Russian S-550: The unknown weapon

Written by The Frontier Post

Evgeny Odintsov
The new development of the Russian military-industrial complex – the S-550 anti-aircraft missile system – may become the world’s first anti-space defense complex and will specialize, among other things, in intercepting ballistic missiles of various ranges. The S-550 is being built on the basis of the S-500 Prometheus, the most modern of Russian air defense and missile defense systems.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced this week that Russia is developing a new S-550 anti-aircraft missile system. Prior to that, President Vladimir Putin emphasized the importance of the accelerated development of domestic air defense and missile defense systems. Shoigu’s statement was the first mention of the S-550.
RIA Novosti was able to learn from several sources in the military-industrial complex that the development of the S-550 is about the world’s first mobile specialized anti-missile (ABM) and anti-space defense system capable of destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The S-550 is being created on the basis of the new generation S-500 Prometey air defense system, the deliveries of which have already begun to the Russian Armed Forces. The specialization of the new complex will be anti-missile and anti-space defense. Development is already at an advanced stage.
“Its capabilities to intercept warheads of ballistic missiles of various ranges, primarily intercontinental ones, as well as space attack weapons will be an order of magnitude higher than that of the S-400 and S-500, as well as the American THAAD and Aegis missile defense systems with SM-3Block llB missiles. “, – said the interlocutor of the agency.
There is no information about the expected characteristics and capabilities of the S-550 yet. At the same time, according to Voennoye Obozreniye, experts are already discussing what will be the difference between this model and Prometheus. It is possible that the S-550 will receive the latest engines, which will make it possible to expand the scope of the complex. An option with a new type of fuel and advanced computer systems for analyzing the trajectories of enemy missiles is also being discussed.
These data have no official confirmation or refutation.
Earlier, Russian military expert Alexei Leonkov also suggested that the S-550 could replace a number of air defense systems already in service, including the S-350 Vityaz and the S-400 Triumph.
“I think that the S-550 will be an improved version of the S-400 with a large number of missiles, with a greater possibility of firing at air targets,” RIA Novosti Leonkov quotes him, adding that, most likely, the S-500 is still will remain the most developed and modern of the Russian air defense and missile defense systems.
Together with this, the media learned that the S-550 was developed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s. This project, like many others, was subsequently frozen in accordance with the Soviet-American military agreements at the end of the Cold War. It is not known whether the new S-550 is a restart of an already existing project, or will generally represent another complex with a similar name.
Apparently, the S-550 will be modernized for specific tasks and will differ in additional combat characteristics. Unlike the S-500, which is a versatile interception system capable of hitting ballistic, cruise missiles, and aerodynamic targets in a full 360-degree field of view. The range of the “Prometheus” is about 600 km, the complex has already passed state tests and entered the first delivery. In the coming years, it is planned to sell samples to friendly countries.

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