ZRMS C-400 “Triumph” was adopted by the Russian army 28 on April 2007, and already on 6 in August of the same year, the first division, armed with this air defense system, took up combat duty in the Moscow region in the city of Elektrostal. In the West, the complex was defined as SA-21 (Growler, literally "Growler"). According to information from open sources, 8 regiments (2015 division, one regiment consisting of three divisions) with 10 launchers are already deployed in Russia on 21 September 168 of the year. The plans of the Ministry of Defense of Russia to purchase up to 2020, 56, C-400 divisions. According to a study that was published by the Australian analytical center Air February Australia in February 2009, C-400 has no analogues in the world and significantly surpasses the well-known American Patriot air defense systems.
October 27 2015, Anatoly Isaikin told reporters that Rosoboronexport is going to put the People's Republic of China on the Triumph C-400 anti-aircraft missile systems within the terms specified by the contract. At the same time, the head of Rosoboronexport did not specify when exactly this contract will be implemented, refraining from explaining any details of this transaction. It is worth noting that at present it is not even known the exact number of complexes acquired by China. The media featured information on 4-x or 6-ti divisional kits. The composition of the divisions is also unknown. Whether it will correspond to the Russian standard structure (8 PU in the division) or will be different, we will probably not find out soon.
At the same time, not everyone in Russia perceives this deal with optimism. On the one hand, the sale of modern, world-wide unparalleled missiles to China is a very good opportunity to consolidate the strategic nature of the relationship between our two countries. This becomes especially relevant in the light of recent events and a shift in the vector of Russia's foreign policy to the east. The so-called "eastern reversal" that occurs at the time of rather tense relations with the countries of the West. Yes, and two billion dollars, namely this amount of the transaction was announced earlier, will not be superfluous money for sitting on a strict diet of the Russian budget. However, all these positive aspects can be blocked by the fact that the Chinese military-industrial complex in the past few decades has managed to establish itself as a very skillful plagiarist in the field of military-technical cooperation (MTC).
The Internet resource Sputnik International News just recently published a material stating that in the near future C-400 systems purchased from Russia will be successfully replicated and copied under the guise of products of the military-industrial complex of China. In particular, opinions were cited that the technologies used in the Triumph complex will be thoroughly studied with a view to their further use in the three promising developments of Chinese air defense and missile defense systems. We are talking about the development of HQ-29, HQ-26 and HQ-19 systems (in Russian “Huntsi” is translated as “Red flag”). It is worth noting that earlier China had already widely used the technologies of the C-300 complexes acquired from Russia when creating its own HQ-9 air defense system, which today is actively promoting for export.
It is worth noting that China is really very actively working on modern long-range air defense systems for new generations, which include HQ-29, HQ-26 and HQ-19. It is reported that HQ-29 will have a missile similar to the American-made MIM-104F tactical anti-missile system PAC-3. Allegedly, in the nose of an anti-aircraft guided missile of this complex, more than 100 mini-engines are located, which are used to correct the missile’s flight and ensure its direct hit at a ballistic target. There is information that flight tests of these missiles have already been carried out. HQ-26 uses missiles created on the basis of the missile system of the HQ-9 complex, which will be equivalent to the American SM-3 SAMs. They will get more powerful starting accelerators and should go into service with combat ships of the naval forces of China. The third complex HQ-19 is a response to the American anti-missile complex THAAD, it also possesses the HQ-9B index (in contrast to the anti-aircraft variant HQ-9A). Perhaps all three systems are already being tested. At the same time, it is possible that the C-400 air defense systems acquired from Russia will make their immodest technological contribution to the process of bringing to the mind and modernization of the listed Chinese promising anti-missile systems. Thus, Russia is taking a risk, after earning two billion dollars, it will be possible to get a serious competitor in the international arms market. At the same time, the lost profit can cut off the income from the sale of C-400 to China.
Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, commented on the possible consequences of this deal. According to him, the Chinese can really copy everything they get to. It is rather difficult to judge how technically perfect their analogs are, since such information is confidential, it is impossible to verify these data. Therefore, all HQ-29 test reports with a MIM-104F-like rocket and having 100 mini-engines in the nose are difficult to both confirm and deny. The Chinese themselves could reliably tell about this, since, besides them, no one has access to the tests of such a technique, but for obvious reasons they remain silent.
At the same time, the fact that the Chinese military industrial complex is able to copy the SM-3 SAMs does not mean at all that they have an analogue of the AEgis control information system (combat information and control system). The similar system created on the basis of the French system Thomson-CSF TAVITA, China has. But it’s very difficult to judge how their PIUS and radar are similar to American ones and are comparable to them, so the presence or absence of the Celestial own Aegis system is rather a rhetorical question.
Returning to C-400, Alexander Khramchikhin noted that it was not worth China to deliver C-400 air defense systems to China. According to the expert, China should be on the first place in the black list of potential buyers of military equipment, but in Russia they decided to do the opposite. According to the expert, China should not sell at all weapon. And not only and not so much because it is our competitor in the global arms market, but because China is one of the main potential opponents of Russia, which consistently and systematically engages in strengthening its own armed forces. In this aspect, Khramchikhin’s opinion differs from the official rhetoric of the Russian authorities, who want to see their strategic partner in China.
At the same time, directly on the market of air defense systems and missile defense systems, China and without selling the latest Russian C-400 system to it can compete with Russia. For example, the People's Republic of China recently won a tender to supply Turkey with its own HQ-9 air defense systems, while Russia offered time-tested C-300. Commenting on this deal, Khramchikhin said that if Turkey chose Chinese HQ-9, this does not mean that this system is superior to the Russian C-300 complex in terms of price-quality ratio. Hinting that there is still such a criterion as “price rollback”, and the East, as is known, is a delicate matter.
Another expert who gave comments to the Free Press, reserve colonel, member of the expert council of the chairman of the Military Industrial Commission under the Russian government, Viktor Murakhovsky, noted that the analogy between C-400 and the latest Chinese systems is rather relative, since these are different systems. Differences both in the field of application and in their capabilities, as well as in their intended purpose. If we talk about analogues of SM-3 missiles, then such a rocket is part of the ship's missile defense system, which is designed to work at high altitudes (up to near space). HQ-26 is not able to solve such tasks, most likely it is something between a Patriot PAC-3 air defense system and a missile defense system of the THAAD direct action theater. All reports that China seeks to create for the HQ-26 an analogue of the SM-3 missiles with kinetic striking elements are expert assumptions or just speculation. Officially, Beijing did not declare such characteristics. In comparison with the defense complex of Russia, the Chinese defense industry is a very closed area.
The United States and Russia today sell more weapons than China, and behave more openly when disclosing the tactical and technical parameters of their weapons. Despite this, the PRC is now ranked third in the world in arms sales. Commenting on the contract with Turkey for the supply of missile defense systems, Viktor Murakhovsky noted that, in fact, China supplied Ankara with copies of the Russian C-XNUMPPMU-300 and PMU-1, winning this tender through price dumping. According to him, on a number of characteristics, HQ-2 is inferior to C-XNUMPPMU-9, not to mention the more modern C-300 system. Simply, Russia was not ready to work with Turkey under the same conditions as China, which is ready to go on price dumping in order to enter the market. It is also assumed that Turkish-made chassis will be used in the complexes supplied by Ankara, and in the future Turkish defense companies will be able to take part in the production of this complex.
On the issue of selling C-400 to China, Viktor Murakhovsky is of the opinion, diametrically opposed to the opinion of Alexander Khramchikhin. According to him, such a deal is necessary in order to restore the normal volume of military-technical cooperation between the countries. It should be understood that after the 2017, in the Russian Federation, the systems of the new generation C-500 should appear in service. For example, the C-400 uses the same rockets as the complexes of the previous generation. A new "long-range" rocket on 400 kilometers should appear just now. That is, the C-500 SAMs will have a completely new missile equipment, as well as new means of target designation and intelligence.
At the same time, the expert assesses the capabilities of China’s missile defense very highly, but so far China cannot compete with Russia and the USA. Rather, it is a competitor only in the arms market. Moreover, with the fact that China is our opponent, Murakhovsky strongly disagrees. According to him, the direction of China's military construction indicates that the main focus is on development fleet и aviation. In general, it is directed to the coastal and distant sea zones in the southeast side of the Asia-Pacific region. It is obvious that China is preparing to defend its disputed islands from Japan, while ensuring freedom and safety of navigation, as well as providing markets in the Asia-Pacific region with serious cover from its naval forces.
But the defense of the mainland in Beijing is also not forgotten. Many believe that the Russian C-400 complexes are planned to be deployed around the Chinese capital to protect it. According to Viktor Murakhovsky, China at this stage of development does not have an integrated missile defense system. At the same time, Beijing possesses prototypes and ready-made developments, with the help of which it seeks to build missile defense in the positional areas of its intercontinental ballistic missiles in order to maintain its potential for retaliation in the event of aggression. And the Russian C-400 system can also be used for this purpose. China is well aware and aware of the capabilities of this Russian complex. In the sense that its capabilities far exceed all that is available to the PRC at the given moment of time.