Russian S-500 Prometheus would be capable of intercepting hypersonic missiles

Entering service in 2021, the new Russian S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic system was presented by Moscow as having the potential to counter hypersonic armies, without the demonstration of this having never been done until now.

It is now a done deal, according to the Russian news site Izvestia. The Russian information site states, in fact, that the Prometheus would have demonstrated, during recent tests, that it was capable of intercepting different types of hypersonic munitions, ranging from missiles to gliders, which would make it the first operational system, having this type of capabilities.

The Russian S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic system

Intended to replace the S-300PMU1/2 mobile anti-ballistic systems, and to complete the theater protection of the S-400, the S-500 Prometheus system (C-500 Прометей in Russian), entered service in 2021, to provide anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense of Moscow.

Its various radars would give it, according to commercial information published by Russia, a surveillance and detection potential of nearly 3 km at high altitude, against non-stealthy aircraft, and of 000 km against surface targets. radar equivalent of 1 m².

S-500 Prometheus
Like the S-400, the S-500 Prometheus is a mobile system, composed of several radars, several transporter-erectors, and even several missiles with different performances to engage aerodynamic or ballistic targets.

Like the S-400, it can use different types of missiles, such as the 40N6M intended to intercept aircraft, whose demonstrated range reaches 480 km, as well as the 77N6 missile, capable of intercepting ballistic targets moving at speeds of up to Mach 18, up to an altitude of 180 to 200 km. The missile would also be capable of destroying satellites in low orbit.

If 10 regiments were to be equipped with the S-500 system during GPV-2020-2027, the Russian multi-year military programming law, it would seem that only the battalion in charge of the defense of Moscow has been effectively equipped to date with certain way.

The production of the S-500 would, in fact, suffer from Western sanctions, which would hamper its entry into service. Furthermore, one can imagine, from the priority given to other more expected systems to face the Ukrainian armies.

Successful tests against hypersonic gliders and missiles

If the S-500 has been presented, for several years, as capable of intercepting hypersonic targets, the demonstration of this capability had, until now, not been made. However, apart from Russia and China, since no country currently has hypersonic weapons strictly speaking, it is likely that the need had not yet arisen.

This is now the case, as the first American Conventional Prompt Strike hypersonic missiles, or CPS, are due to enter service in 2025 aboard the American destroyer USS Zumwalt. The need for Moscow to demonstrate the effectiveness of its new system against this type of threat therefore became more pressing.

Conventional Prompt Strike CPS
The American Convetional Prompt Strike hypersonic missile will enter service in 2025, notably aboard Zumwalt-class destroyers specially modified for this purpose.

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