What is the C-300 and why Russia is selling them to Azerbaijan ("Zhamanak", Armenia)

What is the C-300 and why Russia is selling them to Azerbaijan ("Zhamanak", Armenia)
What is the C-300 and why Russia is selling them to Azerbaijan ("Zhamanak", Armenia)

Armenia reacts ambiguously to reports of the sale or the probable sale of C-300 anti-aircraft missile systems by Russia to Azerbaijan. If the Armenian authorities or experts standing close to the authorities are silent or do not see anything "dangerous" in this deal, then independent experts will ring out - the sale of C-300 complexes to Azerbaijan will make serious changes in the military balance of power in the region, moreover, this deal has an obvious political subtext.

Note that the C-300 are medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems. The production of the complexes began in 1979 and is periodically modernized. Complexes C-300 are designed to protect large industrial and administrative facilities, military bases from enemy air and space attacks. The complexes have the function of detecting ballistic and air targets. They have the ability to attack and shoot down ground targets using pre-specified coordinates.

What is the C-300 and why Russia is selling them to Azerbaijan

The S-300 is the world's first multi-barreled anti-aircraft missile system, which has the ability to fire 12 missiles in the direction of up to six targets. The S-300 complex has many modification options, which are distinguished by their missiles, radars, capabilities of protection against electronic attacks, and the ability to combat ballistic missiles that fly with long range at low altitude. The C-300 PMU-2 Favorit was introduced in 1997 as a modernized version with a range of up to 195 kilometers. For this purpose, they even created a new type of rocket - 48H6E2. This new complex can deal with both short and medium-range ballistic missiles. S-300 complexes are used mainly in Eastern Europe and Asia. All modernized types of S-300 complexes are used in Russia, China (this country bought a license for the production of these weapons, in China this complex is called Hongqi-10), India (this state in 1995 paid $ 1 billion for six batteries of the complex in order to protect from Pakistani short-range missiles), Cyprus, Iran (although there is still no official confirmation of this and is considered controversial - are there S-300 complexes in Iran), Vietnam (which acquired two batteries of the complex for about $ 300 million), Hungary (which received the S-300 complexes from Russia for a debt of 800 million dollars), in all likelihood, in Syria, Algeria, Belarus (this country bought two modernized types of two batteries each), Bulgaria (which has ten S-300 complexes), at one time these complexes were used in the former GDR (the complexes were later returned to Russia, but NATO experts, as Russian sources say, managed to study in detail the structure of these weapons), Kazakhstan anne, Slovakia, Ukraine (there are 49 batteries of the S-300 complex) and in the Republic of Korea, where a simplified version of the S-300 complexes is being developed. According to Russian sources, according to some information, there are also S-300 complexes in Armenia. At the same time, we are talking about at least two divisions of the complexes, but it is not known whether they are under the jurisdiction of Armenia or Russian military bases. We also note that the S-300 complexes have not yet been used in the course of real military operations. The countries that operate these complexes mainly use them during military exercises.

Could be worse?

There is an Association in Russia, the members of which are military political scientists. They analyze just such transactions. We talked with the military political scientist Vasily Belozerov.

Mr. Belozerov, when it became known about the sale of S-300 complexes to Azerbaijan, it was announced that Azerbaijan was acquiring weapons for defense against Iran. What is Azerbaijan afraid of and why is there a need for such a defense?

- Frankly speaking, I do not know the details of this deal, but I treat your concern with understanding - bearing in mind the aggravation of the situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. But one thing I can say for sure - the S-300 is one of the types of air defense systems, and does not pose any threat to your republic. And the question of whether there is a threat from Iran or not should be asked to the Azerbaijani side. But, regardless of everything, it is insignificant - Azerbaijan acquires these weapons for defense from Iran or from another country. I believe that by and large, if desired, Azerbaijan can find many people who will justify that the real threat comes from the Armenian side. I am not saying that they are right, I am talking about what the Azerbaijani authorities can be guided by.

- There are opinions in Armenia that, as a strategic partner of Armenia, the Russian Federation should not sell these weapons to Azerbaijan, as this will upset the balance of power in the region.

- I have already said that the S-300 is not an offensive, but a defensive weapon, so references to the fact that the balance will be upset are not so correct. Moreover, taking into account the fact that there are joint military units to ensure the security of Armenia, and the air defense also works well. There are also missile systems designed for offensive operations, and the S-300 is not designed for attack. To acquire this weapon, Azerbaijan turned to Russia, but it could turn to the United States, and this would not lead to anything good for Armenia, as it could strengthen the influence of the United States in the region and especially in Azerbaijan.

They say in Armenia that this deal actually has a real political implication. Do you see this subtext or do you think this is just an economic deal?

- Russia's actions in the Caucasus, of course, have political aspects. However, it is difficult for Russia to take one side - to support only Armenia or Azerbaijan, since each has its own truth. Azerbaijan has its own, and Armenia has its own. Georgia also had its own truth when it attacked South Ossetia. And the Russian Federation is nevertheless interested in improving relations in the region. Yes, of course, there are certainly political aspects here, and one of them is that, as I said, it is better for Armenia itself that Azerbaijan received the C-300 complexes, and not the American Patriot complexes. In any case, if the deal goes through, then these steps by the Russian Federation will not mean that Russia wants to escalate the situation in the Caucasus.

P.S. By the way, the sale and purchase of such complexes as the S-300 are not regulated by the Treaty on the Limitation of Conventional Arms in Europe. That is, there are no restrictions on this issue. At the same time, experts say that Armenia, as a country that has close relations with the Russian Federation, should have armed itself in advance with intelligence information that Russia was preparing to make such a deal and try to prevent it from within before it became publicly known. And today, as experts say, the question arises - before the publication of this information, was the Armenian side aware of this deal, or not? And if not, why not?

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