Air Defense: August 31, 2003


: Vietnam is buying two battalions of S-300MU1 surface-to-air missiles from Russia. The deal is worth $200-300 million. The S-300 system is roughly equivalent to the U.S. Patriot system and was known as the SA-10 in the West when the system first appeared in the early 1980s. While details were not given, the deal probably involves about a hundred missiles and six radars and control units. S-300 missiles weigh 1.8 tons each and are 26 feet long and about 20 inches in diameter. The missiles have a range of some 200 kilometers and can hit targets as high as 100,000 feet. The missile has a 320 pound warhead. China has been a major purchaser of S-300 systems, reportedly including over a thousand missiles. 


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