Russia will deploy a division set of the S-400 air defense missile system to Crimea, the Southern Military District said on Wednesday, November 28.
The Triumf system has undergone tests and will be put on combat duty with the Russian Air Force in Crimea “in the near future,” Russia’s Tass news agency reported a military spokesperson as saying.
The new system will be in place by the end of the year, RIA Novosti reported.
The S-400 is already deployed to Crimea, and a third battalion entered duty in September, Tass reported at the time.
Russia’s control of the peninsula has again come under scrutiny this week after Russian forces shot at, boarded and seized Ukrainian Navy warships off the coast of Crimea over the weekend.
President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday signed an act introducing martial law in Ukraine for 30 days.
The act gives Ukrainian authorities the power to mobilize citizens with military experience, regulate the media and restrict public rallies in the 10 regions bordering Russia. Parliament approved the measure on Tuesday.
Poroshenko warned on Tuesday that there was a risk of “full-scale war” with Russia. Ukrainian forces have been put on full combat readiness, he said.
Kiev and its allies accuse Russia of illegally blockading the Kerch Strait, which is the waterway which gives access to the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea. It is used by both Russia and Ukraine, but Moscow accused the Ukrainian gunships – the Berdyansk and Nikopol – and a tugboat – Yany Kapu – of “violating the Russian border.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has said that he may cancel a planned meeting this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to the incident.
The European Union has also backed Ukraine, with E.U. President Donald Tusk condemning “Russian use of force” and urging Russian authorities to return the ships and sailors. A Crimea court has ordered at least 12 of the sailors held in pre-trial detention until late January.
Russia’s S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) long- and medium-range air defense missile system can use five different missile types to destroy aerial targets including planes and cruise and ballistic missiles at a range of 40 to 400 km (25 to 250 miles) at altitudes of up to 30 km.
The system was developed in the 1990s as an upgrade of the S-300 family, and was approved for service in Russia in 2007.
A typical S-400 system includes a combat control post, a jam-resistant phased array radar to detect aerial targets, and six to eight missile complexes. A regiment set includes a command post, radar stations, launchers, missiles, power-generating plant and auxiliary equipment, spare parts and accessories.