The Russian S-500 air defense system (ADS), said to counter not only aircraft, missiles and space weapons, but also satellites in low-earth orbit (LEO) has completed state tests and is set to enter service with the country’s military forces.
“Currently, a number of tests have been carried out with combat launches of anti-aircraft guided missiles at air targets. All tests have been completed with a positive result,” Commander of Missile Defence Troops of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Maj. Gen. Sergei Babakov, said in an interview with the Russian Defense Ministry-owned Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper.
Babakov added that first of the S-350 Vityaz ADS have already been delivered to the military. It was developed to replace older S-300PT-PS anti-aircraft systems. The system can defeat advanced standoff weapons threats such as cruise missiles, manned (including stealth) aircraft, medium and heavy unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as tactical ballistic missiles.
The system’s “first samples” will enter service this year while its serial delivery is scheduled for 2025, according to Sergei Chemezov, head of Russian state defense manufacturer, Rostec.
S-500 ‘Triumfator-Mor Prometheus’
The S-500 is dubbed as Space Defense System (SDS) for its ability to destroy targets in low orbit space besides hypersonic missiles, medium-range ballistic missiles and ICBMs. It is developed by Almaz-Antey Corporation which also manufactures S-400 and S-300 systems.
The Prometheus S-500 is expected to have an extended range of up to 600 km (an improvement of 200km over the S-400). The radar range is also more than that of the S-400 and the system will have the potential to destroy hypersonic and ballistic targets with interceptors operating at an altitude higher than 185km.
In previous tests, the S-500 system is said to have hit target missiles from a range of 480 km, the longest range strike by any ADS. According to unofficial information, the S-500s will have a response time of about 3-4 seconds, less than half of S-400’s 9-10 seconds.