The S-500 "Prometey (Прометей)" ("Prometheus") is a Russian surface-to-air missile (mainly Anti-ballistic missile) system, currently under development by the Almaz-Antey company. It is also known as 55R6M "Triumfator-M."
The S-500 is a new generation surface-to-air missile system and is not an upgraded S-400 or S-300 system. It is designed for intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles and for air defense against Airborne Early Warning and Control, Airborne Warning and Control System, and jamming aircraft. With a planned range of 600 km (373 mi) Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) and 400 km for the air defense, the S-500 would be able to detect and simultaneously engage up to 10 ballistic supersonic targets flying at a speed of 5 kilometres per second (18,000 km/h) to a limit of 7 km/s. Almaz Antey has already spent six years into the project and they are reporting that the missiles have now an instrumental height of 185 km and range of 3500 km, (3500 or more). The missiles are not ready yet, but the possibility of components and research technologies will be made within such limits (as stated) and availabilities following current sanctions imposed on the country. The system will be highly mobile and will have rapid deployability.Experts believe that the systems capabilities can affect enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles at the end and the middle portion, but reports by Almaz-Antey say that the external target designation system (RLS Voronezh-DM and missile defense system A-135 radar Don-2N) will be capable of mid-early flight portion interceptions of enemy Ballistic Missiles which is one of the final stages of the S-500 project.
In 2009, the system was under development at the design stage at Almaz-Antey, and had been planned to be completed in 2012. In February 2011, it was announced that the first S-500 systems should be in serial production by 2014. Under the State Armament Programme 2020 (GPV-2020), it is planned to purchase 10 S-500 battalions for the Russian Aerospace Defense (VKO).
The main components of the S-500 will be:
- the launch vehicle 77P6, based on the BAZ-69096 10x10 truck;
- the command posts 55K6MA and 85Zh6-2 on BAZ-69092-12 6x6;
- the acquisition and battle management radar 91N6A(M), a modification of the 91N6 (Big Bird) towed by the BAZ-6403.01 8x8 tractor;
- the 96L6-TsP acquisition radar, an upgraded version of the 96L6 (Cheese Board) on BAZ-69096 10x10;
- the multimode engagement radar 76T6 on BAZ-6909-022 8x8;
- the ABM engagement radar 77T6 on BAZ-69096 10x10;
In 2012,it was stated that the possibility of a C-500 RLS can detect targets at a distance of 3000 km (instrumental range) ballistic missile from a distance of 2000 km (0.9-0.95 probability of success) and a warhead of a target with the range 1300–1400 km (EPR 0.1 square meters) (these figures are given the media but not the government), comparing capabilities of the original S-300B to detect warhead missiles with a range of up to 1100 km constituted only 100 km.
Although sharing a similar designation, the relationship between this new S-500 and the S-500U project of the 1960s is unclear. The S-500U multichannel antiaircraft system was a 1968 initiative by the Soviet Air Defence Forces, Soviet Navy, Ministry of the Radio Industry (Ministerstvo Radio Promyshlennosti SSSR), and Ministry of the Shipbuilding Industry to create a unified complex for the National Air Defense Troops, Navy and Ground Troops. Missiles of the S-500U complex were supposed to engage enemy aircraft at a range up to 100 km. The S-500U SAM complex project was rejected by the Soviet Army, which had a requirement to engage not only enemy aircraft, but also short range ballistic missiles. Consequently, the S-300 family (SA-10 and SA-12) was developed instead. Russia is developing two plants to produce the S-500 in 2015 (production) but some say the earliest will be 2017 (delivery to units). 5 batteries of S-500 missiles are to be in service by 2020. The S-500s will work with S-400s and will replace S-300 air defense missiles. The Russian military will start deploying S-500 missile systems in 2016, with a total of 10 batteries to be ordered. Development will be completed in 2015, and the system could enter service by 2017. The first units will be deployed around Moscow and the country's center area, with targets it will defend against to include medium-range ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, low-orbit satellites, and space weapons launched from hypersonic aircraft, drones, and hypersonic orbital platforms. A naval version is the likely armament for the new Leader-class air-defense destroyers due to enter service in 2023-25.
- Comparison of Long-Range SAMs
- S-350E Vityaz
- Voronezh-DM - early-warning radar for Russian Aerospace Defence Forces
- Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GBMD)
- Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) - Next generation surface to air missile being developed by USA, Germany, and Italy.
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