Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov has hinted that New Delhi may become the first foreign country to acquire Moscow’s latest anti-aircraft system S-500 Prometheus and although he did not specifically confirm it, but he hinted that at the possibility of a preliminary negotiations for the purchase.

“Potentially, yes <…> But there are still no agreements in the practical plans. And this is a common practice: until we saturate our native armed forces, we do not sell abroad,” said Borissov.

Traditionally, Russian weapons are first served to the armed forces of the Russian Federation before they are exported. The same applies to the S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft system.

“But this (deal with India) is not a prospect for the next few years,” clarified Borisov while only hinting at ongoing preliminary negotiations.

Indo-Russian relations

In the past, Russia and India have shared technology in the defense sector, a fact that was emphasized by Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister. The medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile BrahMos is a prime example of such a cooperation.

Along with the BrahMos, Russia has also licensed India for the domestic production of the Su-30MKI fighters as well as T-90 tanks. Both governments are also negotiating a large purchase of Russian Ka-226T helicopters.

“Sometimes we sell to India what we do not sell to other countries because we have no political or territorial claims to each other or conflict situations. Our cooperation has been tested over the years,” said Borisov.

In a report dated July 29, 2020, Russia’s news agency TASS said, the Russian Federation has ordered more than ten of its latest S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft missile systems.

TASS has also reported citing a source that the S-500 is in the final stage of testing. Trials are being held “at one of the landfills in southern Russia,” said the source while adding, all tests are expected to be completed by the end of 2021 following which the S-500 Prometheus will receive the necessary documentation for serial production.

According to the source, deliveries of the S-500 to the Russian armed forces will begin in the second half of 2022.

S-500 missile system

Speculation on the characteristics and capabilities of Russia’s latest S-500 anti-aircraft system has intensified with some of them being voiced by senior officials in Russia’s military-industrial complex as well as by the Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

According to Pavel Sozinov, the CEO of Almaz-Altai, the producer of the S-500, the anti-aircraft system has the capability to intercept and “fight” missiles several hundred kilometers above us.

“Interception in the upper atmosphere is real. It is hundreds of kilometers from the Earth. <…> This is a system that solves a whole range of tasks of both air defense and missile defense. Today we are working out the elements of the system with the maximum cost savings allocated for testing,” said Sozinov in an interview with Arkady Mamontov in his YouTube channel.

He went on to add, “We tried to make a forecast for the next 25 years on the development of aerospace attack weapons and believe that it will be very reliable in terms of the characteristics that a potential adversary can achieve in this time. Accordingly, our system must be able to deal with those means which are still missing but may appear in five, seven, or ten years”.

The main task of the S-500 is to combat the equipment of medium-range ballistic missiles and intercontinental ballistic missiles in the final section of their trajectory, and in certain cases in the middle section.

Without an official confirmation, much of this information is manipulative and speculative and has been released specifically for psychops purposes so that it becomes difficult to distinguish the truth from falsehood.

Some of the S-500’s capabilities have been hinted by the US. Towards the end of 2020, US Space Command had announced that Moscow had tested a missile that could hit and destroy satellites in orbit around the Earth. At that time Russia, who did not deny the test, said it was a test of the new S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft missile system.

Washington was quick to add that the missile system was a threat to the United States and its allies.

“We are ready and determined to deter aggression and protect our nation and our allies from hostilities in space,” said the US Space Command in a statement.

Incidentally, Turkey has shown interest in developing the S-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft missile system along with Russia.