Russian National Defence journal reported that Russia’s newest S-500 Prometey (Prometheus) mobile surface-to-air missile defense system has already been put into mass production and promises to become the basis of the Russian aerospace defense system, Yan Novikov, the head of the Russian defense technology company Almaz-Antey, said on on 25 April in an interview commemorating 20 years of the corporation. The 9K317M Buk-M3 and 50R6 S-350 are in service with the Russian Armed Forces. The S-400 and Tor-M2 air defense systems, in addition to identifying the Buk-M3 and S-350 Vityaz as the concern’s most promising export prospects, referring to the two medium-range systems as Almaz-Antey’s “calling cards”.
The S-500 Prometey (Prometheus), also known as 55R6M “Triumfator-M”, is a Russian surface-to-air missile/anti-ballistic missile system intended to replace the A-135 missile system currently in use, and supplement the S-400. The S-500 was developed by the Almaz-Antey Air Defence Concern. Initially planned to be in production by 2014, finally first delivered in 2021. The S-500 will be integrated into a single network of aerospace defense assets. The S-500 is designed for intercepting and destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as hypersonic cruise missiles and aircraft, for air defense against Airborne Early Warning and Control and for jamming aircraft.
With a planned range of 600 km (370 mi) for anti-ballistic missile (ABM) and 500 km (310 mi) for air defense, the S-500 would be able to detect and simultaneously engage up to 10 ballistic hypersonic targets flying at a speed of 5 kilometers per second (3.1 mi/s) to a limit of 7 km/s (4.3 mi/s). It also aims at destroying hypersonic cruise missiles and other aerial targets at speeds higher than Mach 5, as well as spacecraft. The altitude of a target engaged can be as high as 180–200 km (110–120 mi). It is effective against ballistic missiles with a launch range of 3,500 km (2,200 mi), the radar reaches a radius of 3,000 km (1,300 km for the EPR 0,1 square meter).
Other targets it has been announced to defend against include: unmanned aerial vehicles, low Earth orbit satellites, and space weapons launched from hypersonic aircraft, and hypersonic orbital platforms. The system will be mobile and will have rapid deployability. Experts believe that the system’s capabilities can affect enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles at the middle and end portions of flight, but reports by Almaz-Antey say that the external target-designation system will be capable of mid-early flight portion interceptions of enemy ballistic missiles, which is one of the final stages of the S-500 project.