S-500 Missile Defense System is 'Rapidly Developing,' Will Join Russia's Aerospace Forces Soon

By Prei Dy, | April 17, 2017

The S-500 anti-missile defense system will soon join Russia's Aerospace. (YouTube)

The S-500 anti-missile defense system will soon join Russia's Aerospace. (YouTube)

The S-500 next generation missile defense system is being upgraded and will join the Russian air defense soon, Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, commander of the Aerospace Forces, said last week.

"Every year we get five S-400 air defense systems, new radar stations. We are satisfied with that pace; the further development is ongoing. We [the Defense Ministry] and the defense industry are not standing still, the modern S-500 missile system is rapidly developing, and in the near future it will be put into service with the air defense," Bondarev said.

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The S-500 Prometey, which has an operational range between 400 and 600 kilometers, is designed to intercept and destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles, and other aerial targets like planes and helicopters. It could also simultaneously detect and attack up to 10 ballistic and hypersonic missiles, traveling at a speed of 7 kilometers per second, as well as engage targets with an altitude of up to 200 kilometers.

The S-500 is reportedly being designed to use hit-to-kill interceptors, which bear similarities to Lockheed Martin's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. It is expected to be highly mobile and will use a network of radars, including the 91N6A(M) battle management radar, a modified 96L6-TsP acquisition radar, the new 76T6 multimode engagement, and the 77T6 ABM engagement radars to reach targets at vast distances, the National Interest reported citing the Missile Threat.

According to Vladimir Lyaporov, the head of the Zhukov Air and Space Defense Academy, a training program has been launched for specialists who will work with the S-500 systems.

"The S-500 will be the backbone of Russia's integrated air-defense and missile-defense system," Viktor Baranets, a military expert, told Radio Sputnik, further noting other advanced features of the S-500 compared with the S-300 and S-400 such as its capability to destroy low-earth-orbit satellites and manipulate warheads.

"In these terms, it is second to none. A huge step has been made in the development of missiles for the S-500. Now, it is necessary to conduct tests as soon as possible and then the S-500 will enter service," Baranets said.

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