The new S-500 Air Defense System has been tested in Russia. For the first time, footage from the tests was made public. The Russian Ministry of Defense said that a new test of the S-500 Prometheus air defense system was successfully completed at the Kapustin Yar space base in the city of Znamensk in the Astrakhan Oblast.
According to Russian Defense Ministry officials, the S-500 air defense system successfully hit a high-speed ballistic target during the latest test. After firing, the target was determined to be destroyed. “The S-500 anti-aircraft missile system has no analogues in the world,” the ministry said in a statement. “It is designed to destroy the entire spectrum of a potential enemy’s current and potential aviation attack weapons across the entire altitude and speed range.”
“Once the full test cycle is complete, the equipment plans provide for the delivery of the first S-500 system to the Air Defence and Missile Defence unit near Moscow,” said the Russian Defense Ministry, without specifying a time frame.
The S-500, an update to the S-400 system, was delayed for several years. Shortly after the first S-400s were deployed in 2007, Almaz-Antey, the same company that built the S-300 and S-400, announced the development of a new air and missile defense system. The system was supposed to be ready for full production and distribution in 2016 or 2017, but that never happened. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu previously stated that the Russian army will receive S-500s in 2020, and that experts have been working on the system since 2017. Defense officials in the country also claim that the system’s trials will be completed in 2021, and that the system would be ready for use by the army in the same year.
The S-500’s intercept radius is around 600 kilometers. Furthermore, the system is said to be capable of detecting and hitting ten ballistic supersonic targets as well as hypersonic missile warheads traveling at speeds of up to seven kilometers per second. According to the results of the tests, the defensive weapon has the largest range on Russian soil.
The S-500 is a mobile air defense missile system with launchers deployed on the 10×10 “BAZ-69096” vehicle. In addition, the S-400 system’s reaction time, which is 9-10 seconds, has been lowered to 3-4 seconds for the S-500. The altitude value of the missiles to be utilized in the S-500 system is stated to be 185 kilometers.