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04:33 AM, January 20, 2018
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S-400 air defence system in Russia; Image via TASS

Auxiliary components for S-400 air defense systems being sent from Russia to China have been damaged during shipment by sea near the English Channel, the Russian defense industry cooperation service (FSMTC) said Friday.

Sputnik news quoted FSMTC spokeswoman Maria Vorobyeva as stating that ship carrying the components has been caught in a storm while passing the English Channel and was forced to return to Russia.

"As a result, part of the auxiliary components shipment on board was damaged. The evaluation of damages for insurance purposes is underway," Vorobyeva said.

The damaged components were not described by the spokeswoman. "Upon the completion of this work, the undamaged equipment will be shipped to the customer by the same ship, while the components substituting the damaged ones will be shipped later," she added.

The S-400 carries three types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range. It integrates a multifunctional radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and a command and control center.

China has become the first foreign state to sign a contract on supplies of Russia's S-400 systems. It has signed to buysix battalions of S-400 with a total price of $3 billion. The contract on the delivery of the S-400 to China is expected to be fulfilled by 2020, according to the FSMTC, Sputnik said.

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