The most important elements of Russia’s S-500 Prometey air defence system have been tested in Syria, according to Izvestia, a Russian media outlet, citing sources in the Defence Ministry.
According to the publication, during S-500 testing, experts identified “certain problems” in the operation of the equipment, but they were quickly eliminated.
It is specified that the tests are already complete and have been recognised as successful.
Former deputy head of the Air Force for the joint CIS integrated air defence system Lieutenant General Aitech Bizhev noted that during the tests prior to the supply of arms to the armed forces, special attention is paid to the smooth operation of all their components.
According to him, the equipment “is tested in harsh technical and climatic conditions and works literally [despite] wear and tear.”
The Russian Defence Ministry has not yet commented on the reports.
The S-500’s technical specifications remain shrouded in secrecy, although reports speculate that the system will be capable of destroying targets from distances of up to 600 km away, and tracking and striking up to 10 ballistic targets moving at hyper-sonic speeds up to 7 km per second (the equivalent of about Mach 20).
On 2 October 2018, Moscow delivered S-300s to Damascus in a bid to boost the security of Russian troops deployed in the restive Middle Eastern country. The move came in response to an incident in which Syrian air defences accidentally shot down a Russian Il-20 military aircraft with 15 service members on board in Latakia while attempting to repel an Israeli airstrike.
In the aftermath of the incident, Moscow accused the Israeli Defence Forces of deliberately using the Russian aircraft as a shield during their attack on targets in Syria. Tel Aviv brushed off the accusations, claiming it had warned Moscow about the upcoming air raid in the area in a timely fashion.