According to Hong Kong media Mingpao, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recently purchased another batch of S-300 air defense missile systems from Russia. These defense systems can equip 8 surface-to-air missile battalions. Russian military contractors said in their defense that the contract to supply this defense missile system to China was already signed.
Mingpao quoted a source from the Russian media which stated that the CCP's purchase this time is the latest improved S-300 air defense missile system—named S-300PMU. The missile's range can reach 200 kilometers. In addition to shooting down airplanes, it can intercept strategic cruise missiles. Russia officially began producing this air defense missile only this year and even the Russian army have not been equipped with it yet.
The media report concluded that this is the third CCP's air defense missile contract with Russia with the total expenditure for the contract estimated at $US 1 billion dollars. The first and second contracts were in the mid 1990's and in 2004. A Russian military person believes that with the three air defense missile systems, the air defense missile net could basically cover and protect all main industries and economic centers in China.
Russia has rejected the $US 1.5 billion contract to sell to the CCP the 34 Il-76 military transport aircrafts and 4 Il-78 aircraft-refueling vehicles. It's been reported that the CCP has already express its dissatisfaction, even canceling the scheduled September meeting between the Defense Ministers of the both countries. But military commentators believed that the CCP has no other alternative but to wait in patience while the world watches on.