Russian S-500 air defense system to fire antimissile

S-500 air defense system will fire a new antimissile. The design of the weapon, which has to down hypersonic targets, is to be completed this year. The antimissile has passed the tests and confirmed characteristics, the Izvestia daily writes quoting Defense Ministry sources.
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S-500 air defense system (Picture source: Russian MoD)

They said the new antimissile for S-500 is in a high state of readiness. Successful trials were held at Sary-Shagan range in Kazakhstan. A series of test launches confirmed the characteristics and the antimissile hit the target with assigned precision. The sources refused to disclose the index and characteristics of the antimissile. They only said that besides S-500, the antimissile can be fired by the upgraded stationary missile defense of Moscow.

The antimissile has to destroy ballistic targets. It is distinguished by a higher speed and sophisticated guidance system. The antimissile has to physically hit the target and destroy it. Only in this case, the reentry vehicle of a ballistic missile will be destroyed.

President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting on defense in late May that S-500 trials would be soon completed. The air defense system has to be finalized in 2021. Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov said S-500 factory trials had been completed and the first launchers are to be supplied in 2021. Batch supplies are scheduled in 2025. The creation of S-500 began in the 2000s and is nearing completion, however, its characteristics have not been disclosed. The Defense Ministry said the weapon will enjoy major capabilities to fight hypersonic targets.

The missile defense of Moscow is undergoing a major upgrade. Radars are upgraded to detect attacking reentry vehicles. Outdated electronic equipment is replaced. A modern 53T6M antimissile is being designed. The modernization will double the combat capabilities of the missile defense.

In 2020, the Defense Ministry three times announced antimissile tests at Sary-Shagan. They were held in the presence of the command of the 1st air and missile defense army armed with A-135 system. “It is impossible to say which antimissile they test. It is known that the upgraded 53T6M is designed for Moscow missile defense. It has been created for several years and was tested at Sary-Shagan. However, there were no reports that it was created for S-500,” expert Dmitry Kornev said. “It is possible that 53T6M will be fired by S-500. However, they have to display a mobile S-500 launcher for the heavy and 10-meter long missile, which weighs several tons. Such a mobile launcher is technically possible, but it has not been ever seen,” he added.

Kornev believes the design of a completely new antimissile is more realistic. Modern technologies can produce an antimissile similar in capabilities to silo-based 53T6M, but with a lower size fit for mobile launchers. It will be possible to know S-500 characteristics and new missiles only after the weapon is accepted into service, Kornev said.

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