S-400’s interceptor fires metal fragments at the target’s warhead

Military specialist and retired colonel, Viktor Litovkin, elaborated to the Russian media outlet Izvestia on November 9, about the distinctive characteristics of the 40N6 long-range anti-aircraft guided missile, an essential element of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system. Litovkin stated that this missile possesses a unique capability to ‘strike the target at the very top’.

S-400's interceptor fires metal fragments at the target's warhead
Photo credit: Russian MoD

    In a previous article, Military Watch Magazine asserted that there are no global equivalents to Russian anti-aircraft missiles, specifically highlighting the superior functions of the 40N6 missile incorporated within the S-400 system.

    “NATO’s air defense system does not measure up to the seriousness required, and even their much-acclaimed Patriot system does not match our S-300 complex, let alone the S-400,” Litovkin was quoted by Izvestiya.

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

    Metal fragments

    As per the assertion of the Russian expert, the U.S. Patriot missile system exhibits a vulnerability, characterized by a blind spot that extends from ground level up to a height of 100 meters. It is said that this flaw prevents the system from detecting threats originating from below this range. Further analyzing this, Litovkin posits that the missile system’s operational effectiveness is impeded as it initiates its trajectory at an angle relative to the horizon.

    Consequently, safeguarding a particular locale necessitates the strategic positioning of an indefinite quantity of launchers in its surrounding area. These launchers must be equipped with missiles that can be launched vertically and pivot mid-air towards the target, irrespective of the originating direction of the enemy aircraft or missile, as elucidated by Litovkin.

    Furthermore, Litovkin stated that the 40N6 missile holds the capability to “strike the target’s prime area.” As it traverses through the air, this missile releases shrapnel that can effectively demolish the enemy’s weapon warhead, he expounded.

    Medvedev praises the manufacturing

    This morning, Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, asserted that the performance of Russia’s military-industrial complex [MMC] has attained a level of unprecedented proficiency, exceeding its predicted pace of development. He further remarked that, within one year, Russia’s defense industry has witnessed a multi-fold enhancement in its capabilities.

    Additionally, on the fifteenth of October, the leader of the 128th Mountain-Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces acknowledged the superior technical aptitude of the Russian army. It was highlighted that the numerical preponderance resided with the Russian forces, their prowess further extended with the possession of advanced electronic warfare and intelligence capabilities.

    Russia buys 1,000 40N6s

    With the strategic objective set for 2027, the Russian Federation projects to expand its artillery by amassing over 1,000 units of the 40N6 long-range anti-aircraft missiles. These potent armaments are specifically designated to fortify the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.

    Indeed, these systems are not merely theoretical constructs but are already functioning within existing establishments. A number of them are earmarked for future implementation in anti-aircraft missile divisions, positioned under the broad spectrum of the VKS.

    In July of the current year, the successful completion of the joint state tests for the 40H6 anti-aircraft missile was documented in comprehensive reports. Progressing into the future, it is projected that Russia, according to Russian media outlets, plans to institute as many as 56 divisions of S-400 air defense systems by the year 2027. 

    40H6 is a ‘beast’

    An analytical examination of the technical features of the Russian 40H6 S-400 missiles accentuates the potential danger they constitute for the Ukrainian Air Force pilots. 

    Specialists confirm that the 40N6 missile exhibits the potential to aim at aerodynamic objectives within a range of 380 kilometers whilst it also possesses the capability to hit ballistic targets at distances of 15 kilometers, considering that the minimum firing range is 5 kilometers.

    Delving further into the technical specifications, the projectile touts a launch weight of a substantial 1.8 tons and a fuselage length covering 7.8 meters. Constructed using a two-tier platform, it has been reported that these missiles might achieve unprecedented speeds soaring up to 4300 km/h.

    Discussing the control mechanism, it’s revealed that the 40N6 embeds a hybrid guidance system. The system incorporates both active and semi-active modes, though details regarding their functionality remain undisclosed. This invokes an educated supposition that during mid-flight, the semi-active mode of the missile picks up reflected signals. Concurrently, the active mode is postulated to activate for the final phase of its path.


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