One shouldn’t ignore what doesn’t make sense . . . last week the Russian press reported again that the Baltic Fleet’s PVO units (Kaliningrad’s 3rd Aerospace Defense Brigade?) will receive their first S-400 launchers before year’s end. The first report came in August. ITAR-TASS cited a source this time – Baltic Fleet Commander, Vice-Admiral Viktor Chirkov.
Chirkov didn’t say how many the fleet will get, but he said the S-400 will replace old S-200 (SA-5 / Gammon) surface-to-air missiles. He says his crews are currently conducting “acceptance-handover” launches, presumably at Ashuluk.
It doesn’t seem logical. SAM brigades around Moscow can’t get S-400s on time and Chirkov is talking about putting them in Kaliningrad. And his assertion he’ll get them this month seems odd given the loose schedules and passed deadlines associated with the program.
President Medvedev just finished saying one measure against European missile defense would be deploying the S-400 to protect SYaS. But SYaS aren’t based in the Russian exclave. It seems Medvedev would’ve announced it if the military intended to put the new SAMs in Kaliningrad. Are S-400s going to intercept SM-3s launched from Poland? Are they going to protect Iskanders in Kaliningrad?
We’re left waiting to see the logic (and truth) in these reports. Of course, there doesn’t necessarily have to be a logic compelling or sensible to outsiders.
This move could not only help protect Iskander’s in Kaliningrad region – as you mentioned – as well as the Baltic Sea base there, but also expand Russia’s air-defense and interception range into Poland as a tit-for-tat for the latter hosting US missiles: “Now Warsaw and most of Poland is within range of our S-400” this move says. Let’s not forget that Poland is beginning to host US conventional forces as well. So this move makes sense on on these three reasons above.
As someone from the US I find it hard to think of a time when the US attacks Russia. But that is of course my point of view. I think most people in the US think of Russia in a positive light. I no longer think of Russia as enemy, but there are times I wonder if you are friend. For those of us here missile defense makes sense. We listen to Russia talk about it and can’t really understand what they fear about it. I would say we encourage Russia to build their own. I do think that the state right now of Russia’s conventional forces is part of the reason that they are so against it. I am not saying Russia is weak or anything. The talk about the threat from NATO is in my mind misplaced really as it seems that in the future for Russia it is Chine that is the real threat. I do hope I am wrong about their being any threat to Russia. I think most people of both Russia and the USA want peace, but I am sure we both have those that push for conflict every now and again.
“most people in the US think of Russia in a positive light”
LOL are you really sure you’re American?