Russia tests new air-defense missile

The Russian military has successfully tested a new air defense missile, which was reportedly capable of intercepting single and multiple strikes, including with the use of new generation intercontinental ballistic missiles.

“We have successfully test-fired a new upgraded air defense missile,” Russian media quoted Andrei Prikhodko, the deputy commander of Aerospace Forces’ air and missile defense task force, as saying.

“The missile’s tactical and technical characteristics regarding the range, precision and operational lifetime are significantly higher compared to present-day weapons,” he added. [source]

Analysis: Russian air defenses are fairly sophisticated and getting better — they’re no pushover by any means. The S-300 and S-400 systems are good, and the S-500 under development is reportedly even better.

But Russian air defense is not without problems or limitations. For instance, air defense equipment deployed last fall to Syria revealed several shortcomings. Terrain, for one, limited the effective range of the systems and made them ineffective against low-flying incoming aircraft. Also, Russian radar reportedly failed to detect the 59 Tomahawks fired at Shayrat air base in Syria on April 17, 2017, in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack that killed civilians. Another problem is a lack of assets; Russia, for instance, only has 17 Myasichev A-50 Airborne Early Warning Systems, and they are needed to cover Russia’s vast airspace.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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