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Media: New Destroyers to Carry S-500 Missile Defense System

Media: New Destroyers to Carry S-500 Missile Defense System 27.06.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Illustration by anti-teror.ucoz.ua
New Russian destroyers to be laid down in 2016 will be armed with shipborne version of S-500 missile defense system, reports Izvestiya referring to a source in defense industry.

"Missile defense system S-500 will be technically ready not earlier than 2014. Perhaps, its ship-based version would not be completed by 2016. So, the lead ship would be possibly armed with navy-adapted S-400 system which is almost finished. Afterwards, its particular elements will be replaced with the S-500 ones. But the problem is that we need a long-range missile to operate in near space, and it has not been developed either for S-400 or for S-500 so far", the source said.

Reportedly, S-500 airspace defense missile system to be produced in 2015 would be capable to shot down aerial targets flying at the altitude higher than 185 km at the distance over 3,500 km from its launcher.

The latest development of Russian industry is S-400 capable to hit targets at the altitude of 5-185,000 meters. However, to reach this kind of high-altitude targets, the new missile 40N6E is needed. Russia fails to create it throughout several years. The missile of the next generation able to fly even higher is in question as well.

The source of Izvestiya added that the missile defense system would not be combat worthy without the missile and compared that situation with Borei-class submarines. Lead sub SSBN Yury Dolgoruky was put afloat as early as 2008 but still has not been commissioned due to problems with Bulava ballistic missile.

Russian air defense manufacturer Almaz-Antei Concern declined to specify what exactly systems would be developed for the new destroyers saying that "it is prematurely to talk on this matter". Spokesman for Severnaya Verf confirmed that the shipyard would attend the tender for destroyers, even though the project had not been completed so far.

"We're not aware what designers will put in this ship. We will build what they want us to. Currently, the project is at development stage, so it will be possible to say something definite only after the lead ship's project is approved", explained the yard's official.

According to Severnoye Design Bureau, the new destroyers will be equipped with modular and replaceable air defense system. The bureau's representative refused to specify its parameters referring to state secrets.

Resigning the presidential post at United Shipbuilding Corporation on July 1, Roman Trotsenko told reporters that in 2016 Russia would start construction of missile defense destroyers which are to become "Russian missile defense pickets in the World Ocean".

Chief editor of the Motherland's Arsenal magazine Viktor Murakhovsky says that S-400 or S-500 systems based on the new destroyers will cover naval forces beyond Russian territorial waters.

"The US develops the Prompt Global Strike concept providing the ICBM or cruise missile attack upon any point worldwide within several hours, including ship formations. As a matter of fact, we don't have mighty long-range air defense system except S-300F mounted on the only nuclear-powered cruiser", Murakhovsky explained.

In addition, the expert emphasized that in contrast to air defense S-400 system, S-500 was designed as a missile defense weapon; it will also effectively counter hypersonic arms actively developed by the US.

He stressed that naval variant of S-500 would be mounted only on destroyers and larger size ships, corvettes and frigates are not suitable for that system. Russian Navy plans to purchase fifty six S-500 systems by 2020.

Ex-head of Russian Strategic Missile Force HQ Viktor Yesin told Izvestiya that the question was in establishment of an integrated air-and-missile defense system.

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