The Pentagon and US intelligence community will be closely observing Russia's most advanced anti-air missile system as it enters state trials before eventually being delivered to Russia's military.
The cutting edge system, nicknamed Prometheus (and formally known as 55R6M “Triumfator-M”), is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) and will undergo the final stages of field testing. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov announced the commencement of the state trials at the Army-2020 forum at Patriot Park near Moscow on Monday.
"Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said that the deliveries of the latest S-500 surface-to-air missile systems to the troops would begin in 2020," according to TASS. "Russia has been training specialists to learn to operate the new system at the Military Academy of the Aerospace Force in Tver since 2017."
It is designed to supplement the current S-400 system, intercepting medium-range ballistic missiles as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles that enter close proximity to Russian airspace.
Russian S 500 system will be able to destroy hypersonic missiles and space targets— ivan (@ivan8848) July 3, 2020
S 500 capable of destroying targets 600 km above Earth pic.twitter.com/l1jo9KH9qL
The deputy prime minister indicated in his latest remarks to the major multi-day defense technology forum outside Moscow: "The fact is that state trials have begun and today the S-500 configuration, its simplified configuration is already available and work is underway to purchase parts for its serial production."
Last year when news of the S-500 was picked up more and more in international press, Russian defense officials made the claim that ‘Prometheus’ is capable of reaching targets in space.
It's developer, the VKO Almaz-Antey, or "Air and Space Defense Corporation" - which is a Russian state-owned company and the country's largest defense tech contractor - had touted that the S-500 can successfully take out “ballistic missiles of all types” and crucially that it's missiles are capable of “working outside the atmosphere where aerodynamic control is impossible.”