Spokespeople for the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation denied reports about the trials of Russia's state-of-the-art S-500 Prometei (Prometheus) anti-aircraft missile system in Syria.
For the trials of the new missile system in severe climate conditions, Russia could use Alushuk range ground in the Astrkhan region (in Russia's south). The climate conditions in the area of the range ground are just as severe as in Syria in terms of the trial of any air defence systems, officials said.
The S-500 system is designed to combat ballistic and aerodynamic targets at long distances. There was no need to test the new systems in Syria, representatives of the ministry said, commenting on the original report that appeared in the Izvestia newspaper.
The air defense system in Syria protects Russian military facilities in Tartus and Khmeimim from all classes of ballistic and aerodynamic targets. Latest air defense systems S-400, Pantsir-S1, Tor-M2 and Su-35S fighters are used for the echeloned air defense system of the Russian Air Force in Syria.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said that new S-500 systems would be supplied to the Russian Army in 2020. The missile system was designed for 25 years of operational life. During the trials, the new system struck a target at a distance of 481.2 km, which was 80 km farther than any existing air defense system could reach.
Turkish President Erdogan personally ordered to shoot down the Russian Su-24 fighter jet on November 24, 2016, when the aircraft was on a combat mission in Syria