September 2, 2012
Russia Reportedly Developing Anti-Missile Defense System
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Russia is believed to be developing a sea-based missile and space defense system similar to the US Aegis Combat System (ACS), various media outlets said on Friday.
According to RT reports, the system will be "deployed in international waters" and "is expected to become an integral part of the Russian Navy." It will be built (at least in part) by Almaz-Antey, the same company that manufactures the S-400 ℠Triumph´ missile defense system, the English-language Russian news agency added.
"Anatoly Shlemov, the head of national defense orders for Russia´s United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), told RIA Novosti that 'this task has been definitely set for the [Russian] military-industrial complex,'" the author of the RT article said. "Almaz-Antey is not working alone on the planned system, Shelmov said, without specifying additional details about the top-secret project."
Likewise, the Associated Press (AP) said that Shlemov had told RIA Novosti that Kremlin officials had "definitely" assigned Russian defense industry personnel to develop a naval missile interception system. The AP added that the USC official "refused to elaborate" on the project due to its classified nature.
The ACS program includes radar technology which is carried by warships, the AP said. Those warships are armed with interceptors capable of destroying missiles while they are in flight, and they are part of a NATO plan to "deploy missile defense elements in Europe" -- a plan that American defense personnel say "would stave off threats from rogue nations such as Iran," but that their Russian counterparts argue "would undermine Russia's nuclear forces."
Earlier this year, USC President Roman Trotsenko announced that the company would be beginning work on six nuclear-powered destroyers with ACS-like systems in 2016, RT said. He called those ships the "benchmarks of Russian space defense" in Earth's oceans, but did not elaborate on those plans.
As for Almaz-Antey, they are currently finishing work on the S-500 "Prometheus" system, which is expected to be used starting in 2017 and are expected to be used to arm the UCS destroyers being used in the project.
"The S-500 will supposedly able to engage targets in low earth orbit flying at speeds of up to 7 kilometer per second — the highest speed achievable by a ballistic missile at its highest trajectory in space," the Russian media outlet added. "The S-500´s capabilities are expected to exceed those of the US Aegis Combat System, but a point-by-point comparison is impossible until the S-500 is completed."