Proposal for export approval submitted to defence ministry by NPO Almaz

Russia is negotiating a $4 billion deal with the United Arab Emirates for the development of a customised fifth-generation integrated multi-layer air defence system comprising long-, medium- and short-range missiles, radar, electronic warfare and control units.

It is understood Russia would develop and deploy an exclusive turnkey system for the UAE, and use the technologies in a Russian integrated air defence system.

A contract could be signed next year. The UAE acquired 50 Tula Pantzir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems for $734 million in 2000, and has also procured armoured vehicles from Russia.

NPO Almaz general director Igor Ashurbeili says the company has submitted a proposal to the Russian defence ministry for export approval. "We have developed the S-300 system into the 'fourth-plus generation' S-300PMU-2 Favorit, able to intercept threats ranging between short-range ballistic missiles and low-flying cruise missiles."

The system is being proposed for inclusion in Russia's 2002-10 national weapons programme. It may receive some state funding in Russia's 2003 defence budget.

Almaz has completed development of the S-300PMU-2 (SA-10 Grumble) employing Fakel 48N6E and 48N6E2 missiles instead of the 55V5s used in older S-300Ps. The Russian air force plans to upgrade its in-service S-300P-series systems with first deliveries later this year.

The air force says that during tests the Favorit defeated a ballistic target with a 1m2 radar cross section travelling at 1,600m/s (315,000ft/ min). The air force adds that a new system undergoing tests is able to defeat air targets travelling at 4,800m/s. The basis for the development is likely to be Almaz's S-400 Triumf (SA-20). The Triumf is due to complete acceptance trials in the first half of next year, Ashurbeili says.

The proposed fifth-generation system for the UAE is likely to include Triumf and the Vityaz medium-range system.

Meanwhile, the merger of Almaz and Antei, ordered by Russian president Vladimir Putin in April, is to be completed by year-end.

Source: Flight International