Serial production of missiles for S-500 Prometey begins

Enterprises of Russia’s Almaz-Antey Concern have launched serial production of missiles for the S-500 Prometey air defense systems currently in development, a defense industry source told TASS.

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“In accordance with the contract between the Russian Defense Ministry and the Almaz-Antey Concern, signed in late 2020, the production of serial missiles for the S-500 to be delivered to the Aerospace Forces is under way,” he said.

TASS has no official information about the issue.

According to another source, state trials of S-500 “are under way at a testing range in southern Russia.” They are expected to be completed in late 2021.

The advanced Russian-made S-500 air defense missile system has hit a high-speed ballistic target at the Kapustin Yar range during a test launch, the Defense Ministry’s press office said on July 20.

At a meeting with graduates of military universities in the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin said new unique weapons will shortly go on combat duty in Russia, including the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, the Tsirkon shipborne hypersonic missile, the S-500 Prometei surface-to-air missile system, and others. Hypersonic weapons - the Avangard and Kinzhal - have already gone on combat duty, he added.

In July 2020, the commander of Missile Defence Troops of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Maj. Gen. Sergei Babakov said that it was planned to start arming the Russian army with the promisingS-500 Prometheus systems in the coming years.

The S-500 is not just a conventional air and missile defence system, but an weapon that is capable of destroying of low-orbit satellites and space-launched weapons from hypersonic aircrafts, shock hypersonic UAVs and orbital platforms. It will fundamentally change Russia’s air defence capabilities, says Col. (ret) Sergei Khatylev, former head of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the special forces command of the Russian Air Force.

“The system is capable of solving several tasks, for example, the detection and destruction of conventional aerodynamic targets, airplanes and helicopters, cruise missiles – anything that flies at speeds up to hypersonic. But besides this, the S-500 can shoot down ballistic targets, and not just during the downward portion of their flight, but at all other stages as well. And here the speeds are already cosmic – several km per second,” Khatylev said, speaking to the Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper.

With its ability to take out targets at a range of up to 600 km and an altitude of nearly 200 km, the S-500 can effectively defend against targets in near space. “The complex features a partition approach where one locator works on targets flying at maximum altitude, while the other is used for those flying near to the ground at altitudes up to 30 km,” he explains.

“With the advent of a complex like the S-500, we can talk about the anti-missile defence of whole territories. Later, when the production of these systems is increased and they are improved, we’ll be able to speak about creating on their basis the aerospace defences of the entire Russian Federation,” Khatylev says.

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