Russia's Brand-New S-500 Missile System to Have Unprecedented Damage Radius
In an interview with Sputnik, Russian military expert Viktor Baranets specifically touted unprecedented the damage range of Russia's next-generation S-500 Prometey missile system, which is currently undergoing state tests.
Earlier this week, Pavel Sozinov, chief engineer of the Russian defense corparation Almaz-Antey said that Russia's next-generation S-500 surface-to-air missile system would be able to engage targets in the upper layer of the atmosphere, 100 kilometers [62 miles] above the Earth’s surface.
The S-500, designed by Almaz Antey, is said to have a range of 600 kilometers (more than 370 miles).
The system can simultaneously intercept up to ten ballistic and hypersonic missiles traveling at a speed of up to 7 kilometers per second.
Speaking to Sputnik, Viktor Baranets pointed, in particular, to the unique performance characteristics of the new Russian missile system.
"The S-500 will be capable of hitting targets at an altitude of up to 100 kilometers above the ground, which is actually the height of near space. The system's final tests will take place at one of the largest firing ranges in Kazakhstan, given that the S-500's effective damage range stands at 600 kilometers. There is no other such surface-to-air missile system in the world that has the same damage radius," he said.
According to him, among other things the S-500 system is also designed to destroy combat blocks of hypersonic missiles.
He noted that in terms of its characteristics, the S-500 will significantly exceed Russia's S-400 missile system and its American competitor, the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile system.
In this regard, he recalled that while the S-400 system can intercept targets at an altitude of 60 kilometers, for the S-500 the figure will stand at 100.
"The S-500 will also be able to quickly destroy targets flying below the 100 kilometer ceiling, including planes, helicopters and cruise missiles. As for its main competitor — the Patriot PAC-3 missile system, its main disadvantage is its short damage radius of just 20 kilometers," Baranets said.
Meanwhile, the Russian news network Zvezda described the S-500 as a whole set of measures to turn the Russian air defense system into a single information space.
According to Zvezda, "it is safe to say already now that Russia has created the world's first multi-stage air defense system, that will reliably protect the country from massive missile strikes," Zvezda said.
In early April, Viktor Bondarev, head of the Russian Aerospace Forces, said that the S-500 air defense systems will be put into service in the near future.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov, for his part, said that next year will see the start of the S-500 systems being supplied to the Russian Aerospace Forces. He declined to elaborate.