New Details on Russia's S-550 Missile Defence System - A Specialist Anti-ICBM S-500 Derivative

Following an announcement by the Russian Defence Ministry on November 9th that a new air defence system, the S-550, was under development, new details regarding the weapons system have been announced. Speaking to the Ria Novosti news agency, sources in the defence industry stated that the S-550 would become the world's first mobile special operation missile defence system capable of effectively destroying intercontinental range ballistic missiles, and would be a more specialised derivative of the S-500 Prometheus. “The S-550’s capabilities to intercept warheads of enemy ballistic missiles, mainly, intercontinental ones, as well as space attack weapons will be by an order greater than the capabilities of the S-400 and the S-500, as well as those of the U.S. THAAD and AEGIS air defences fitted with the 3M-3 Block IIB missiles”, one source was quoted as stating. Another added: "the development of a new system is currently at an advanced stage.” 

The first images of launchers associated with the S-500 were released in July, and missiles for the system entered production the following month. Advanced features including its very high degree of situational awareness, its 600km engagement range, its ability to intercept hypersonic and space targets including satellites and ICBMs, and its ability to network with older air defence systems such as S-400s to maximise situational awareness. The much larger missiles carried by the S-500 compared to the S-400 mean that each launcher only carries two missiles rather than four. The S-550 is expected to use the same missile launcher configuration. 

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