Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to deploy in 2017 a sophisticated new air missile defense system that can hit targets in space, a senior ministry source told Russian news agencies yesterday.
“The promising S-500 air defense missile system is at the development stage. It’s planned to be deployed in 2017,” the source was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. Russia is developing more and more effective missile defense systems for use as a deterrent while continuing to oppose plans by the United States to build a missile defense shield in Europe.
Russia says its most advanced anti-aircraft and anti-missile system currently in use, the S-400 Triumph, has a range of 400 kilometers. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last year that Russia’s armed forces would acquire around 28 S-400s over the following decade. Russia has declined to cancel hugely controversial contracts to supply Syria with four of its powerful S-300 air defense missile systems, a deal that has sparked international concern. Putin in June praised the S-300s as the best such systems in the world and said Russia had not yet delivered the systems to Syria to avoid changing the balance of power in the region.