Government speculation: India may buy S-500 anti-aircraft system

MOSCOW, ($1=72.53 Russian Rubles) – According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, India may be the first foreign customer of the latest anti-aircraft system S-500 Prometheus, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing TASS. Yuri Borisov did not confirm a possible preliminary deal, but it is clear from his answer that talks are underway.

“Potentially, yes <…> But there are still no agreements in the practical plans. And this is a common practice: until we saturate our native armed forces, we do not sell abroad,” Borissov answered journalists’ questions during the Tyumen oil and gas forum [TNF 2021].

According to Borissov, it is traditional for the Russian government to first arm the army of the Russian Federation before taking steps to export a product. The situation is the same with the S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft system. “But this (deal with India) is not a prospect for the next few years,” he said.

Russian-Indian relations

Russia and India have traditions in the defense industry and technology sharing. This fact was also emphasized by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation during TNF 2021. Borissov recalled that Russia and India are jointly developing a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile BrahMos.

BulgarianMilitary.com reminds you that in addition to BrahMos, India uses a Russian license for domestic production of T-90 tanks and Su-30MKI fighters. Also, according to Borissov, there are currently negotiations between the two governments for a large purchase of Russian Ka-226T helicopters.

“Sometimes we sell to India what we do not sell to other countries because we have no political or territorial claims to each other or conflict situations. Our cooperation has been tested over the years,” he said.

Russia has already ordered S-500 air defense systems

As we reported on July 29 this year, citing TASS, the Russian Federation has ordered more than ten of its latest S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft missile systems. According to TASS journalists, during the international exhibition MAKS 2021 near Moscow, a source from the Russian military industry made this comment in an informal conversation with journalists and colleagues.

TASS source claims that Almaz-Altai is currently carrying out the last stage of testing the system – state tests. According to him, they are held “at one of the landfills in southern Russia.” It is expected that by the end of 2021 all tests will be completed, S-500 Prometheus will confirm its characteristics and receive the necessary documentation for serial production. According to the source of TASS, deliveries of the latest and first purely Russian anti-aircraft system [the rest are updated versions from the time of the USSR – ed.] to the Russian armed forces will begin in the second half of 2022.

What do we know about the S-500 missile system?

In the last two years, speculation about Russia’s latest air defense system has intensified, but some of the characteristics have been voiced, both by senior officials in Russia’s military-industrial complex and by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

Almaz-Altai CEO Pavel Sozinov says the S-500 will be able to intercept and “fight” missiles several hundred kilometers above us. “Interception in the upper atmosphere is real. It is hundreds of kilometers from the Earth. <…> This is a system that solves a whole range of tasks of both air defense and missile defense. Today we are working out the elements of the system with the maximum cost savings allocated for testing,” Sozinov said in an interview with Arkady Mamontov in his YouTube program.

“We tried to make a forecast for the next 25 years on the development of aerospace attack weapons and believe that it will be very reliable in terms of the characteristics that a potential adversary can achieve in this time. Accordingly, our system must be able to deal with those means which are still missing but may appear in five, seven, or ten years,” Sozinov added.

Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko explained, the main task of the S-500 is to combat the combat equipment of medium-range ballistic missiles (self-intercepting with a launch range of up to 3.5 thousand kilometers) and intercontinental ballistic missiles in the final section of the trajectory, and in certain cases in the middle section.

The capabilities of the S-500 were also confirmed by the US

Much of the information released to the public is speculative and manipulative. Very often it is difficult to distinguish truth from falsehood, and the Russian media do not seek for the most part to inform, but to manipulate.

The information we know about the S-500 Prometheus could also be considered speculation if, at the end of 2020, the US Space Command did not announce that Russia had tested a missile that could hit and destroy satellites in orbit around the Earth. Russia did not deny the test at the time but said it was a test of the new S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft missile system.

According to Washington, this missile system is a threat to the United States and its allies. “We are ready and determined to deter aggression and protect our nation and our allies from hostilities in space,” the US Space Command statement said.

In the last year, information has emerged that Turkey wants to develop the S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft missile system together with Russia.

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