S-500 missile system


S-500 Prometheus
TypeMobile surface-to-air missile
Place of originRussia
Service history
In serviceSeptember 16th, 2021
Production history
Unit cost$600 Millions per system
Produced2021-Present Day
No. built~ 30 units+

600 km (370 mi)[1]

The S-500 Prometey (Russian: C-500 Прометей, lit.'Prometheus'), also known as 55R6M "Triumfator-M",[2] 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.[3][4] With its characteristics, according to Pravda Report, it is unrivaled by any other similar system in the world, being the first in a new class of space-defense weapons. Also according to Pravda Report, it shares with the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system the trait that it will be integrated into a single network of aerospace defense assets.[5]


Although sharing a similar designation with the S-500U project of the 1960s, the relationship between the two remains unclear. The S-500U multichannel anti-aircraft system was a 1968 initiative by the Soviet Air Defence Forces, Soviet Navy, Ministry of the Radio Industry (Ministerstvo Radio Promyshlennosti SSSR), and Ministry of the Shipbuilding Industry to create a unified complex for the National Air Defence Troops, navy and ground troops. Missiles of the S-500U complex were supposed to engage enemy aircraft at a range up to 100 km (62 mi). The S-500U SAM complex project was rejected by the Soviet Army, which had a requirement to engage not only enemy aircraft, but also short-range ballistic missiles. Consequently, the S-300 family (SA-10 and SA-12) was developed instead.

In 2009, the system was in design stage at Almaz-Antey and had been planned to be completed in 2012.[6] In February 2011, it was announced that the first S-500 units should be in serial production by 2014.[7] Two production plants to produce the S-500 were to be built by 2013, with first deliveries then scheduled for 2015 or 2017.[8] According to the original plans, ten S-500 battalions were to be purchased for the Russian Aerospace Defense (VKO) under the State Armament Programme 2020 (GPV-2020).[9]

The S-500s will work in parallel with S-400s and are planned to together replace the S-300 missile systems.[10] The first units are planned to be deployed around Moscow and the country's central area. A naval version is the likely armament for the new Lider-class destroyer, which is to enter service after 2020.[11]

CEO of Rostec Corporation Sergey Chemezov declared the beginning of S-500 production on 30 June 2019.[12] Despite that, serial production of the first 10 systems (ordered in late 2020) only begun in 2021.[13][14]


In May 2018, Russia conducted the longest range surface-to-air missile test to date with the S-500. According to reports citing unnamed sources familiar with U.S. intelligence on the program, the S-500 was able to hit a target 482 km (300 mi) away, which is 80 km further than the previous record.[15]

On 4 June 2019, the Russian Ministry of Defense posted a video showing the successful launch of a new anti ballistic missile system in the form of a long range surface to air missile. Though the nature of the air defence system which was being tested was not mentioned it has been widely speculated to have been a test of the S-500 Prometheus long range surface to air missile system.[16]

The S-500 radar was tested in late 2019.[17]

In June 2021, S-500 was rumoured to have been tested at Khmeimim airbase, Syria, supposedly receiving a lock on F-35 fighter.[18]

As of July 2021, the Russian MOD has released the first public footage of a live-fire test of the new S-500 anti-ballistic missile system at Kapustin Yar.[19]

Operational history

The first S-500 regiment went on combat duty in Moscow on 13 October 2021.[20]


The S-500 is a new-generation surface-to-air missile system. It 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.[citation needed] With a planned range of 600 km (370 mi) for anti-ballistic missile (ABM) and 500 km (310 mi) for air defence,[21] the S-500 would be able to detect and simultaneously engage up to 10 ballistic hypersonic targets flying at a speed of 5 kilometres per second (3.1 mi/s; 18,000 km/h; 11,000 mph)[22][23] to a limit of 7 km/s (4.3 mi/s; 25,000 km/h; 16,000 mph).[24][25] It also aims at destroying hypersonic cruise missiles and other aerial targets at speeds of higher than Mach 5, as well as spacecraft.[citation needed] The altitude of a target engaged can be as high as 180–200 km (110–120 mi).[citation needed] 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).[26][27] 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.[28]

The system will be highly 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,[21] but reports by Almaz-Antey say that the external target-designation system (RLS Voronezh-DM and missile defense system A-135 radar Don-2N) 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. It is to have a response time of less than 4 seconds (Compared to the S-400's less than 10).[29]


The S-500 will consist of:[30]

  • 77P6 launch vehicle, based on the BAZ-69096 10x10 truck
  • 55K6MA and 85Zh6-2 command posts, based on BAZ-69092-12 6x6
  • 91N6A(M) acquisition and battle management radar, a modification of the 91N6 (Big Bird) towed by the BAZ-6403.01 8x8 tractor
  • 96L6-TsP acquisition radar, an upgraded version of the 96L6 (Cheese Board) on BAZ-69096 10x10
  • 76T6 multimode engagement radar on BAZ-6909-022 8x8
  • 77T6 ABM engagement radar on BAZ-69096 10x10

The type of missiles used, especially for the long range ABM/ATBM role, has not been disclosed yet. It is likely to be a derivative of the SA-12B Giant two-stage ATBM, since the 77P6 launch vehicle is originally meant to carry 2 containers for the SA-12B. The other missiles, to be used against classical airborne targets, are likely to be the same as in the S-400 system.


In September 2021, Deputy PM of Russia Yury Borisov said that India could be a prospective, and probably the first, S-500 customer.[31][32][33][34][35]

Also, according to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey is ready to consider possible S-500 purchases in the future.[36]

See also


  1. ^ "СТАЛО ИЗВЕСТНО, КОГДА ПОЯВИТСЯ ОПЫТНЫЙ ОБРАЗЕЦ НОВЕЙШЕЙ СИСТЕМЫ С-500". ria.ru. 19 February 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  2. ^ "S-500/S-1000 (Russian Federation), Defensive weapons". Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems. 10 February 2009. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  3. ^ "Armed forces plan to get first S-500 systems in 2021. (In Russian)". Ria Novosti. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  4. ^ "First batch of Russian-made S-500 system enters service — Deputy PM". TASS. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Russia's S-500 Prometey to nail USA's THAAD to the wall". pravdareport.com. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Russia to revamp air-space defenses by 2020 - Air Force chief". RIA Novosti. 8 August 2009. Archived from the original on 14 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  7. ^ Russia to start building new S-500 air defense missiles by 2014, RU: RIA Novosti, 17 December 2009, archived from the original on 20 February 2011
  8. ^ "Russia to build 2 plants for S-500 air defense systems". RIA Novosti. 18 November 2011. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Valeriy Ivanov on VKO, S-500, S-400 | Russian Defense Policy". russiandefpolicy.wordpress.com. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Russian Army Will Be Equipped with S-500 New Surface-to-Air Missile Defense System for 2020". Army Recognition. Army Recognition. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  11. ^ "New-generation missile destroyer under development in Russia". ITAR-TASS. 21 October 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Объявлено о начале производства С-500". Lenta.ru. 30 June 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Armed forces plan to get first S-500 systems in 2021. (In Russian)". Ria Novosti. 23 February 2021. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  14. ^ https://tass.com/defense/1320543
  15. ^ "Russia's S-500 Air Defense System Reportedly Hits Target Nearly 300 Miles Away". The Warzone. JOSEPH TREVITHICK. 24 May 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  16. ^ "S-500 or A-235? Russia Tests Advanced New Missile Defence System With Extreme Range". Military Watch. Military Watch. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  17. ^ "В Сирии испытали российскую С-500". Lenta.ru. Lenta.ru. 2 October 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  18. ^ "Неизвестная система ПВО, размещённая на авиабазе «Хмеймим», перепугала НАТО". avia.pro (in Russian). 1 July 2021. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  19. ^ "Serial production of missiles for S-500 air defense systems begins in Russia — source". TASS. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  20. ^ "First regiment of S-500 air defense systems to defend Moscow — source". TASS. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  21. ^ a b Ptichkin, Sergei (8 July 2014). Отстрелялись антиракетой — Идут испытания С-500 — новейшей системы ПВО-ПРО [Shot by anti-missile – Testing underway of C-500 – the modern air and missile defence system] (in Russian). rg.ru. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Russia set to finish development of new air defense system". RIA Novosti. 16 September 2009. Archived from the original on 23 September 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  23. ^ "Russia creating new aerospace defence system". ITAR-TASS. 11 August 2009. Archived from the original on 11 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  24. ^ "First S-500 missile complex to be put on combat alert in central Russia". TASS. Archived from the original on 23 August 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  25. ^ Россия откроет производство комплексов С-500 в 2015 году [Russia will open production complexes for S-500 in 2015] (in Russian). Lenta.ru. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  26. ^ http://vpk.name/library/f/c-500.html#prettyPhoto[vpk]/2/
  27. ^ Popov, Aleksandr (22 September 2016). "'The National Interest': Россия вооружается С-500 и сможет сбивать все что летает" ['The National Interest': Russia is arming itself the C-500, and will be able to shoot down all that flies] (in Russian). Newsland.com. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  28. ^ First regiment of S-500 new air defense missile system will protect Moscow and center of Russia. Armyrecognition.com, 21 August 2014.
  29. ^ "S-500 Prometheus". Missile Threat. Archived from the original on 1 June 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  30. ^ Dr C Kopp, SMAIAA, SMIEEE, PEng. "Almaz-Antey S-500 Triumfator M Self Propelled Air / Missile Defence System / SA-X-NN / Самоходный Комплекс Противоракетной / Противосамолетной Обороны С-500 "Триумфатор-М"". ausairpower.net. Retrieved 21 March 2015.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  31. ^ "Russia exploring market for S550 missile system; all eyes on India". The Economic Times. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  32. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: India Likely To Be The First Customer Of S-500 Missile Defense System – Russian Deputy PM". Latest Asian, Middle-East, EurAsian, Indian News. 17 September 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  33. ^ "First batch of Russian-made S-500 system enters service — Deputy PM". TASS. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  34. ^ "Government speculation: India may buy S-500 missile system". 17 September 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  35. ^ "India Could Potentially Become 1st Buyer Of Russias S-500 Missile System - Borissov". UrduPoint. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  36. ^ "Turkey ready to consider future purchases of S-500 missile systems from Russia — president". TASS. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.

External links

  • Technical Report APA-TR-2011-0602 Almaz-Antey S-500 Triumfator M. Air Power Australia. 16 June 2011.
  • S-500 "Prometheus", CSIS Missile Threat.
  • First S-500 missile complex to be put on combat alert in central Russia ITAR-TASS News Agency, 20 August 2014.