Russian S-500 Prometheus air defense system enters into serial production. What is known so far:

Russian S-500 Prometheus air defense system enters into serial production. What is known so far:

The future of Russian military's air defense is associated with the advanced S-500 #prometheus / Triumfator-M anti-aircraft missile system. Russian Defence Ministry states that, to date, the development of this system has been completed and the necessary tests have passed. Last September, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, who oversees the defense industry, spoke about the latest successes of the S-500 project. According to him, system recently passed state tests, and the first samples were received by the troops. At the same time, it was about the air defense system in a reduced configuration, which did not fully meet all the requirements of the customer. On April 25, 2022, the Russia's National Defense magazine published an interview with Yan Novikov, CEO of the Almaz-Antey Corporation. Recently it became known that mass production is about to begin, according to which over the next few years it will be possible to re-equip combat units. Until recently, the development and other activities of the S-500 project were carried out in an atmosphere of secrecy.

According to known data, the S-500 should include a radar station or stations, a command post and launchers. Probably, the use of several types of anti-aircraft missiles is envisaged, both borrowed from previous air defense systems and newly developed ones. All components of the system, as in previous projects, are made mobile. The auto-chassis provides transfer to the desired position, and after the deployment process, the system is ready for operation.

Operational range: 600 km
Unit cost: $600 million per system
Numbers currently built: 30 units+

Russian S-500 Prometheus air defense system
Launch phase - Russian S-500 Prometheus air defense system

Despite the lack of precise data, Ya. Novikov's latest statement is of great importance. It follows from it that the promising project has passed all the necessary stages, and the next task of industry and the army is the supply and development of serial equipment in the troops. Accordingly, in the near and medium term, there will be a qualitative increase in air defense in the main directions.

According to known data...

Little is known about the promising S-500 air defense system. Part of the information about its capabilities is disclosed, some characteristics are named. In addition, the launcher and the launch of a rocket from it were demonstrated. At the same time, the bulk of the data, including the main characteristics and parameters, is still closed. However, the available information allows us to make estimates and conclusions.

Like its predecessors, the S-500 "Prometheus" is an anti-aircraft missile system for an air defense missile defense system as part of the Aerospace Forces. It should ensure the protection of large areas and objects of strategic importance from a wide range of threats. It is reported that high performance characteristics have been achieved, incl. exceeding the corresponding parameters of existing S-400 products.

According to known data, the S-500 should include a radar station or stations, a command post and launchers. Probably, the use of several types of anti-aircraft missiles is envisaged, both borrowed from previous air defense systems and newly developed ones. All components of the system, as in previous projects, are made mobile. The auto-chassis provides transfer to the desired position, and after the deployment process, the system is ready for operation.

Radar facilities "Prometheus" are intended to illuminate the air situation within a radius of hundreds of kilometers. The possibility of searching for targets at high altitudes, up to near space, was also mentioned. Provides detection and tracking of aerodynamic, ballistic and hypersonic objects. Measures have been taken to improve noise immunity.

SAMs from the S-500 will be able to hit an expanded range of targets. As before, the fight against aerodynamic and ballistic targets will be ensured, and the range of fire against them will increase. It was also reported about the possibility of intercepting hypersonic weapons and objects in near space.

Prometheus is said to have developed new AI-based controls. Automation will solve all the main tasks, almost completely unloading the calculation. The S-500 will be able to operate independently or as part of large layered air defense and missile defense systems. In the latter case, it will be able to control other air defense systems, and the presence of AI will increase the efficiency of such work.

Russian S-500 Prometheus air defense system
Russian S-500 Prometheus air defense system

Service outlook

As reported last fall, the first new type of air defense system has already been deployed and has begun service. It is entrusted with the protection of Moscow and the Central Industrial Region. At the beginning of this year, it became known that by the middle of the decade, S-500s would also appear in the Southern Military District. Obviously, production and deployment will not stop there, and new Prometheus will appear in the troops.

In the medium or long term, such air defense systems will appear in all key areas and cover part of the country's regions. At the same time, the new S-500s will be operated in parallel with the existing S-400 and S-300P systems of later modifications, incl. gradually replacing them. The timing of the complete renewal of materiel in air defense formations will depend on the plans of the Ministry of Defence and the capabilities of the industry.

As a result of these processes, the air defense-missile defense forces will expand their capabilities in detecting and destroying air and space attack weapons. They will maintain or improve their potential to combat current threats, as well as get a new opportunity to counter advanced weapons. At the same time, all the main directions from which an attack can be carried out, and their possible targets, will be covered.

Like previous domestic air defense systems, the new S-500 may be of interest to foreign customers. It has already been reported that Prometheus has attracted the attention of India, and an export contract may come in the future. Other countries have not yet commented on this topic. However, the commercial potential of the S-500 is still unknown. The first conclusions can be drawn later, when Russia begins to bring this system to the international market.

Technical progress

Thus, one of the most important projects in the field of defense is successfully moving forward and going through all the necessary stages. Last year, the promising S-500 air defense system successfully passed state tests and got into the army, and now we are talking about the launch of a series and the imminent start of regular and rhythmic deliveries of equipment to combat units.

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