The advanced S-500 surface-to-air missile/anti-ballistic missile systems and S-350 medium-range surface-to-air missile systems will enter service with the Russian armed forces soon, the commandant of the Zhukov Air-Space Academy, Lieutenant General Vladimir Lyaporov, said in an interview published by the Krasnaya Zvezda daily on Friday.
In 2019, the first group of officers will complete a training course to use S-500, a long-range system that will form the backbone of Russia’s integrated air defense and missile defense system.
“I would like to note that in 2019, the first group of officers will complete the academy’s course to use the S-500 systems. The systems are yet to enter service, but we expect them to do so in the near future,” he said.
“In the end of the year, the center is expected to receive first S-350 Vityaz systems,” the general added.
Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the delivery of S-500 systems to Russian troops will begin in 2020.
Depending on the type of missiles it is equipped with, the system will be able to shoot down both air-breathing targets, such as planes and drones, and ballistic missiles.
According to earlier Western media reports, Russia’s advanced system hit a target a distance of 481.2 km, exceeding the previous record by 80 km.
S-350 Vityaz is designed to defend important administrative and military facilities from airstrikes.
It operates automatically and the team deploys and controls the weapon. S-350 includes command post 50K6E, multifunctional radars 50N6E and launchers 50P6E with 12 9M96E2 missiles each.
It can simultaneously fire at 16 air or 12 ballistic targets. The maximum range is 60 km and 30 km in altitude. The deployment time is five minutes. The crew comprises three men.