Russia’s next-generation S.500 missile defense system could be delivered sooner than expected.
Moscow has completed tets of certain elements of S-500 system, including its launcher, the director-general of the Design Bureau for Special Machine-Building (part of Almaz-Antey company) said.
“In the interests of the air and missile defence troops, company experts have created units of the next-generation Triumfator-M mobile air defence system,” Vladimir Dolbenkov told Russian media. “A launcher, components of a multi-functional locator and a missile defense locator, an equipped chassis for a command post, and transport units for an early-warning radar system have been developed, and their tests are being completed.”
Could Russia’s S-500 be a stealth killer and threaten F-22 or F-35 aircraft?
US defense officials have expressed their concerns that the S-500 system could pose a threat for stealth aircraft like the F-22, F-35 and B-2.
The S-500 is expected to engage targets at altitudes of over 60 miles, which is higher than any existing missile defense systems. According to Russian state media reports, the system is able to detect and simultaneously attack up to ten ballistic missile warheads flying at speeds of over 4 miles a second.
The S-500 will also feature several distinct Yenisei radar phased-array antenna to spot and track aerial targets across an entire range of altitudesgeared towards different targets to detect planes, helicopters, UAS, drones and missiles.
The S-500 is expected to use the 91N6AM battle management system, a modified 96L6-TsP acquisition system, as well as the new 76T6 multimode engagement and 77T6 ABM engagement radars.
Russia claims that this missile will be able to engage targets including hypersonic missiles and could be modified to target satellites. Indeed, the system could be equipped with the 40N6 missile which offers an enormous engagement range of 400 km. Interestingly, there are reports that imply that some of Russia’s existing S-400 systems already use the 40N6 missile.
Russia showed interest to sell the S-500 system to China and India.
Deliveries of the initial S-500 systems should occur by the end of 2020.
China considers Russian S-400 missile systems a ‘necessity’, according to Russian media said quoting Chinese sources.
Because of its capabilities, several countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, and Qatar have expressed their appreciation for the S-400 system. China indeed was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014.