EXCLUSIVE – Satellite images shot Sunday and exclusively obtained by Fox News show a newly deployed Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile battery in the Dzhankoy airbase in Crimea.
The intelligence report by ImageSat International indicates that the infrastructure for the S-400 battery was prepared in recent months, a long time before last weekend's naval encounters that sparked new tension between Russia and Ukraine.
The images showed a bare ground in April 2018, and construction by November 10 – two weeks before the recent escalation.
The image captured Sunday confirms the deployment. The eight launchers of the S-400 battery are divided into four, which are located in the southwest area of the airbase -- as well as two radar systems and several trucks nearby. One of them is suspected to carry S-400 missiles.
The mobile S-400 missile has a range of up to almost 250 miles and can climb to an altitude of almost 19 miles. It's intended to bring down a variety of aerial threats, from aircraft to cruise and ballistic missiles.
On November 28, 2018, the Russian defense ministry issued a statement, days after Russian warships seized multiple Ukrainian naval vessels, escalating the conflict with Ukraine over the land Russia annexed in 2014.
Russia has bolstered the Black Sea peninsula’s military defenses with three S-400 systems since 2017. The present deployment reinforces already existing S-400 batteries.