S-500 to receive multiple specialized radars

The prospective air and missile defense S-500 complex will become the backbone of the national aerospace defense. In contrast to numerous military designs, the creation of the weapon is kept secret. It is only known that S-500 have been included into the Russian arms program up to 2027. The characteristics of the weapon are classified, the Russian Arms project of the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily writes.

Russia begins S 500 production
Scale model of the S-500 TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher) air defense missile system  (Picture source: D.R.)

S-500 is to crown the air and missile defense as it can operate at altitudes inaccessible for other weapons - 100 km and higher, i.e. in the near space where most military satellites in charge of reconnaissance, communications, navigation and targeting operate. Ballistic missile trajectories reach their top in the near space. Reentry vehicles separate at an altitude of a hundred kilometers and fly back to the earth surrounded by a swarm of dummy targets. So far the near space was inaccessible for destruction means.

Open sources said the complex will be armed with super long guided missile 40N6 with the operational altitude of 200-250 kilometers. Ground radars cannot help the missile in space. Therefore, 40N6 has a different control system. Its homing warhead can operate in semi-active and fully active regime. Upon a command from the ground, it begins to independently search for the target and automatically aim at it.

Two-stage solid-fuel nine-meter long missile develops a speed of Mach 9 and can intercept targets flying at a speed of Mach 15.6. The missile maneuvers with a 25g overload. It is not the limit for air defense. Operational Russian 53T6 antimissiles sustain a 200g overload.

40N6 carries high-explosive fragmentation warhead to a range of 500 kilometers. The hit probability is 95 percent. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said in 2017 an air defense guided long-range missile was undergoing acceptance trials. He was most likely speaking about 40N6.

S-500 is distinguished also by the architecture. In previous weapons a single radar was in charge of detection, lock-on and tracking of all types of targets. S-500 has several specialized radars adapted for a specific flying craft. One deals with aircraft and helicopters, the other one with cruise missiles, the third with ballistic missiles, and the fourth with satellites. The complex will be also armed with special missiles for each type of targets. S-400 Triumph has a similar arsenal although it is not that broad. A recent footage showed S-500 component Yenisey tracking targets at demonstration aerospace drills at Ashuluk range in Astrakhan.

The Defense Ministry said S-500 supplies to the troops would begin in 2020. The Zhukov Aerospace Academy is already training operators. In February 2018 TASS reported the beginning of production of weapon components. Two enterprises of Almaz-Antey in Kirov and Nizhny Novgorod began producing missiles and automobile launchers with semitrailers, the Russian Arms project of the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily writes.

© Copyright 2018 TASS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.