Russia May Deploy First S-500 Missiles in 2013
Russia's Armed Forces could receive the first of its next-generation S-500 air defense missile systems as early as in 2013, Air Force commander Maj.Gen. Viktor Bondarev said on Wednesday.
"I think that as soon as next year we will get the first of these (S-500) systems in service," Bondarev said at a RIA Novosti press conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Russian Air Force.
The commander stressed that Russia's air defenses are in very good shape with new regiments of a formidable S-400 Triumf air defense system entering service every year.
The crews of air defense systems regularly carry out training drills to improve their efficiency.
“We have improved the response time to airborne threats to 3-4 seconds compared to the previous 9-10 seconds.
Russia currently has four S-400 regiments - two in the Moscow region, one in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, and one in the Eastern Military District.
By 2020, Russia is to have 28 S-400 regiments, each comprised of two battalions, mainly in maritime and border areas.
The S-400 Triumf long- to medium-range surface-to-air missile system can effectively engage any aerial target, including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cruise and ballistic missiles at up to 400 kilometers and an altitude of up to 30 kilometers.
The S-500, a long-range air defense missile system, is expected to become the backbone of a unified aerospace defense system being formed in Russia.
Neskorodov said in an interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper on Monday that the complexity of technical solutions used in this unique system and some management problems led to the delay in the development.
“We have to step up the work and make up for lost time,” he said. “Nevertheless, we will have prototypes of several components of the system ready for testing by the end of 2012.”
Russian officials provide sketchy details on the technical characteristics of the new system.
The S-500 will reportedly have an extended range of up to 600 kilometers (over 370 miles) and simultaneously engage up to 10 targets.
The Russian military has demanded that the system must be capable of intercepting ballistic missiles and hypersonic cruise missiles and plans to order at least ten S-500 battalions for the future Russian Aerospace Defense.
The S-500 could become a trump card in Russia’s response to the U.S.-backed European missile shield, which Moscow believes may threaten Russia’s nuclear deterrent.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has proposed setting up a government body responsible for consolidating efforts aimed at the creation of an effective aerospace defense network in the country.
Source: 27 June 2012 - Press agency News
Photo: The Russian S-500 is a new generation surface-to-air missile system, designed for intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles and for defense against Airborne Early Warning and Control, Airborne Warning and Control System, and jamming aircraft. It is not an upgraded version of the S-400. (Photo by armyrecognition.com)