China Buys Russian Anti-Aircraft Missiles in Deal Estimated at $2 Billion

Russia delivered anti-aircraft missiles to China under a contract that may be valued as high as $2 billion.

OAO Air Defense Concern Almaz-Antei, a state-run weapons manufacturer, sold 15 batteries of S-300 missiles in 2007-2009, Zarina Gurieva, a company spokeswoman, said by phone today.

China, once the largest customer for Russian arms, has bought about 27 S-300 batteries from Russia beginning in the 1990s, the "bare minimum" for its arsenal, Konstantin Makienko, a defense analyst at the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, said by phone.

He valued the latest contract at about $2 billion. Gurieva declined to comment on the price.

Russia, the world's second-biggest arms exporter to developing nations according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service, is stepping up efforts to sell weapons to the Middle East, Latin America and Africa as orders from China decline. The country's contract to supply S-300s to Iran has been delayed after the United States and Israel said Tehran could use the missiles to thwart attacks on its nuclear facilities.

The missile, also known in the West as the SA-20, is able to destroy non-stealth aircraft as far as 100 miles (160 kilometers) away.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anastasia Ustinova in St. Petersburg at

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