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Deputy Defence Minister: Russia’s new S-500 system to destroy any target at any altitude

March 26, 2014, 23:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, March 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s new fifth-generation air defence system S-500 will be able to destroy any target at any altitude, Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov said on Wednesday, March 26.

“Work is underway to create a new fifth-generation air defence system S-500 which can destroy aerodynamic and ballistic targets of all types at all altitudes used in combat,” he said.

Borisov said S-400 systems would continue to be supplied to the Aerospace Defence Troops this year. The system “is about 2-2.5 times better than existing systems in terms of cost efficiency”, he added.

S-400 Triumf air defence systems were put on combat duty in Russia's Southern Military District at the end of last year to replace S-300PM missiles.

Supplies of new air defence systems to the 4th Air Force and Air Defence Command in the District started in 2009. Since then, more than 60 pieces of new military hardware have been delivered and put into operation.

The Triumf system is more than two times more effective that previous systems. Each system can attack 10 targets with up to 20 missiles.

The S-400 uses 3 different missiles to cover its entire performance envelope.

The Russian Ministry of Defence has stated that the S-400 is for the Russian Armed Forces only; it will not be exported to other countries.

The Russian Defence Ministry and the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) are also building a new carrier rocket called Angara and have stepped up preparations for its first launch. “We have done a tremendous amount of work to step up preparations for the Angara launch and to catch up with the schedule. And there is no doubt today that Angara will fly in July,” he said.

The new carrier rocket will be used to launch both civilian and military spacecraft and for international space cooperation projects.

A mock-up of the Angara carrier rocket was taken out of the assembly shop at the northern Plesetsk Cosmodrome and installed in the launch pad area in February.

Angara is one of the priorities in the development of the Plesetsk spaceport. In November 2013, a full-scale mock-up of the rocket was for the first time put up at the launch pad. It was a fully operational rocket but intended for ground testing only, not for launching.

A super-heavy lift launch vehicle will be able to carry a payload of 80 tonnes to low-earth orbits. In the future, its capacity can be increased to 160 tonnes and more.

The launch site for super-heavy lift vehicles will be built at Russia’s new Vostochny Cosmodrome now under construction in the Far Eastern Amur Region.

Khrunichev Space Centre Director-General Alexander Seliverstov said that the Angara development had reached the flight test stage and the focus was on finalising the launch site in Plesetsk.

The Angara 1.2 vehicle was shipped to Plesetsk in late May 2013 to allow adequate time for extensive testing and interface verification efforts being performed prior to the planned launch in the first half of 2014. The Angara 5 vehicle is expected to launch later in 2014, he said.

Seliverstov said that light and heavy versions of Angara rockets would be launched in 2014 and work was proceeding as scheduled.

“The first rocket is to be launched in 2014,” Seliverstov said.

A heavy version of the rocket is being assembled. “Work is proceeding as scheduled. We have to make the heavy version before the end of the year as its launch is scheduled for the end of 2014,” he said last year.

Angara will allow Russia to launch all kinds of spacecraft to any orbit. Now Russia can launch heavy satellites only aboard Proton rockets from Baikonur, which it leases from Kazakhstan for about 115 million U.S. dollars a year.

According to Khrunichev, a big advantage of the new rocket carrier is that “it is a universal space rocket system” capable of taking three types of rockets into space: light with a payload of up to 3.5 tonnes, medium with a payload of up to 14.6 tonnes, and heavy with a payload of up to 24.5 tonnes.

Medium lift and heavy lift launch vehicles can take payloads to the geostationary orbit as well.

The vehicle uses a unique engineering solution: the carrier can be assembled of the same modules. Their maximum number is five in a heavy version, three in a medium version, and one in a light version. They can all be launched form the same pad, not like now at Baikonur where each carrier requires its own launching pad.

The Angara class of rockets comprises four types of vehicles, with payload capacities ranging between 3.7 tones /light class, intended for low orbits/ and 28.5 tonnes.

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