Russia has reportedly conducted the longest range surface-to-air missile test
ever with its S-500 air defence system. If and when it becomes operational, the missile
defence system could significantly increase the Russian military’s anti-access
and area denial capabilities. The launch, conducted during a test campaign at
Kapustin Yar, near Astrakhan in southern Russia, reportedly downed a ballistic
missile surrogate target.
after which the system will begin to be deployed operationally, initially as
part of the defensive umbrella surrounding the capital, Moscow. The system,
which is named Prometey (Russian for Prometheus), as well as Triumfator-M, is
expected to replace the current A-135 anti-ballistic missile system deployed
around Moscow, as well as supplement the long-range S-400 Triumf
surface-to-air missile (SAM) system in Russian Aerospace Forces service.
S-500 test fire.
The missile is probably the 77H6. Looks a lot like a 9M82 with a bigger booster stage. Note the ejection of the booster protection cover. pic.twitter.com/p7CgTbYBaj
— Ian (@lan_Brn) July 20, 2021
The S-500 anti-aircraft missile system has no analogues in the world and is
designed to defeat the entire spectrum of existing and promising aerospace
attack weapons of a potential enemy in the entire range of altitudes and
Components of the S-500 system
The reported S-500 long-range test would definitely be a significant milestone in the program. While the S-500 has clearly suffered from delays, if its full potential can be realized, this ambitious program could set in motion an important overhaul of Russia’s ground-based air defence capabilities, further extending its existing A2/AD zones.