Moscow Expects to Field Next-Gen Interceptors by Late 2015

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Dec. 2, 2013, 10:02 a.m.

Rus­sia ex­pects to be­gin field­ing with­in two years its next-gen­er­a­tion in­ter­cept­ors cap­able of de­fend­ing against ground-based bal­list­ic mis­siles, the Xin­hua News Agency re­por­ted on Fri­day.

The S-500 is the latest it­er­a­tion in Rus­sia’s fam­ily of mis­sile-de­fense sys­tems. The tech­no­logy is in­ten­ded to be cap­able of des­troy­ing hos­tile air­craft, me­di­um-range bal­list­ic mis­siles and in­ter­con­tin­ent­al bal­list­ic mis­siles.

“This is our re­sponse to the U.S. an­ti­mis­sile de­fense,” Rus­si­an air-space de­fense forces deputy com­mand­er Kir­ill Makarov told the state-run Rus­sia 24 net­work.

Makarov said 10 of the S-500 units would be de­ployed by late 2015.

Mo­scow ob­jects to the grow­ing NATO bal­list­ic mis­sile shield in Europe and is con­cerned that U.S. mis­sile in­ter­cept­ors planned for field­ing around the con­tin­ent in the com­ing years could secretly tar­get its own long-range nuc­le­ar weapons. Rus­sia has warned that if its con­cerns con­tin­ue to go un­re­solved, it will take mil­it­ary coun­ter­meas­ures to neut­ral­ize the per­ceived threat. NATO and Wash­ing­ton in­sist the mis­sile de­fense frame­work is solely aimed at de­fend­ing against pos­sible mis­sile strikes launched from the Middle East.

Mean­while, Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin an­nounced last week that three ad­di­tion­al S-400 re­gi­ments will enter in­to ser­vice in 2014, RIA Nov­osti re­por­ted.

The S-400 Tri­umf is the older cous­in of the S-500. It is de­signed to in­ter­cept aer­i­al threats from alti­tudes as high as 18.6 miles and at ranges as far as 250 miles. S-400 units are already de­ployed near Mo­scow, the Ka­lin­in­grad ex­clave and in the Primorye re­gion.

This art­icle was pub­lished in Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire, which is pro­duced in­de­pend­ently by Na­tion­al Journ­al Group un­der con­tract with the Nuc­le­ar Threat Ini­ti­at­ive. NTI is a non­profit, non­par­tis­an group work­ing to re­duce glob­al threats from nuc­le­ar, bio­lo­gic­al, and chem­ic­al weapons.

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