Research, Technology

S-500 “Prometheus” air defense system - how and from what can it protect?

In the spring of this year, representatives of the concern"Almaz-Antey" reported that the latest anti-aircraft missile system S-500 entered mass production. True, earlier, back in August 2021, this information was voiced by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Yuri Borisov. But why is this weapon given so much attention? The thing is that the S-500 differs from the previous generation air defense systems not only in efficiency, but also in functionality. The complex is made using the latest achievements of domestic science and technology. It can shoot down targets not only in the air, but also in space in near-Earth orbits. In other words, the air defense system is capable of hitting intercontinental ballistic missiles, satellites, and spacecraft. But that's not all.

The latest anti-aircraft missile system S-500 "Prometheus"


  • 1 The capabilities of the S-500 “Prometheus” air defense system
  • 2 What will protect the S-500 air defense
  • 3 How the S-500 air defense system will be protected and what threatens it
  • 4 When will the S-500 enter service with the Russian army

Possibilities of the S-500 “Prometheus” air defense system

Enterprise-developer and manufacturerweapons is the Almaz-Antey concern. The first work on the creation of a new air defense system began 20 years ago. True, at that moment the military only decided on the main parameters that the system should have. The design was completed in full in 2011. And already in 2013, the first tests of individual elements of the air defense system began.

According to the CEO of the concern, JanNovikov, S-500 can become the basis of the Russian aerospace defense system. The fact is that according to a number of declared indicators, this system is really unique. Earlier we already said that Russia shot down an old Soviet satellite not so long ago. Presumably, this was done with the S-500 air defense system.

Air defense "Prometheus" can shoot down targets in low Earth orbit in space

Reportedly, the Yenisei radar detector,which the complex is equipped with, significantly exceeds the S-400 radar. It can find targets in space at a distance of up to 2000 km. But the capabilities of the air defense system are not limited to this. The complex is capable of shooting down not only conventional intercontinental ballistic missiles, satellites and spacecraft in near-Earth orbit, but also hypersonic missiles flying at Mach 5 and above. Recall that hypersonic weapons were considered virtually invulnerable to existing missile defense systems.

In addition, the new anti-aircraft missile systemcapable of shooting down the latest American stealth aircraft, such as the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor, as reported by The National Interest. Other air defense systems simply do not see these aircraft.

The S-500 complex can shoot down American stealth aircraft F-35 Lightning II

What will protect the S-500 air defense

The main task of the Prometheus complex is the fight againstmedium-range ballistic missiles. The air defense S-500 can independently intercept IRBMs with a launch range of up to 3,500 km. The planned range of the complex is 600 km. It can detect and simultaneously engage 10 ballistic missiles.

Such characteristics of the new air defense system allowuse it to protect individual regions or large cities, such as Moscow. Recall that Moscow can be one of the main goals of the United States in the event of a nuclear war.

The S-500 Prometheus is the world's first anti-space defense system. Therefore, it can be attributed to the first generation of PKO systems.

In addition, the complex is supposed to be used to protect mine ICBMs. Own radars, as well as maneuvering units with a strike height of up to 200 km, will provide reliable protection for strategic missiles.

How the S-500 air defense system will be protected and what threatens it

Air defense systems such as the S-500 can bequite easily destroyed by modern attack drones. To avoid this, the complex will be used only under cover, used under the cover of anti-aircraft missile and gun systems (ZRPK) "Pantsir-SM".

The S-500 complexes will be protected by the Pantsir air defense missile system

According to the decision of the Ministry of Defense, anti-aircraft systems S-500will be merged with the Pantsir-SM complexes into a single circuit. I must say that at present the Pantsiri are already covering the S-400 complexes. They are able to protect not only from UAVs, but also from cruise missiles. In addition, on the way to the air defense system, cruise missiles will be able to shoot down other air defense systems.

Does this mean that the S-500 system will be practicallyinvulnerable? According to the American media, including The National Interest, the new Russian anti-aircraft missile system is not able to detect the American B-21 stealth bomber. Therefore, it is called the main threat to the S-400 and even S-500 complexes.

According to some reports, the American B-21 bomber is the main threat to the S-500 systems.

True, according to some Russian experts,in particular, Alexei Leonkov, editor of the Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, in Russia, work is constantly underway to improve the radar. Currently, such targets can be identified on the basis of a radar shadow. That is, to detect an enemy stealth aircraft, according to some reports, Russian radars can still. But, as they say, this is not accurate.

When will the S-500s enter service with the Russian army?

It was originally planned that the first air defense systems would arriveinto service in 2016. But, as is often the case, the date was delayed. Nevertheless, according to some reports, the first S-500 complex has already entered the 15th Special Forces Army of the Aerospace Forces (VKS) of Russia.

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However, according to other sources, the new weaponreceived the first army of air and missile defense for special purposes, which is responsible for the defense of Moscow. This version seems more likely. But, in any case, the complexes are mass-produced, which means they are being delivered now.