The army always had a big dilemma. Who needs to defend the homeland, while it is at war abroad? Initially the decision was to split the armed forces into two parts: while one went to war with the external enemy, the latter remained on its territory. This scheme was considered efficient enough during the period when the army waged one war against one enemy. Currently, however, military conflicts have become much more complex: the methods of warfare did not cease to grow until came the era of s-500.
The appearance of fighters and missiles turned the established balance of forces, because these goals are difficult to track and hit: missile launch can be done from anywhere, and you no longer have to move large numbers of troops.
The production of missiles and other aircraft armament was accompanied by the development of defense systems capable of deterring air attack. Today lead three such systems. The best are the Russian anti-aircraft missile systems s-400, followed by the American system of Patriot and THAAD. However, the improvement of weapons continues, and Russia was able to surprise everyone when he introduced an improved version of s-400 anti-aircraft missile system s-500, with the performance surpassed all of the existing defensive systems in the world.
Since the first mention of s-500 around the system retains the atmosphere of secrecy. The Russian side took three years to complete the work on this project. To start the production of anti-aircraft missile systems planned in 2014, and to transfer them to the Russian armed forces — in 2021.
“Prometheus”: the king’s weapons for world domination
Anti-aircraft missile complex called “Prometheus” (s-500) appeared late, as the first Russian state had to build two plants for the production of needed parts. You can understand the jubilation of the defense concern “Almaz-Antey”: system s-500 is capable of hitting not only medium-range missiles, and missiles in near space.
It is therefore surprising that the complex was the old name of “s-500”, rejected by the Soviet authorities in 1968. Once it was the dream of the Soviet state to create a comprehensive system specializing in the fight against enemy aircraft. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union refused this idea, because project developers only talked about the military clashes and the ability to shoot down aircraft, while the power required to create a set that can also shoot down ballistic missiles short range. After the project was rejected, the Russians began to work on creation of anti-aircraft missile system s-300.
Now, after more than 50 years, there will be new defensive system with advanced features, but the old name. As expected, she will be involved in a pair of s-400: together they will replace her younger sister s-300, which will be permanently discontinued. New anti-aircraft missile complex will be deployed around the Russian capital, which demonstrates the firm belief of Russians in the effectiveness of their new weapons.
This confidence stems from a series of military trials, during which the system proved its effectiveness. In may 2018, Russia held the longest in the history of test missiles “earth-air”, in which “Prometheus” managed to hit a target at a distance of 482 km, which is 78 km more than the previous record.
4 Jun 2019 Ministry of defence has published a video in which a system of interceptor missiles striking the rocket of a class “earth-air” long range. In the video not mentioned the name of the system under test, but according to popular belief, it was the anti-aircraft missile system s-500.
“To infinity and more”: all within her reach
The new system can shoot down any plane or missile, even if their speed exceeds the speed of sound. It is able to detect and shoot down 10 ballistic missiles at a time, even if they fly at speeds of from 18 to 25 thousand kilometers per hour. He also can hit targets at an altitude of 200 kilometers. Other missile systems have to wait until the target is at a much lower altitude. All these characteristics are supported by radar devices and surveillance system with a radius of 3 thousand kilometers
Of course, it is impossible to know whether the above figures are remarkable, not comparing them with characteristics of other similar air defence systems. With
should be noted that all of these features allow the C-500 track and hit satellites in outer space. In addition, the system is able to withstand any weapon that is launched from the UAV, flying at high altitude.
This potential could be useless if the complexes were deployed in one place, because it would mean that the radius of action and other features will be known to the opponents, and then the latter will be able to maneuver or launch missiles from points beyond the range of the system. So the big surprise was that this huge complex was completely mobile and can be quickly deployed in just a few minutes to hit any target detected by the early warning.
According to sources in the defense Ministry, most of these characteristics were tested in the field in harsh conditions in Syria. The choice of the Syrian arena for testing was due to the fact that there is always a lot of dust that can interfere with the operation of the devices response. In addition, according to them, the Syrian area is often subjected to sudden attacks, and it is therefore essential that the radar system continued to work throughout the day.
Strange, but these sources did not mention the much more significant factor in the choice of Syria as a field to test the Russian weapons. It is not in a dusty area, but the presence in this territory of many of the warring parties. In Syrian airspace a large number of unmanned aerial vehicles operated by the Syrian, Israeli, American, Turkish and Iranian air forces and drones belonging to armed extremist groups. This factor allows us to test system performance against multiple targets simultaneously, some of which are hostile, while others belong to the allies that confronts anti-aircraft missile system much more difficult task.
Can shoot down F-35 in 4 seconds
Whatever the true reason for the test of Russian weapons in Syria, the result is the same — they were successful. This success is logical, as the anti-aircraft missile system does not just rely on the radar device in contrast to all other air defense systems, it also includes radar information that can pass any third party in any region of the world. S-500 can recognize a threat even when out of range of their radar devices.
This feature of the new system makes us believe that the s-500 can shoot down fighter stealth F-35 — the pride of the American military industry. Russia said the same thing about their previous systems, but failed, as her radar equipment was not capable of detecting stealth aircraft. Given the equipment of the new complex a number of additional radar devices, this capability can be taken into account, although the task remains complex and dangerous.
Another advantage of the new Russian system is that it can be transported on military ships, which means greater freedom of movement and a wider range of use as weapons of deterrence in the sea suggests that s-500 can destroy the most powerful American destroyers. These possibilities can be tested in just four seconds. In other words, the system is able to detect a threat, decide on the response, to launch its missiles against the targets and destroy them in just four seconds. This is an extremely high-speed response, compared with the s-400 system. The latter destroys the target for 10 seconds.
These characteristics make the Russian complex into a global threat for which the world is forced to silently observe. If one system will be deployed in Kaliningrad, it would mean that, within reach of Russia’s weapons will be many NATO countries, like most of the Baltic States. If place it in the Crimea, which is now considered part of Russian territory, would threaten any of the armed forces in the Black sea.
Disagreements do not interfere with gun deals
In addition to the horror that the new system gives to other countries, it will bring to the Russian side a large amount of money to the allies. In recent months the sale of s-400 has increased due to the multiplication of ballistic threats in different countries of the world. Considerations of safety make the s-500 is more attractive compared to all other air defense systems.
Under the influence of the Russian government and its allies, the sales of new systems may adversely affect sales of other fortifications, especially the us, which show weak and unable to resist the giant Russian anti-aircraft missile systems. The latter is well proved in the market of arms, and proved the buyers such as India and Turkey that are absolutely reliable system and deserve all value for money, unlike the Patriot and THAAD, trials which raise serious doubts.
One of the Russian system could cost $ 500 million, while Patriot missiles worth a billion dollars, and the cost of THAAD can reach 3 billion dollars. As expected, the price of the new Russian system will be close to the price of the previous version, despite the huge difference in capabilities between them. It is the ideal choice for many of Russia’s allies, and, most importantly, it will be an attractive alternative to its enemies and allies of the US and Israel. So maybe the country, bought the American Patriot missiles can turn over weapons to the Russian bear. They refuse from the American system or not, in this case, doesn’t matter.
Most likely, the refusal of the American Patriot system is not going to happen, and it’s not her efficiency and friendly relations and understanding with a superpower such as the United States. The most likely scenario for the us allies is the secret handshake with the Russian side, being in the arms of Washington, because it is too difficult to resist the temptation to buy new air defense missile system.