The Vedomosti report came after St Petersburg's Fontanka newspaper reported on 11 September that the city's Kirov factory had an order to build 22 of the tracked vehicles used with the S-300VM system for an unidentified foreign customer. It published photographs showing one of the vehicles painted in a desert colour, although another was painted green. The GM-830 chassis is only used to carry the S-300V series.
Alexander Fomin, the head of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, suggested that no such contract had been finalised when he said Cairo and Moscow had reached a preliminary agreement for a USD3.5 billion defence deal.
While Fomin provided no details of the deal, Egyptian officials have previously said they were interested in obtaining more air defence equipment from Russia. The Egyptian military already operates Russian/Soviet-made 2K12 Kub, S-125 Pechora-2M, Buk-M1-2 and Tor-M1 air defence systems, but does not have a long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM).
Also known as the Antey-2500, the S-300VM is the current export version of a family of air defence systems developed in parallel with the S-300P series. It can use two different missiles, one for intercepting medium-range ballistic missiles, the other for air-breathing targets.
Its manufacturer, Almaz Antey, says it can destroy all types of aircraft, including those with very low radar cross sections, cruise missiles, and tactical and medium-range ballistic missiles. It can simultaneously engage up to four targets out to a maximum range of 200 km and altitude of 25,000 m.
However, the S-300VM has not sold as well as the S-300P series, with Venezuela being the only known export customer.
Venezuela S-300VM "Antey-2500" medium-range anti-ballistic missile system. 200 km range.