Russia’s S-500 missile system hits test target

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Russia said Tuesday it had successfully test-fired its new S-500 air defence missile systems at a southern training range and hit a high-speed ballistic target.

Russia says the S-500, which is expected to have a maximum firing range of 600 kilometres, is the most advanced anti-missile system in the world and is capable of countering attacks from space.

Its development however is years behind schedule. The military had previously said the army would begin receiving the first S-500 systems in 2020.

In April, the maker of the systems, Almaz-Anty, said that work on the S-500 was nearing completion.

“At the Kapustin Yar training ground the latest S-500 air defense missile weapon system carried out live fire exercises to hit a high-speed ballistic target,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

“The target was hit,” the statement added.

Video footage of the test was released by the defence ministry for the first time.

After tests are completed the first S-500 system — also known as Prometheus and the Triumfator-M — will be sent to an air defence unit outside Moscow, the defence ministry said.

NATO member Turkey has bought from Russia the advanced system’s predecessor, S-400, despite protests from the United States that it threatens the alliance’s defences.

On Monday, Russia said it had carried out another successful test of its Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, part of a new arsenal of weapons described as “invincible” by President Vladimir Putin.

He was scheduled to attend an airshow later Tuesday, at which a new Russian-developed fighter jet was due to be unveiled.

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