TechRussia deploys advanced S-500 missile defense in Crimea

Russia deploys advanced S‑500 missile defense in Crimea

System S-500, illustrative photo
System S-500, illustrative photo
Images source: © CC BY 4.0 Deed, Press Service of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

8:48 AM EDT, June 13, 2024

The head of Ukrainian intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, reported that Russia had deployed elements of its newest S-500 Prometheus air defense system in Crimea. According to him, the weapon is meant to protect the Crimean Bridge from Ukrainian attacks and supplement existing systems that have previously destroyed Ukrainian drones and missiles. It cannot be ruled out that the S-500 will become one of the targets for ATACMS, which are already destroying S-300 and S-400 systems.

In Crimea, the newest S-500 systems have appeared. It will be their experimental use, - Kyrylo Budanov told Ukrainian television. According to him, the deployment of this defense system is related to Ukraine's recent strikes in Crimea, which have weakened the Russians' air defense capabilities in the region. The Ukrainian army reported that on June 10, it managed to hit elements of the S-300 and S-400 systems in Crimea. During the attacks, Storm Shadow missiles and ATACMS were used. If the information about the deployment of the S-500 is confirmed, it will be the first known case of this weapon being used.

S-500 Prometheus in Crimea

The S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft missile systems are one of the newest solutions created by the Russian defense industry. The first information about it appeared in 2015, but the serial production of the weapon only began in 2021. The Russians had ordered 10 such systems. Their deliveries were planned for 2022, but work on the S-500 was significantly delayed. In April 2024, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured the systems would enter service with the army later this year. The words of the head of Ukrainian intelligence confirm that the weapon has started its combat duty.

The S-500 Prometheus is a long-range anti-ballistic and anti-aircraft system, serving as a supplement and an advanced development of the S-400 Triumf system. Compared to its predecessor, the weapon gained additional components for intercepting ballistic and hypersonic missiles. The Russians allegedly used modern technologies to counter targets at greater altitudes and over longer distances. The Kremlin even claims the S-500 can detect targets up to 1,240 miles. This allows it to see threats before they reach critical infrastructure or military targets.

The Russians also believe that Prometheus can destroy airborne targets within a range of up to 373 miles and fly at altitudes of up to 124 miles. It can also simultaneously attack up to 10 enemy objects. Moreover, it can respond to threats much faster than, for example, the S-400. S-500, the reaction time is approximately three seconds, whereas for the S-400, it is about 9-10 seconds. The Kremlin also claims that Prometheus can launch various types of missiles tailored to specific threats and operational requirements, including 40N6M and 77N6-N-type missiles.

As we have already reported, a key element of Prometheus is its advanced radar complex, which includes the S-band 91N6E(M) detection radar, the C-band 96L6-TsP detection radar, the 76T6 radar, and the 77T6 anti-ballistic missile detection radar. Thanks to these, the S-500 obtains a good field of view of approaching threats, including even the ability to intercept hypersonic missiles that move at speeds exceeding Mach 5.

Related content