Development of a next-generation Russian long-range antimissile and air defense weapon will continue into 2017 -- two years longer than previously anticipated, RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday (see GSN, Jan. 30).
The S-500 system is intended to have the capacity to bring down as many as 10 targets at distances exceeding 370 miles. The system is intended to form the core of Russia's planned missile and air defense apparatus.
Almaz-Antey General Director Vitaly Neskorodov told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper the intricate nature of the S-500 design had caused some complications, as had some poor administrative decisions.
"We have to step up work and make up for lost time," Neskorodov said. "Nevertheless, we will have prototypes of several components of the system ready for testing by the end of 2012."
Russia's armed forces want the antimissile system to be able to destroy both low-flying hypersonic missiles and ballistic missiles. The military intends to provide a minimum of 10 S-500 battalions for induction into the Russian aerospace defense force.
If the system fulfills expectations, it could neutralize any strategic advantage gained by NATO and the United States once they have established their European ballistic missile shield, according to the report. Moscow suspects the missile defense system will be aimed at undermining its long-range nuclear missiles, though Brussels and Washington insist this will not be the case (see GSN, Feb. 6; RIA Novosti, Feb. 7).
Development of a next-generation Russian long-range antimissile and air defense weapon will continue into 2017 -- two years longer than previously anticipated, RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday.