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Russia to beef up air defense – Shoigu

The army is set to receive its first S-500 advanced anti-aircraft systems this year, the defense minister has said

Russia will further reinforce its air defenses by putting into service upgraded modern systems this year, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has announced.

The minister made the remarks on Monday as he spoke during a meeting with top Russian commanders. Boosting anti-aircraft and anti-missile capabilities is a priority for Moscow, Shoigu stated.

Deliveries of short-range anti-aircraft Pantsir systems, which boast both missiles and autocannons, will be “expanded nearly twofold” this year, the minister said. He noted that the system has performed exceptionally well in the conflict with Ukraine. 

Russian troops will also receive the first advanced S-500 systems, both anti-aircraft and dedicated strategic anti-missile versions, Shoigu revealed. While little is known about the new air defense system, the S-500 is reportedly able to intercept hypersonic missiles and also strike targets in the low Earth orbit, depending on the munition used. 

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Apart from that, the military is set to several other new systems with various ranges, including the S-400, S-300V4, Buk-M3 and Tor-M2U. The army will also get new-generation radar systems, the minister noted without specifying any exact models.

“The effort to improve air and missile defense will provide high-quality cover for the most important objects of the command and control system, strategic nuclear forces and troop groupings,” Shoigu said. 

The Russian military has faced a vast number of aerial threats during the Ukraine conflict, Shoigu noted, revealing that the country’s anti-aircraft forces have downed more than 30,000 various targets during the conflict. Drones account for the vast majority of the downed targets, with more than 22,000 units destroyed, the minister added.

The anti-aircraft defenses have also intercepted more than 6,000 munitions launched by various Ukrainian multiple rocket launchers, including over 3,500 projectiles fired by the US-made HIMARS launchers, Shoigu stated.

April 23, 2024 at 09:30PM

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