Russia to put new radars into service.

Updated: 2012-01-09 09:45


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MOSCOW - New-generation radars would be put on combat duty this year in southern Russia as a part of the country's missile early warning system, the Russian Defense Ministry said Sunday.

Ministry spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin said three Voronezh-class radars had already been deployed in Kaliningrad region, Leningrad region and Krasnodar Territory.

The Kaliningrad has been in service since late November after President Dmitry Medvedev said new missile systems would be stationed in western and southern Russia in response to a planned US missile shield in Europe.

"The new radar in the Leningrad Region is ready to go on combat duty. Another new radar is on test duty in Armavir in Krasnodar Territory," Zolotukhin said.

The spokesman also revealed that another fourth generation Voronezh-class radar would be installed near the Siberian city of Irkutsk by the end of 2012.

"It is not complete yet, but it is already working in the test program," Zolotukhin said.

According to local media reports, the Voronezh-class radars are a breakthrough compared with Russia's older Dnepr and Daryal class radars. The radar in Kaliningrad region has a range of 6,000 km and can simultaneously track around 500 objects.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of US-led NATO missile defense facilities near its borders and has called for a legally binding guarantee from the United States and NATO that the missile defense shield is not targeting Russia.