The Russian Armed Forces may get the first advanced S-500 missile systems next year, the country’s Deputy Defence Minister Alexei Krivoruchko has said in an interview with the magazine Natsionalnaya Oborona (National Defence).
According to him, the conclusion of a state contract for S-500s is scheduled for 2021, with wide-scale deliveries expected in subsequent years.
Krivoruchko also referred to a stage of the S-500-related preliminary tests, with "the material part currently at the training ground”.
The statement echoes that of Vladimir Dolbenkov, director-general of the Design Bureau for Special Machine-Building (part of Almaz-Antey), who said in late March that tests for certain elements of “the next-generation Triumfator-M mobile air defence system S-500”, including its launcher, “[…] were being completed”.
This followed Almaz-Antey general designer Pavel Sozinov touting the S-500 as an air defence system that will be able to intercept targets “in the upper atmosphere”, hundreds of kilometres above the Earth.
He stressed that according to its specifications, the S-500 exceeds all similar missile systems that have been created or are being designed in developed countries.
Sozinov said that the Russian missile system comprises a large number of various target detection and interception tools as well as ground-to-air guided missiles. "This is a system that accomplishes a wide range of tasks for both air defence and missile defence purposes”, he emphasised.
The S-500 Prometey, also known as 55R6M "Triumfator-M", is a Russian surface-to-air missile/anti-ballistic missile system designed to replace the S-400.
With the S-500's specifications still officially classified, media reports have claimed that the system is capable of destroying targets up to 600 kilometres (372 miles) away.
It reportedly can track and simultaneously strike up to 10 ballistic targets moving at speeds of up to 7 kilometres (4 miles) per second (about Mach 20). The system is also capable of hitting various aerodynamic targets, including aircraft and helicopters, as well as cruise missiles.