Russia's Air and Space Forces are to receive state-of-the-art S-500 Prometey ("Prometheus") anti-aircraft missile systems by 2020, Lieutenant-General Viktor Gumenny, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force said. Russia has been developing the new system since 2011.
The new anti-aircraft missile systems of the S-500 will have a number of advantages. The S-500 is believed to be a universal anti-aircraft long-range and high-altitude missile interception system with an enhanced missile defense capability.
According to information from open sources, the S-500 has an impact radius of 600 kilometers. The complex will be able to detect and simultaneously strike up to ten ballistic supersonic targets flying at speeds of up to seven kilometers per second. It will also be able to defeat combat blocks of hypersonic missiles. In a nutshell, the new complex will become one of the elements of counteraction to the USA's Prompt Global Strike Concept.
According to the National Interest, the S-500 of Russia will be similar to THAAD, integrated into a "single network" with S-400, S-300VM4 (Antey-2500) and S-350 (Vityaz) systems thus forming an integrated air defense system.
Generally speaking, experts believe that the S-500 can be attributed to the first generation of systems of anti-space defense, unrivaled throughout the world.
At present, Russia's air defenses are based on S-400 complexes. As of May of this year, the armed forces of the Russian Federation had nineteen S-400 regiments (38 divisions out of 304 launchers).
The S-400 Triumph system has gained a lot of international attention recently primarily because of Russia's agreements to sell those systems to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Given the history of the development of the American THAAD system that has experienced many problems in more than ten years of tests, there are reasons to believe that it will take Russia a long time to create an effective anti-missile system, the National Interest assumed.
However, Russia has extensive experience in the development of anti-missile systems, and her present-day complexes are still top of the line, so Russia can take her time.
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