Russia’s New S-500 Hypersonic Air Defence System Downs Ballistic Missile in Latest Test

Russia’s S-500 long-range air defence system entered production in 2018 and is currently in testing with entry into service expected by mid-2022.  In August 2020 Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov announced the beginning of state tests of the S-500, with the latest test pitting the weapons system against a high-speed ballistic target according to a Defence Ministry statement. 

"At the Kapustin Yar training ground, the newest S-500 surface-to-air missile system performed test combat firing at a high-speed ballistic target," the ministry said, adding that the test had been successful. "After the completion of the full cycle of tests, it is planned to deliver the first S-500 system to the air defence unit in the Moscow Region," it continued, adding that the test confirmed the tactical and technical characteristics and high reliability of the system

Moscow has long been the priority for the deployment of the most advanced long-range defence systems - particularly those with strategic applications - from the world’s first air defence system of its kind the S-25 in the 1950s to the S-400 in 2007 which directly preceded the S-500. 

The S-500 is not intended to replace the S-400, which will remain in production for many years to come, and has a different role that places a greater emphasis on neutralising high-value targets. The new weapons system can neutralise space targets including satellites and space aircraft, as well as intercontinental-range ballistic missiles, hypersonic aircraft, bombers and heavy support aircraft such as airborne early warning jets. 

The S-400 by contrast, although capable of engaging many of these targets, is also optimised to neutralise lower end targets such as fighter aircraft, and can accordingly engage up to 80 aircraft at a time. 

The S-500 reportedly has a 600km engagement range against enemy aircraft - by far the longest in the world - with the S-400 restricted to 400km and Western systems limited to around 200km. 

This engagement range will allow Russia to reach targets deeper into Europe particularly if the S-500 is deployed to Kaliningrad or if Russia gains permission for deployment to Belarus. 

Deployment to the Kuril Islands, where Russia in December 2020 deployed its latest and most expensive active long-range air defence system the S-300V4, would also be a potential game-changer for security on the country's East Asian borders. The possibility of integrating the S-500 onto surface warships has also been raised, which would allow ships in international waters to engage targets very far inland. 

Post a Comment

If you have any doubt comment me.

Previous Post Next Post