Russia buys 1000 long-range 40N6 anti-aircraft missiles for S-400

By 2027, the Russian Federation aims to acquire more than 1,000 40N6 long-range anti-aircraft missiles earmarked for the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.

Russia buys 1000 long-range 40N6 anti-aircraft missiles for S-400
Photo credit: Reddit

In actuality, these systems are already operational in existing units. Some of them designated for forthcoming anti-aircraft missile divisions under the umbrella of the VKS. 

In July of the present year, reports detailed the successful conclusion of the “joint state tests” for the aforementioned 40H6 anti-aircraft missile. Going forward, by 2027, Russia intends to establish up to 56 divisions of S-400 air defense systems, as per Russian media sources.
Photo credit: MWM

Significant alarms for Ukraine

These strategic actions orchestrated by Russia raise significant alarms for Ukraine. These anti-aircraft missiles, designed as a potent aerial threat, primarily seek to confine the operational extent of Ukrainian tactical aviation. 

Speculatively, it could be perceived that the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief, Zaluzhny, alluded to this very construct of the S-400’s 40N6 missiles in his discourse for The Economist.

Russia is rapidly producing the S-400 amid sanctions and war
Photo credit: RuAviation

Zaluzhny pointedly articulated that Russian air defense equipment potentially “blocks” airspace as far as the Dnieper. In this way it restricting the feasible operational terrain for F-16s in the foreseeable future. 

40H6 is a dangerous missile

Scrutinizing the specifications of these missiles underscores the peril the Russian 40H6 S-400 missiles pose for Ukraine’s Air Force aviators. 

Experts assert that the 40N6 holds the capability to engage aerodynamic targets from a range of up to 380 kilometers and ballistic targets at 15 kilometers with a minimum firing range of 5 kilometers. Sharing more on the technical aspects, this missile carries a launch weight of 1.8 tons and a fuselage length of 7.8 meters. Built on a two-stage platform, the missiles can reportedly reach speeds of up to 4300 km/h. 

India strengthens its air defense with delivery of new S-400
Video screenshot

On the subject of the guiding mechanism, it is divulged that the 40N6 houses a mixed guidance system. It comprising active and semi-active modes, albeit without accompanying specifics. Therefore, informed speculation indicates that during the missile’s mid-flight, the semi-active mode receives reflected signals. While the active mode switches on for the tail-end part of its trajectory. 

A-50 and 40N6 work together

Furthermore, Russian authorities affirm that the A-50U radar surveillance aircraft has been adapted to designate airborne targets to 40N6 missiles deployed from the S-400. In all likelihood, the execution of this targeting mechanism follows a particular algorithm—the A-50U aircraft identifies the surface area of the target, followed by the 40H6 missile’s self-locking onto the target. 

Russian Beriev A-50 aircraft direct S-400 anti-aircraft missiles
Photo credit: Twitter

Scrutinizing the properties outlined herein reveals the genuine threat level emanating from the long-range anti-aircraft missiles of the Russian S-400 system. Countering this threat necessitates novel assault mechanisms—an area where Ukraine’s Defense Forces currently lack necessary provisions.

S-400 production in Moscow

A fresh production edifice has been established by Moscow’s governing body within the confines of the Rudnevo Industrial Park. That was reported in mid-October by some sources. The reports indicate that this facility will be subsequently handed over to Almaz-Antey. This corporation renowned for producing anti-aircraft missile systems, including S-400.  

Industry speculation suggests that the new facility will be the production site for the S-400 missile system. Industry experts emphasize that this occurrence signifies not a repositioning of production, but rather an enhancement of manufacturing capabilities. 

Remarkably, the Russians managed to erect the building within a span of merely 8.5 months, leveraging industrial kits that were on hand. Credible intelligence from Moscow presently suggests that the newly constructed plant is primarily being utilized for assembling significant parts of the S-400 system. 

These insider reports further propose that the entirety of the production cycle for Almaz-Antey’s products, which includes meticulous testing under the auspices of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Defense, will be conducted within this newly inaugurated structure.

Still no mass production

Debates within the Ukrainian media landscape have indicated the introduction of a new manufacturing plant, although its operational efficiency is still under scrutiny. 

The assembly duration of the production site, a noteworthy accomplishment attained within 8.5 months, has garnered considerable focus. It warrants emphasis, however, that while the building construction is finalized, the assembly of the production line is still ongoing. This signifies an impending delay in the initiation of actual production operations in this Russian plant. 

Engaging with the hypothetical range of armaments possibly produced at this location, speculations suggest that the capacity of this Russian facility may extend beyond the manufacturing of mere air defense systems.


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