American experts acknowledged that the promising Russian C-500 (Prometheus) air defense system could threaten American fighters, strategic bombers, airborne early warning and control aircraft, cruise missiles, and even satellites in orbit. Earlier, Russian generals promised that "Prometheus" will appear in the troops by the year of 2020.
The concept of so-called kinetic interception will be implemented in the new Russian anti-missile missile system C-500 (Prometheus), as well as in the US anti-missile system THAAD, when only the kinetic energy of the hardware unit is used to hit a target, the National Interest magazine writes on Saturday (NI). At the same time, the speed of flight of the Russian 77H6-H and 77H6-H1 anti-missile systems varies from five to seven kilometers per second, which allows them to intercept enemy cruise missiles.
It is assumed that Prometheus will be especially effective against invisible aircraft, however, judging by the available descriptions of the characteristics of the system, a confrontation like this aviation is not the main task of the Russian complex. According to the magazine, the very long range of the S-500 makes the complex ideal weapons against the largest and most unobtrusive targets. Determining and hitting a bomber from a long distance will be difficult, but airborne early warning and control systems (AWACS) or EW aircraft will be in much greater danger and are likely to be forced to operate outside the C-500 radius, or they will need to significantly improve their board equipment.
The journal's analysts emphasize that the Russian complex is being developed primarily as a defensive antimissile system, but at the same time it can also be used as an anti-satellite weapon.
As Sergey Denisantsev, an expert of the Center for Analysis, Strategies and Technologies (“AST-Center”), told the VZGLYAD newspaper, the American magazine in general correctly estimates Prometey. “The task of the anti-aircraft missile system is to intercept ballistic and cruise missiles, to fight enemy aircraft. This is logical. Nevertheless, we do not know about many parameters of the C-500 and its combat capabilities. We can evaluate this only on the basis of open data and those leaked to the press, ”the speaker noted.
According to him, C-500 will be able to easily fight AWACS aircraft due to the long range. As for the anti-satellite warfare, Denisensev explained that for this purpose a special rocket, and at least a two-stage rocket, would need to be developed. The expert believes that comparing C-500 with THAAD is permissible, but the American system was created earlier and has already been adopted. When the Russian complex will take up combat duty is unknown.
Nevertheless, as TASS wrote half a year ago, the army will receive the first samples of Prometheus in the near future - development work on the complex is almost complete. Commenting on the publication of the news agency, representatives of American industry were surprised that our country was able to develop such a complex after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In turn, the representative of the Pentagon then suggested that the C-500 would be a very serious danger to the invisible aircraft, such as the F-22, F-35 and B-2.
However, if you recall the experience of the war in Yugoslavia, then even the old Soviet air defense system C-125 is capable of destroying an inconspicuous aircraft. Recall 27 March 1999, the anti-aircraft missile division under the command of Colonel Zoltan Dani shot down an American F-117 aircraft near Belgrade, which was previously considered invisible to radar.
Recall, "Prometheus" refers to a new generation of ground-to-air anti-aircraft missile systems. It is a universal range of long-range and high-altitude interception with increased potential for missile defense and is capable of intercepting ballistic missiles, aerodynamic targets (airplanes, helicopters, other air targets), as well as cruise missiles. C-500 is able to detect and simultaneously hit up to 10 supersonic targets at a distance of 500 km. C-500 should replace C-300 and C-400.
In November 2013, the commander of the Aerospace Defense (WKO), Major General Alexander Golovko, reported that the Almaz-Antey air defense concern had begun testing Prometheus elements. According to him, five complexes will be purchased for the East Kazakhstan region under the current state armaments program up to 2020.
The same term was also called on Saturday by the former head of the anti-missile forces of the special forces command of the Russian Air Force, Colonel Sergey Khatilev. “Russia possesses C-300 and C-400 complexes, which are representatives of the same park. It is necessary to create a deeply distributed air defense system, missile defense and PKO, - said Khatilev. - The work on its creation is very active. These are the Vityaz C-350 air defense system, the C-300 improvement to the C-300ПМ-2 level, the improvement of the C-400 complex, etc. This common automated system should appear before the 2020 year. ”
There is no urgent need for C-500, the expert believes - its predecessors, C-300 “Favorit” and C-400 “Triumph”, are already in service, and this is still enough. “However, it is noteworthy that these complexes, like other equipment and weapons of this type, work in the complex under a single automated control. C-500 should complement this system qualitatively, ”the colonel told Polythekspert, adding to the example that one of the C-500 missiles being developed will destroy targets in near space at an altitude of 186 km.