Russia Puts Its ‘F-22 Killer’ S-500 Missile Defense System Into Mass Production As Tensions Boil Over Ukraine

Russia’s newest anti-aircraft missile defense system S-500 (Prometheus) has already been put into mass production, Yan Novikov, the head of the Russian defense technology company Almaz-Antey, said on Monday.

“Currently, mass production of the S-500 system has been launched based on the latest achievements in domestic science and technology.

The combat capabilities of the system significantly surpass the capabilities of previously created anti-aircraft missile systems and complexes.

The S-500 is capable of becoming the basis of the Russian aerospace defense system. The troops will receive it within the time frame set by the state defense order,” Novikov told the Russian magazine National Defense.

s-400 Missile
File Image: S-400 Missile

The S-500 Prometey

The S-500 Prometheus is a next-generation surface-to-air missile system with a range of 600 kilometers (370 miles). It is a universal high-altitude interception complex with an increased anti-missile defense capability designed for intercepting and destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles and stealth aircraft.

The S-500 Prometey (Russian for Prometheus) is already developed and it was first tested successfully in July of 2021. In September, the Russian Armed Forces began receiving their first S-500 consignments, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov.

And by October, the first S-500 brigade was deployed by the Russian Aerospace Forces’ 15th Special Forces Army to cover Moscow and the country’s Central Industrial Region.

The S-500’s operational range is approximately 370 miles within which it reportedly can detect and simultaneously counter up to 10 ballistic supersonic terminal ICBM warheads flying at speeds up to 4.34 miles (7 kilometers) per second.

The S-500 SAM system.

Beyond providing battlefield tactical air defense, the mobile S-500 Prometheus system is considered one of the most advanced in the world, reportedly capable of destroying volleys of hypersonic missiles currently under development by various countries.

Russian analysts claim that S-500 could even target satellites in low-earth orbit and fifth-generation stealth aircraft, in addition to its primary targets of cruise and ballistic missiles. Moreover, the system’s survivability is allegedly enhanced by its high resistance to electronic interference.

The S-500 was developed by the Almaz-Antey Air Defence Concern to replace aging A-135 missile systems currently in use. It is considered a step up from the S-400 Triumf but would supplement that platform rather than replace it, it is said.

Boosting Supplies To Ukraine

Poland ranks second after the United States in the amount of weaponry supplied to Ukraine amid Russia’s military operation, the chief of the Polish Prime Minister’s Chancellery, Michal Dworczyk, said on Monday.

On Saturday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed that Warsaw is supplying Kiev with a variety of weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-armor equipment as well as heavy weapons and ammunition, to enable it to stand up against Russia. He said Poland’s military assistance to Ukraine is now exceeding $1.6 billion.

“Surely, we do not unveil the details of supplies, but it should be made clear that Poland is the country that, right after the US, dispatches the most weapons to Ukraine. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said earlier, 7 billion zlotys, or about $1.6 billion. This is the cost of our military support of Ukraine,” Dworczyk told Polish radio RMF FM, adding that in some types of arms Poland is taking the lead.

After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, the US and its allies rushed to forward billions of dollars worth of weaponry and military equipment to Ukraine. So far, Washington has rendered $1.7 billion in military assistance to Kiev, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledging to send more during the Sunday visit to the country with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The US is intending to allocate another $713 million in foreign military aid to Ukraine and over a dozen of other countries, for them to buy new weapons for their reserves or to compensate for arms provided to Ukraine, Blinken said.

Russia has repeatedly denounced the continuous flow of weapons to Ukraine from the West, saying that it adds fuel to the fire and derails the negotiation process. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week that the ministry has issued a note to all states providing Ukraine with lethal arms.