Russia has unveiled a new missile that can allegedly destroy all incoming hypersonic missiles, even in space.
The country’s defense ministry released footage of the S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft missile system being tested.
Russia claims the system “successfully hit” a high-speed ballistic target at Kapustin Yar near the Caspian Sea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said that he expected the S-500 to be deployed soon, probably this year.
“Next in line is the delivery of the S-500 complex to the troops, tests of which are already being successfully completed”, he added.
The announcement of the new missile comes as Putin unveiled Moscow’s new Sukhoi fifth generation single-engine fighter jet at the 56-country MAKS-2021 aviation show.
Putin hopes to boost Russia’s £3,670,000 ($5 billion) annual arms sales with new international contracts for military equipment.
A caption on one picture of the partly hidden plane says: “Guys, you really think we have nothing to surprise you with?”
Last month, Russian forces threatened to open fire on a Royal Navy vessel in disputed waters near Crimea.
The S-500 anti-missile system is designed to attack hypersonic missiles and aircraft up to a speed of 11,875 mph, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.
Major General Babakov, commander of Russian missile defense troops, said recently, “The S-500 air defense system is capable of destroying hypersonic weapons of all modifications, including in near space, in addition to aerodynamic and ballistic targets, which makes it possible to say with confidence that this system is unique.”
It can engage enemy ballistic missiles at a range of up to 375 miles and aircraft at about 310 miles, say the Russians.
The latest trials at Kapustin Yar range emphasize the worrying pace of Russia’s military modernization, which continues despite Russia’s economic woes.
Russia has been occupying eastern Ukraine since it invaded the country in 2014 and annexed Crimea, prompting western sanctions.
Pyotr Tolstoy, a Putin supporting Russian MP, told state-owned TV on July 13th that Ukraine would one day be part of Russia, possibly by military force.
“There will be no Ukraine,” said the United Russia lawmaker who is also deputy speaker of the Russian parliament, and a great great grandson of writer Leo Tolstoy.
“This is an historical consistency. Ukraine is part of Russia which has temporarily seceded.”
He claimed Russia could take Ukraine by force, rapidly overrunning the country and reaching the Polish border.
“We will finish everything in a week,” said the United Russia MP. “We will return Kyiv to Russian people. There is no future for an independent Ukraine.”
He added, “That’s why I think that, of course, sooner or later, Ukraine will return to the Russian Federation, will become part of Russia.”
Putin himself wrote an article last week saying that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people”, and Kyiv did “not need” the industrial Donbass region that is currently controlled by pro-Kremlin groups.
His spokesman refused to rule out Russia taking over Donbass, telling journalists, “I’ll leave this question unanswered.”
Recent military exercises saw Putin put more than 100,000 troops on the border of Donbass which under international law is Ukrainian territory.
Numbers were then reduced, but heavy Russian military equipment remains close to the frontier.