Russia: Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has agreed to the sale of the country’s newest S-400 air defense guided missile system to China, which Russian media claim will give Beijing an edge in the airspace of the Taiwan Strait and over islands in the East China Sea at the center of a dispute with Japan. Beijing has been interested in acquiring the guided missile system since 2011. Two years ago, Russia talked with several countries interested in buying the system but was forced to suspend negotiations in order to ensure its supply to the Russian military. Export sales of the system may not begin until 2016.
Talk of a potential deal with China drew concerns from Russian security officials who worried that it may not only affect the supply of the system to Russia’s own military but also that China could back-engineer the technology to produce its own systems. The system’s manufacturer, Almaz Antei, has eased the former concerns by delivering the first batch of the system. Moscow also announced a plan in January to build three new plants for the contractor in order to build more air defense and anti-guided missile systems. An intellectual property rights agreement that China and Russia signed with regard to the arms trade has also come into effect. The People’s Liberation Army has already obtained an air defense guided missile system and another command system from Russian and deployed them in the defense of Beijing and Shanghai.
Source: Indian Defence