The S-400 Triumph defence system entered service with the Russian Army in April 2007. Credit: Rosoboronexport.
S-400 can engage missiles within the range of 400km.
The transporter-erector-launcher can carry up to four launch tubes. Credit: Rosoboronexport.

The S-400 Triumph (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is an air defence missile system developed by Almaz Central Design Bureau of Russia. The new system replaced the S-300P and S-200 air defence systems of the Russian Army.

The S-400 was developed as an upgrade of the S-300 series of surface-to-air missile systems. The system entered service in April 2007 and the first S-400 was deployed in combat in August 2007. Russia set up four S-400 regiments defending national airspace in the Moscow region, the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, and the Eastern Military District.

The air defence units of Southern Military District were rearmed with advanced S-400 Triumph by the end of 2012.

Orders and deliveries of S-400 Triumph

Over 20 battalions of S-400 Triumph were delivered to the Russian Armed Forces by 2015. Russia plans to induct 56 S-400 battalions by 2020.

Russia supplied two regiments of the S-400 Triumph system to the Armed Forces of China by July 2019.

Turkey also expressed interest in purchasing S-400 air defence systems during the IDEF 2009 exhibition. The contract for the delivery of S-400 Triumph to Turkey was signed in April 2017 and the first batch was delivered in July 2019.

In October 2018, Rosoboronexport signed a contract with India to deliver S-400 missile system.

S-400 Triumph features

The S-400 Triumph air defence system integrates a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre. It is capable of firing three types of missiles to create a layered defence.

The system can engage all types of aerial targets, including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and ballistic and cruise missiles, within the range of 400km at an altitude of up to 30km. The system can simultaneously engage 36 targets.

The S-400 is twice as effective as the previous Russian air defence systems and can be deployed within five minutes. It can also be integrated into the existing and future air defence units of the airforce, army and navy.

S-400 Triumph missiles

The S-400 missile system uses four new missile types in addition to the missiles of the S-300PMU system. The first missile inducted for the system was the 48N6DM (48N6E3). It is an improved variant of the 48N6M with a powerful propulsion system. The missile can destroy airborne targets within the range of 250km.

The 40N6 missile of the S-400 has a claimed range of 400km and uses active radar homing to intercept air targets at great distances. It can be launched against AWACS, J-STARS, EA-6B support jammers and other high-value targets.

The S-400 Triumph also launches 9M96E and 9M96E2 medium range ground-to-air missiles. Designed for direct impact, the missiles can strike fast moving targets such as fighter aircraft with a high hit probability. The maximum range of the 9M96 missile is 120km.

Command and control

The 55K6E command and control system of the S-400 Triumph is based on the Ural-532301 mobile command post vehicle. The command post is equipped with LCD consoles to process the air space surveillance data of the individual batteries. It controls and monitors long-range surveillance radar, tracks airborne threats, prioritises the threats, and coordinates other batteries.

The system is also capable of exchanging data with other defence systems such as SA-12, SA-23, and S-300.

S-400 Triumph radars

The fire control and target tracking radar of the S-400 is the 92N6E (Nato Codename: Gravestone). The radar is based on the MZKT-7930 8×8 vehicle. The 96L6 Cheese Board 3D surveillance and tracking radar is optionally carried by the same vehicle when the S-400 battery is deployed autonomously.

The 91N6E Big Bird acquisition and battle management radar of the S-400 is based on the 8×8 trailer. The radar can detect and track aircraft, rotorcraft, cruise missiles, guided missiles, drones and ballistic rockets within the distance of 600km. It can simultaneously track up to 300 targets.

Launch vehicle of S-400 missile system

The SP85TE2 launchers are based on the BAZ-64022 6×6 tractor truck or MAZ-79100 series Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) vehicle. The TEL vehicle can carry up to four launch tubes holding a mix of missiles.