MOSCOW, Russia – Russian Aerospace Forces will receive their first S-350 Vityaz medium-range ground-to-air missile system next year, the Defense Ministry said.
“In 2019, the Aerospace Forces will receive the new S-350 Vityaz missile system for the first time,” the statement said.
The troops will also be equipped with about a dozen Pantsir-S air defense missile weapons systems and long-range air defense weapons S-400 Triumf (name of NATO report: SA-21 Growler), added the ministry.
Russian troops stationed in the Khabarovsk, Leningrad, Kaliningrad and Crimea regions as well as in the Arctic received Pantsir-S and S-400 weapons earlier this year.
Meanwhile, if the US installs medium-range missiles at Europe, Russia will respond, but that response should be considered and balanced, said Yuri Solomov, chief designer of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology.
“There will be a reaction from the point of view of a technical-military response – it is not difficult. Another thing is that the response must be balanced, not the same as that of the Soviet Union,” Solomov told the Russian newspaper Argumenti Nedeli on Thursday.
Solomov also stressed that the US is currently extremely interested in installing medium-range missiles in Europe.
According to the chief designer, in compliance with the Intermediate Band Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the Soviet Union committed “stupidity” when “800 medium-range Pioneer rocket launchers were destroyed,” while the US destroyed only a small portion of their Pershing missiles.
Solomov has been developing his work at the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology since 1971. He has participated in the development of the Pioneers, Topol, Topol-M and Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles.
In recent years, Moscow and Washington have been accusing each other of INF violations. Russia has repeatedly stated that it complies strictly with the commitments made in the agreement.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov even said that Moscow has serious doubts about the United States’ compliance with the agreement.
Earlier in December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would suspend its membership of the INF in 60 days unless Russia re-enforced the agreement in its entirety.
Moscow refutes allegations that Russia has violated the 1987 agreement, which bans cruise missiles launched from the ground and cruise missiles ranging between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.