Development of S-500 Air Defense System nears completion
The world’s second-largest military power continues to gradually build up its defense capability with a next-generation version of mobile S-500 air defense system. The system - capable of destroying all existing and promising aerial targets in near space and in the atmosphere - will be ready next year, Caspian News reports.
In an interview with the Defense Ministry’s Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, Andrei Yudin, Aerospace Force Deputy Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant-General, said that Russia will complete its work on the most advanced S-500 anti-aircraft missile system in 2021.
"It should be noted that the work on developing the S-500 mobile air defense and anti-ballistic missile system is scheduled to be completed in 2021," Russia Today quoted Yudin as saying on Friday.
Russian S-500 anti-aircraft missile systems, dubbed Prometey, are by far the most advanced anti-missile system in the Russian arsenal and claim to be the best in the world. Branded as a silver bullet against stealth fighters in general and the F-35 in particular, the S-500 is reportedly capable to destroy low-orbit satellites and fifth-generation aircraft, in addition to its primary targets - cruise and ballistic missiles, which could already be dealt with by existing S-300 and S-400 units.
Created on the basis of the S-400, the range of the new Russian air defense system is expected to significantly surpass its predecessors. The S-500 will likely use a variety of missiles in addition to the 77N6 missile series, currently under development for the S-400, as a hit-to-kill interceptor for ballistic missile targets. With a widely expected maximum operating range of 600 km (373 miles) and a system response time of 3 to 4 seconds, the S-500 reaches a whopping 200 km (124 miles) farther and is around 6 seconds faster to respond than its S-400 predecessor.
The upcoming Russian S-500 system is being developed by the state-owned Almaz-Antey Corporation, which also developed the S-400 and S-300 air defense systems. Currently, the S-400 Triumf is considered Russia’s latest long- and medium-range surface-to-air missile system. It can engage targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (249 miles) and at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers (19 miles) under intensive enemy fire and jamming.