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The Russian S-300 and S-400 Missile Systems

...New Vanguard 315 from Osprey Publishing

Title: The Russian S-300 and S-400 Missile Systems
Author: Steven J. Zaloga
Publisher: Osprey
ISBN: 978-1-4728-5376-9

Number 315 in the New Vanguard series from Osprey is another from well known author, Steve Zaloga. A 48-page soft-cover book in the standard style for the series.
During the Cold War I remember the integrated AA defence system used by the Soviet Union, covering low to high altitude threats. Offensive systems have changed over the years so the defence systems that are designed to protect them must change as well. This takes us through the development of the S-300 missile system developed by Russia in more recent times, systems which protect key Russian cities and other vital assets, and which are an important export product to so many other nations around the world. The system includes a number of different missiles as they have been developed and these are both explained and illustrated with some first class artwork profiles. Not only the launchers themselves, but also the radar systems and command vehicles which make up their complete batteries. The development story from the original S-300, through the S-300PS, the PMU Export variant, then the S-350, S-400 and most recently the S-500. Some nice clear explanations on their designs and capabilities, including the Russian tracked launchers along with the wheeled mountings which are a way of making things cheaper for their export customers in terms of maintenance. As we expect with these Osprey titles there is some high quality artwork, with profiles and some double-page spreads for scenic representations by illustrator Filipe Rodriguez. Everything is rounded off by a good clear assessment where some poor results are mentioned after these systems have been used in conflict zones such as Syria and Ukraine. Some may be to do with user training but either way, still interesting reading.
Author Steve Zaloga has done a fair number of books for Osprey and this is another excellent addition to that list. His day job has long been as a defence analyst, specialising in missile systems, and that knowledge is very clear from this excellent little book. Surface-to-Air (SAM) missile systems are a key defence system, and one which need to be understood and allowed for in any planning and design of new offensive systems and tactics. Super little book, great value and of course a useful reference for anyone building a model of any of these vehicle mounted system variants.
Thanks to Osprey for the review copy.


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