Amid tensions with Ukraine, Russia inducts S-550 air defence system: Report

Amid tensions with Ukraine at the border, reports say Russia’s new S-550 air defence system has entered combat service.

Russian news agency TASS reported the S-500 has completed field trials and the first brigade has begun combat duty.

The news agency quoting a source said the new defence system can hit “spacecraft, ballistic missile re-entry vehicles” and hypersonic missiles.

TASS reported that the new S-500 will now be “part of Russia’s comprehensive missile and air defence” with the low-range S-350, S-400 and the S-550, S-500 systems. The agency said official sources still haven’t confirmed the deployment of the S-550 system.

Also Read in Pics: Why Russia tested S-400 missiles in Crimea amid operation Sea Breeze in Ukraine

India had signed a deal worth $5.5 billion for the S-400 missile system deal with Russia in 2018. Russia is set to deliver 5 surface-to-air missile systems which can shoot down aircraft and missiles.

Watch: India may be the first buyer of Russia’s S-500 defense system

Russia’s deputy prime minister Yury Borisov had earlier told TASS that India could become the first country to buy the 

S-500 Prometey surface-to-air missile defence system if it it wanted.

The S-500 missile can intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and can also target hypersonic cruise missiles.

Explainer: How is Russia’s S-500 missile defence system superior to S-400?

President Vladimir Putin had earlier this month told the country’s defence establishment to deliver the S-350, S-500 and S-550 systems to the Russian army.

Russia’s latest moves come as tensions at the border with Ukraine continues even as US and Russia are set to hold talks in Geneva on January 10.

US on Tuesday announced the USS Harry S Truman aircraft carrier strike group will stay in the Mediterranean amid tensions with Russia.

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said “persistent presence in Europe” was required to “reassure our allies”.  

(With inputs from Agencies)

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