US News Channel reported about the tests of S-500, the latest Russian Anti-Missile System Complex and compared it with American THAAD. According to sources, the S-500 Anti-Missile & Air Defence Systems could hit targets at a distance of 480 kilometers, which is 80 kilometers further away from S-400 Missiles. So, where does American THAAD stand against the Russian S-500?
The fact that Russia is developing S-500 Anti-Missile & Air Defence Systems has been known for several years, but its tactical and technical specifications, appearance and other information remained classified. It is believed that American THAAD complex (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) can be considered similar to the S-500, however, according to the developers of the Russian system – Almaz-Antey – the S-500 Anti-Missile & Air Defence Systems will be far ahead of any of its competitors.
S-500 vs S-400 Anti-Missile System
The S-500, as per sources, is not a continuation of the S-300 and the S-400 series, but a completely new complex, created from scratch with completely new radar, a new computer system and new missiles. The primary operating mode in the S-500 will be automatic and the complex will require minimal intervention from the operator.
Assessing by reports leaking from the Internet, the S-500 Missile will be able to hit both ballistic targets, including intercontinental missiles, as well as aerodynamic targets like fighter jets and cruise missiles. The range of the S-500 system for the interception of aerodynamic targets is estimated to be 500 kilometers.
The S-500 Complex will also be equipped with an anti-ballistic missile to destroy ballistic targets, and will be capable of hitting targets at altitudes over 100 kilometers, but how much higher is still now known.
THAAD vs S-500 Air Defence Systems
The working methodology of S-500 Missiles is very different from the American THAAD Missiles. The S-500 Missiles will not crash into the target and destroy it with the kinetic energy like the American THAAD missiles. According to Russian experts, the S-500 interceptor missiles will be equipped with a conventional warhead which will hit the hostile targets with explosives and shrapnel.
According to Russian experts, Moscow does not consider a missile variant with a kinetic interception because the probability of destroying the target is too low. The traditional anti-missile interceptors, which strikes the target with shrapnel and explodes in close proximity to the object, incapacitates the target by blasting it mid-air. The S-500 continues to work on that model only.
The S-500 will be able to detect, track and destroy up to ten ballistic missiles or hostile fighter jets simultaneously. Additionally, the S-500 system is equipped with interceptor missiles with active radar homing head, that makes it comparable to the American THAAD complex.
The job of the S-500 Air Defence System is to shield a relatively small and strategically important location from hostile ballistic or cruise missiles. These locations include nuclear power plants, the positions of Russian ICBMs, a City or other strategic locations.
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