Russia to start delivery of S-500 air defense system 'ahead of schedule'

Advanced system is reportedly able to intercept missiles in space.

By
July 9, 2019 22:19
1 minute read.
S-400 missile

Russian servicemen drive S-400 missile air defense systems during the Victory Day parade, marking the 73rd anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia May 9, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/SERGEI KARPUKHIN)

 
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Russia’s latest S-500 air defense missile system will be delivered to troops ahead of schedule following successful trials, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said on Tuesday.

“The successful preliminary trials have enabled the Defense Ministry of Russia to make a decision on cutting the time of starting the serial deliveries of this surface-to-air missile system to the troops. As a result, S-500 systems will start arriving for air defense missile regiments already in coming years,” Borisov was quoted by Russia’s TASS News Agency as saying.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said that deliveries of the S-500 systems to troops would begin in 2020.

“The successful preliminary trials have enabled the Defense Ministry of Russia to make a decision on cutting the time of starting the serial deliveries of this surface-to-air missile system to the troops. As a result, S-500 systems will start arriving for air defense missile regiments already in coming years,” TASS quoted Borisov as saying.

“Currently, stage-by-stage trials of various elements of the S-500 anti-aircraft missile system are underway, with the launches of new missiles unrivaled in the world,” the vice premier said.

According to Russian reports, the S-500 – also known as 55R6M “Triumfator-M” – is capable of destroying targets up to 600 kilometers away and can reportedly track and simultaneously strike up to 10 ballistic targets moving at speeds of up to 7 kilometers (4 miles) per second (about Mach 20 or 24,700 kph).

The system is expected to engage intermediate-range cruise and ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles with speeds of up to Mach 5 (about 6,200 kph.) and intercontinental ballistic missiles during their terminal phase.

Yuri Muravkin, deputy chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ anti-aircraft missile troops, was quoted by the Russian daily Krasnaya Zvezda as saying that the advanced system will “specifically” be aimed at countering attacks from space.

“Realizing the fact that nowadays and in the foreseeable future, the boundaries between air and space are being and will be erased as the aerial enemy gradually becomes an aerospace one, it is safe to say that the S-500 Prometey missile systems entering service is [already] in the pipeline,” he said.

The S-500 is designed to replace the S-400, which Russia has deployed to Syria and has sold to Iran and Turkey.

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