Russia deploys missile defense regiment

Aug. 15, 2012 at 9:43 AM

MOSCOW, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The Russian military announced Wednesday it put a regiment with the S-400 missile defense system on duty in the east of the country.

The military said it deployed a regiment armed with the S-400 missile defense system to the port city of Nakhodka in the Far East, reports Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti.

The S-400 system can track multiple targets as far as 370 miles. A regiment contains two battalions that each consists of eight launchers with 32 missiles.

The Russian military said there should 20 regiments deployed in maritime and border areas by 2020.

The deployment to the Far East comes as U.S. military officials assess their strategic defense posture in the Asia-Pacific.

In early August, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said, following a tour of Asia, that continuity of mission in the Asia-Pacific was needed given the historic presence of the U.S. military.

Russia has expressed concern about U.S. missile defense plans in Eastern European countries, saying the deployment would upset the regional strategic balance. Washington said the missile shield is needed to deter Iranian threats.

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