Russia successfully test-fires S-500 missile system
Russia says it has successfully test-fired its new S-500 air defense missile system in a training exercise at a training range and struck a fast-moving ballistic target with accuracy.
"At the Kapustin Yar training ground, the latest S-500 air defense missile weapon system carried out live-fire exercises to hit a high-speed ballistic target," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. "The target was hit," it said.
"The combat shooting conducted as part of the test trials confirmed the missile system's tactical and technical performance characteristics and high reliability of Russia's air defense military hardware," it said.
After the testing is completed, the first S-500 system will be sent to an air defense unit outside Moscow, the ministry said. "We plan that the first S-500 system will be procured to the Moscow Region's air and missile defense unit after a full cycle of tests is completed."
The military had previously said the army would begin receiving the first S-500 systems in 2020, while specialists have been working on the system since 2017.
Russia says the S-500 is the most advanced anti-missile system in the world and is capable of countering attacks from space. The cutting-edge system is said to be able to intercept a whole range of means of air and space attacks at all altitudes and speeds.
On Monday, Russia successfully tested a new Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missile, an addition to a series of Russian weapons described as "invincible" by President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian leader was scheduled to attend an airshow later on Tuesday when a new Russian-developed fighter jet was due to be unveiled.
NATO member Turkey has bought from Russia the S-500 system's predecessor, S-400, despite protests from the United States and a number of other NATO member states, which argue that the missile batteries are not compatible with the weapon systems of the military alliance.