reply to post by airspoon
Interesting. At first blush it would appear that Russia is actually playing nicely with the UN. But given puppetmaster Putin's history, we should
know better. Here are some interesting facts to consider:
"Vietnam has bought two S-300PMU-1 batteries (12 launchers) for nearly $300 million"
According to the article cited by the OP, Russia was under contract to sell at least five S-300PMU1s to Iran, so we may deduce that this deal was
worth, at a minimun, $750,000,000.
"The truck-mounted S-300PMU1, codenamed the SA-20 by NATO, can detect and shoot down any aircraft within a 120 km (75 miles) range."
"The next modernisation, called the S-300PMU (Russian C-300ПМУ, US DoD designation SA-10f) was introduced in 1992 for the export market and
featured the upgraded 5V55U missile which still utilised the intermediate SARH terminal guidance method and smaller warhead of the 5V55R but increased
the engagement envelope to give this missile roughly the same range and altitude capabilities as the newer 48N6 missile (max. range 150 km/93 mi). The
radars were also upgraded, with the surveillance radar for the S-300PMU being designated 64N6 (BIG BIRD) and the illumination and guidance radar being
designated 30N6-1 in the GRAU index."
Russia has sold various versions of the S-300 to at least 12 other countries according to the Wikipedia link. Russia has also developed an updated
system, the S-400:
"The S-400 Triumf (Russian С-400 «Триумф», formerly known as the S-300PMU-3/C-300ПМУ-3, NATO reporting name SA-21 GROWLER) was introduced
in 1999 and features a new, much larger missile with 2 per TEL. The project has been encountering delays since its original announcement and
deployment has only begun on a small scale in 2006. With an engagement range of up to 400 km (250 mi), depending on the missile variant used, and
specifically designed to counter stealth it is by far the most advanced version. Little else is known about this version."
Therefore, it would appear that Russia may simply be unloading excess and potentiallly outdated inventory. While a quarter of a billion dollars
sounds like a lot, I do wonder if Russia has decided that the potential ramifications for breaching the UN sancions against Iran outweighs the
relatively small return from the sale...
Edit to correct bad math and add S&F
[edit on 18-6-2010 by Yukitup]