Russian anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic defense today is universally recognized as one of the best in the world, if not the best. Its multi-layered, multi-system cooperative composition already allows it to respond to almost all threats, including 5th generation stealth aircraft, thus constituting a particularly dissuasive bulwark for any of the adversaries. potential of the country. Yes the famous S-400, Buk, Tor, Pantsir and the future S-500 Prométeï system were already well known to specialists in the subject, the announcement made on November 9 by the Minister of Defense Sergei Choïgou about a new S-550 system, disconcerted many of them. . After several attempts, going so far as to imagine that it could be the exhumation of a former Soviet program from the 80s with the same designation, understanding what this new system will be, and its function in the Russian defensive arsenal, has now become clearer.
Like the S-350 which represents a simplified and more economical version of the S-400, the S-550 would be a “Light” version of the very heavy and very expensive S-500 Prométeï, the delivery of the first components of which began this year. Where the S-500 will be in charge of protecting large Russian urban and industrial centers against air threats, cruise missiles and especially ballistic missiles with a range of up to 3500 km, alongside the new A-235s Nudol in silo which will protect the two capitals of the country Moscow and Saint-Petersburg in place of the venerable A-135 against intercontinental ballistic threats, the S-550 will, for its part, be in charge of similar missions, for sites of lower strategic value, but requiring anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic cover. A fourth level of protection, closer and intended in particular to specifically protect sites, and not spaces, will be provided by the S-350, specifically designed for this purpose. Finally, all of these systems will be able to collaborate with the air component, in particular with advanced watch planes as well aswith the new Su-57, designed to be able to integrate and even pilot this mission.
Recall that Russian anti-aircraft defense is divided into two branches, one intended to protect maneuvers and military units, which today consists of the long-range S-400, of the Buk-M3 at medium range and TOR at short range, as well as Pantsir for the protection of sensitive sites, and the anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense of the country itself, which until now relied on the anti-ballistic missile A-235 successor to the A-135 of the Cold War, of the S-300PMU1 / 2 for the Defense intermediary and the Buk system for “Close” Defense in a strategic sense. The trio made up of the S-500 Prométeï, the S-550 and the S-350 therefore constitute the new generation of this national defense aimed at prohibiting Russian airspace to all aircraft, drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles of the United States. 'opponent.
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