Tuesday, April 19, 2016

S-500 Prometei (Prometheus) Has Arrived.

According to Superintendent Of Air Defense of Russia's Air Space Forces, Lieutenant-General Victor Gumennyi, first batteries of S-500 Prometheus Air Defense complex will be procured shortly, if not already, as I write this. That means IOC. I am no big fan of expensive military toys but this one is a real game changer. Very little is known about this S-500, but what is known is impressive, to put it mildly. One small detail--the speed of S-500's missile is 3600 meters per second, this is 3.6 kilometers or roughly 2.25 miles per second. These are M=10+ missiles capable of killing anything very low (such as hyper-sonic cruise missiles, when they will appear)  and very high, including low orbit satellites and strategic intercontinental ballistic missiles and their MIRVs with speeds up to 7,000 meters per second. It is capable to also detect and kill any so called "Stealth" targets. Considering the range of S-500 (40Н6М missile) for aerodynamic targets of 600 kilometers it changes the air-space battlefield dramatically, since S-500 is capable to "reach" even AWACS platforms. Integration of S-500 into the Russian national early warning system makes Russia's air space basically impenetrable.

This partially explains why Russia agreed to sell S-400, a monster of air defense in its own right, to China. It also tells a bit about the state of Russia's development of hyper-sonic weapons but it was clear already, once Zircon was included into the weapons' suite of modernizing project 1144 nuclear cruisers. The interesting question here, however, is this--will S-500 have its navalized version. This will completely reshape carrier force, which already is going through operational and strategic crisis. Will naval versions of S-500s appear on the future Russian DDG? Who knows, but the impact of this system deployed to sea will be massive, not that navalized S-400  or updated S-300 are bad. Considering massive ECM and ECCM capability S-500 can, indeed, change a warfare profoundly. But if there is anything constant about warfare it is changing of its technological dimension, which later causes massive changes on tactical, operational and strategic levels. 

No comments:

Post a Comment