the Novosibirsk Research Institute of Measuring Instruments, the St. Petersburg Special Machine-Building Design Bureau, and a number of others.
General Designer Vladimir Svetlov, head of the Fakel Bureau-the leading developer of missiles for the S-400 systems-underlines that the Triumph is the first system in the country and, perhaps, in the world that can selectively use several types of missiles, both previously developed SAMs and the new, unique SAMs.
"The long-range missile," Vladimir Svetlov says, "has no analogs. The other missile, the 9M96, does have foreign counterparts, such as an advanced American missile for the PAC-3 Patriot system, but outperforms it, as well as the French Aster, in terms of overall effectiveness by approximately twofold."
The two versions of the 9M96 medium-range missile (9M96E and 9M96E2) were discussed in detail in the March/Apr '99 issue of Military Parade. As for long-range missiles capable of engaging various targets at ranges of up to 400 km, It is premature to describe them, let us only note here that they are available and ready for trials.
The Triumph air defense system can also use 48N6E missiles of the S-300PMU-1 system and 48N6E2 missiles of the S-300PMU-2 Favorit system. Incidentally, the 48N6E missile was successfully test-fired on February 12, 1999.
A high degree of automation at all phases of battle performance, as well as modern types of circuitry, has made it possible to considerably reduce the attending personnel of the S-400 air defense system. The principles of construction and the ramified communications network of the S-400 system allow its integration into different level chains of control throughout the Air Force and other armed services. The arrival of the Russian Federation Defense Minister, Igor Sergeyev, at the test site is indicative of the importance of the next phase of Triumph trials. He told journalists that it was too early to sum up the results before the commencement of the state tests. However, it is expedient, in his opinion, to make investments into the development of the S-400 air defense system because in terms of the effectiveness-cost ratio it is 2.5 times more proficient than the now-functioning systems.