A rocket flying at vertiginous speed appears on a fresh MoD video as the Russian military successfully tests a new addition to the missile defense shield.
Launches of the new air defense missile were held at the Sary Shagan testing range in Kazakhstan. A brief statement from the Ministry of Defense did not disclose the name and specifications of the weapon, only indicating that the missile confirmed its characteristics by hitting its test target.
The 34-second video shows different angles of the moment the rocket cruises up to the sky, leaving behind a burst of flame and thick plumes of smoke on the ground. The spectacular footage was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday morning.
Some YouTube commenters, impressed by the speed of the missile, suggested that it exceeded sonic velocity right from the start. Another user speculated that the military was probably testing the S-500 Prometey, a new anti-ballistic missile system which is expected to enter service in 2020 and supplement the existing S-400s.
Experts say the new system will be able to protect large areas from intercontinental ballistic missiles. The S-500’s very long range of 600km also makes it efficient against AWACS (airborne early warning and control aircrafts) and electronic warfare planes.
Though still under development, the S-500 has already drawn the interest of Turkey. As Ankara has secured a deal for Russia’s S-400, President Erdogan said the country’s military wouldn’t mind also receiving the S-500 systems, and even plans to engage in a co-production partnership.