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Russia begins deliveries of S-400 to China, but isn’t transferring the technology

Russia has begun deliveries of the S-400 Triumf air defense missile system to China, but the 2014 contract does not include transfer of technology, Tass reported.

“The implementation of the contract has begun, the first shipment has been sent to China,” an unnamed source told Tass on Thursday, January 18.

The delivery includes a control station, a radar station, power and support equipment, and other parts of the S-400 system, the source said, adding that the contract did not include technology transfer or licensed local production.

China, the first foreign government to receive S-400 systems, sent service members train on the system in Russia last year.

NATO member Turkey has also agreed to purchase the S-400, raising concerns about data security, particularly with the F-35.

Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) wants to connect the F-35 systems with the Turkish Air Force information network, HvBS. If the S-400 is also connected to the HvBS, there is a risk that data collected by the advanced Joint Strike Fighter’s sensors may end up being transmitted to Russia.

It is unclear how transfer of technology factors into the Turkey deal, but Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in October that Turkey could annul the S-400 deal if Moscow refuses to transfer technology.

Deliveries to Turkey are likely to begin in late 2019 or early 2020.

Russia is also in talks to sell the S-400 system to Saudi Arabia, with both sides reportedly aiming to finalise the contract before the end of 2017. India is also interested in procuring the system.

Russia’s S-400 Triumf long- and medium-range air defense missile system can use five different missile types to destroy aerial targets including planes and cruise and ballistic missiles at a range of 40 to 400 kilometers (25 to 250 miles) at altitudes of up to 30 km.

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