Chinese Media Impressed by Russia’s S-500, Says ‘Worth Studying’ Possible Purchase for PLA

Russia’s Ministry of Defence released the first-ever video footage of the S-500 surface-to-air missile system last month. The first S-500s will be introduced into Moscow region’s air defence troops once combat trials are wrapped up.

Despite the recent impressive gains made by China’s domestic military industry in the production of advanced air defences, the country has nothing like the S-500 and its integrated air-space defence capabilities in its arsenal, thepaper.cn contributor Lin Sen has suggested.

Commenting on the recent first public appearance of the S-500 at the Kapustin Yar proving grounds in the Astrakhan region in southern Russia, the analyst wrote that media reporting on the system has rightfully earned it its place as the “air defence missile system most concerned about” by Russia’s potential adversaries.

Outwardly, Lin pointed out, the S-500 looks similar to the launcher used by the Abakan air defence system, which was demonstrated at the Army-2020 military expo by Almaz-Antei last year. “The Abakan launch vehicle also uses the BAZ-69096 transport vehicle, and is also equipped with two 51P6E2 launch tubes. The biggest [visual] difference is that the [Abakan] also integrates a targeting radar which can be folded into the vehicle.”

Pointing to the S-500’s ability to deploy high altitude missiles, which enable it to target low-orbiting satellites, and its missiles’ blazing fast speeds, which allow it to intercept incoming medium-range and…

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