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New missile 49N6 for Russian S-400 air defense system in final stage

Trials of new Russian-made surface-to-air guided missiles 49N6 for S-400 air defense system have entered the final stage and they will be supplied to Russian armed forces for test operation in summer. The new missile can hit cruise missiles, aircraft and maneuvering reentry vehicles at a distance of 400 km. In future they will become the main missile for the latest generation of S-500 air defense missile system.

New missile 49N6 for Russian S 400 air defense system in final stage 925 001
The S-400 can fire a full range of surface-to-air missile including the 48N6E3, picture takes at MAKS airshow 2011 near Moscow, Russia. (Picture source Wikipedia)

The main command of the Aerospace Forces told the newspaper launch trials of 40N6 were held in February. Minor changes have been introduced according to the results. Another series of trials is scheduled in April-May after which the final decision on acceptance of the missile into service and its serial production would be made.

The 40N6 is a two-stage solid-fuel missile with a carrying hull and aerodynamic stabilizer fins. The range allows striking at facilities outside the range of ground radars. A principally new homing warhead was created for it. It can operate in an active regime and the radar of the missile will target it at the final trajectory section.

The new missile considerably expands the capabilities to hit targets and makes Russian air defense less vulnerable for adversary retaliation, said Lieutenant-General Alexander Gorkov, former commander of antiaircraft missile forces. He said it is due to highly protected 40N6 control system. The design of the new missile began in 2007. It was planned as a long-range missile to fight prospective air attack weapons, including hypersonic ones, in a wide range of altitudes up to the near space. The missile was designed for S-400 (to be engaged jointly with smaller-range missiles of the previous generation) and S-500. It will become the main weapon for S-500.

"It is guided by an inertial system. The homing warhead tracks the target and the missile can therefore hit objects over the horizon. It will compel the adversary to move its jamming devices several hundred kilometers back. That will decrease the effectiveness of adversary electronic warfare," Gorkov said.

He added 40N6 can be upgraded to fight satellites. In particular, it is necessary to change homing warhead components and add a targeting optical-electronic system.

The S-400 medium and long-range systems became operational in 2007. They were designed to protect strategic facilities and down cruise missiles, tactical and strategic aircraft, as well as maneuvering reentry vehicles of ballistic missiles.

The Triumph can hit aerodynamic targets at a distance of 250 km and combat ballistic reentry vehicles - at 60 km. The fight against ballistic missiles is the main mission of S-500. It can detect a target at a distance of 2 thousand kilometers and destroy the warheads of intercontinental missiles.


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