The system will be highly specialised in satellite hunting, ballistic missile interception and neutralisation of high-value enemy aircraft such as AWACS platforms. More recently, however, it has emerged that the S-500 has been designed not only to strike targets in space but also to defend the area under its coverage from attacks from space-based weapons. This development comes as the United States has begun to increase investments in such systems, with hypersonic space reconnaissance planes and bombers, space-based laser interceptors and an entire Space Corps all in the works.
A recent statement from deputy chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ anti-aircraft missile troops Yuri Muravkin, official stated regarding the S-500’s ability to counter space attacks: “Realising the fact that nowadays and in the foreseeable future, the boundaries between air and space are being and will be erased as the aerial enemy gradually becomes an aerospace one, it is safe to say that the S-500 Prometey missile systems entering service is [already] in the pipeline… It’s a more modern complex. I don’t want to talk about it now, because it’s not in service yet. I think it will appear in the near future.” Chemezov added that the S-500 systems are to enter service after the completion of testing.
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov reported the “successful preliminary tests” of the S-500, which “allowed the Russian Defence Ministry to make the decision to shorten the period of the start of serial supplies to the troops of this air defence missile system. As a result, air defence missile regiments will start receiving S-500 systems already in the coming years.” Contrary to a number of reports from popular media outlets, the S-500 is not being designed as a replacement to the S-300 and S-400 systems and has a very different and complementary role. The S-500 is not designed to engage low-level targets such as fighter jets, cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles – while the S-400 was designed to engage up to 80 such targets simultaneously with specialised counter-stealth capabilities. The S-500’s specialisation towards the neutralisation of high-end targets and targets travelling at extreme speeds and altitudes provides many capabilities which the Russian Air Defence Forces currently lack, and the platform is set to enter service alongside the more specialised and even longer-ranged A-235 designed for missile defence. The S-500 will replace the A-135 anti-ballistic missile systems which currently protect Moscow and other key targets from ballistic missile attacks – a platform that itself entered service in 1995 to replace the older Soviet A-35.
Source: Smartencyclopedia investigation on military magazine and news