Russia has just unveiled its next-gen S-500 surface-to-air missile system, known as Prometheus, which succeeds the S-400 missile defense system and comes at a time when the smell of war hasn't been stronger.
The new S-500 system can blow ballistic and cruise missiles out of the sky, as well as aircraft like planes and helicopters. Russia has a 600km (373 miles) interception radius, with Russia's state RIA news agency reporting that it was the first time that Russia had tested its new S-500 system in a live-fire test.
It can also take out stealth warplanes, and hypersonic weapons and satellites that are in near-space. Yeah, you read that right.
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The Russian military adds that the S-500 is "objectively unlike anything in the world and is designed to destroy the entire range of existing and future air and space attack weapons in the entire range of altitudes and speeds".
The Russian defence ministry said: "The S-500 anti-aircraft missile system has no analogues in the world and is designed to defeat the entire spectrum of existing and promising aerospace attack weapons of a potential enemy in the entire range of altitudes and speeds. Once the full test cycle is complete, the equipment plans provide for the delivery of the first S-500 system to the Air Defence and Missile Defence unit near Moscow".
We're to expect Russia's next-gen S-500 system to go online in 2025 or so.
The Russian embassy in Washington tweeted: "We would like to remind @PentagonPressSec that potential deployment of any [American flag] hypersonic in Europe would be extremely destabilizing. Their short flight time would leave [Russian flag] little to no decision time and raise the likelihood of inadvertent conflict."
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby chimed in, saying: "It's important to note that Russia's new hypersonic missiles are potentially destabilizing and pose significant risks because they are nuclear-capable systems".
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