MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti)
The development of Russia's formidable S-500 air defense system will be completed in 2015, and the system could be put in service with the Russian military as early as in 2017, the manufacturer, Almaz-Antey, said Wednesday.
“We must finish the S-500 development in 2015. There have been no changes in schedule,” Almaz-Antey general director Vitaly Neskorodov told RIA Novosti, commenting on reports that the development could be delayed.
“The testing will take two or three years, so the first deliveries could take place in 2017-2018,” Neskorodov said.
The S-500, a long-range air defense missile system, is expected to become the backbone of a unified aerospace defense system being formed in Russia.
The system will have an extended range of up to 600 kilometers (370 miles) and simultaneously engage up to 10 targets.
The Russian military has demanded that the system must be capable of intercepting ballistic missiles and hypersonic cruise missiles, and plans to order at least 10 battalions of S-500s for the future Russian Aerospace Defense Forces.
The S-500 could become a trump card in Russia’s response to the US-backed European missile shield, which Moscow believes may threaten Russia’s nuclear deterrent.