Thursday, May 6, 2010

The interview with S-400's chief designer.

“The thought of Russian engineer works more rapidly than the thought of Russian bureaucrat”
The Director-General of GSKB “Almaz- Antey” Igor Ashurbeyli about the rocket business
The newspaper “Kommersant”   № 77 (4377) from 30.04.2010

Recently the views of the officials, servicemen and economists on Russian military-industrial complex were split. Sometimes they call it 'the main locomotive' of the development of advanced technologies, sometimes – 'the main brake' of this development. How locomotive and brake go together in its most highly technological branches - creation of air defense systems? Also,   who is behind whom   in reality and how all this is going at the end? About all this the general director of joint stock company “main system design bureau “Almaz- Antey” Igor Ashurbeli spoke to 'Kommersant'.

- What is the primary task and the basic ideology of the concern “Almaz- Antaey” now?

- Well, I can say only about the design branch – GSKB “Almaz- Antaey”. We already grew from the pure air defense, and our future is with the aerospace defense. We overgrew the height of 30 km, which was our upper threshold (ceiling of   the existing anti-aircraft missiles lethal area). Therefore our strategy is: to go from air defense through the antimissile defense to the defense of aerospace.

This task is formulated for the first time in the new Russian military doctrine, which affirmed the President (Dmitriy Medvedev it made this in February, this year). Thus far even the term itself “aerospace defense” ([VKO]) caused the bitter disputes, nonacceptance. Everybody understood, that this will change entire structure and branches of services. It will occur indeed at some moment in the future. And here in the new military doctrine for the first time it is explicitly prescribed, that is necessary the creation of Russian    aerospace defense system.

- Now many things indicate at the different levels that the military industrial complex, and its management must be changed. What your estimation of [GSKB] “Almaz- Antey”  administration? What  new approaches are needed?

- Of course new approaches are required, because the level of the developed technology itself  dictates the new level of control. And it, correspondingly, requires another level of management, where the brains are differently sharpened - both technically and economically,   and, most importantly, informationly. Because such serious massifs of information, which require working for making of administrative decisions, they cannot already be mastered without the use of IT- technologies. The first thing required for an improvement in the quality of control, is introduction of contemporary information systems. Therefore in “Almaz-Antey” the control of the information technologies and corresponding scientific research department in “the stem”, were created, and they are called   to implement urgently IT-technologies on all levels i.e., from the designer to the global level of decision making.

Especially this is important because our plants re located in 19 cities of Russia and there is a question of the protection of communication channels for the exchange of information between the co-executors and the developers. And one additional problem: earlier  each developer had the experimental autonomous plant. But today we will not be able to compete on the World Market, having such mastodons, they become obsolete forms.

It is necessary to solve a question of the immediately implementation of the design solution to the production located in other city generally. In that case the documentation would be transferred directly to the machine tool so that we would become more exterritorial. To remove that Iron Curtain, which was not only around the USSR, but also inside the defense- industrial complex of the USSR, and then also Russia, where each enterprise exist as an independent 'principality'. Now the time of larger openness in the transactions not only at the level of the administrative solutions, but also the technical, technological, design.

- When all this plans can be executed fully?

- Never. However, life is always developed further. We will make one additional step, and it will be developed further… We now overtake, unfortunately, yes… One should recognize that the thought of Russian engineer works more rapidly than the thought of Russian bureaucrat, including me of course…   and all  “Almaz” management. Therefore we only overtake the engineers therefore there are deficiencies precisely in how today management follows after the new technologies.

- Management does not manage, but you merge to “Almaz” newer and newer important enterprises. Why?

- Are joined four enterprises: Joint stock company “scientific research electromechanical institute” ([NIEMI]), joint stock company “Moscow Research Institute of instrument automation”, joint stock company “the Research Institute of radio devices building” and joint stock company “Moscow Research Institute of radio electronics “Altair "". All associations, entire thematics - are remained, what really occurs is the grow of the  head developer for solution of prospective problems [VKO]. The anti-aircraft system S -400 - it already in serial production and thus is little interesting for us. We will introduce there an additional couple of rockets, and that's all. But the cosmic space defence [VKO] needs a new strong team.   these four enterprises have excellent scientific personnel, but, to my great regret, there are no prospective developments - they are occupied by the modernization of those of already existing, and this is scientific and technical blind alley. Our purpose is - to load them with   tasks in the development of the prospective systems.

But to hold five developers with five bookkeepings, five regime services, five financial services, five guarding services and all this in Moscow is simply foolish. Therefore the discussion deals with the purely pragmatic things, including   the building of new housing in Moscow on the Leningrad av., 80, where the united scientific and technical association will be placed. Synergetic effect is achieved, because we will conduct reductions to 30% of administration personnel… Well, imagine again: early they had five services of chief engineer, five services on the maintenance of canalization, and entire- entire rest… Now we do not fire any developer, but an organization change will occur in the course of several months so   every thing will be aimed at the final result.

Indeed the old system made it possible to obtain pleasure from the process itself – it was an infinite development of something within the framework of the individual design bureaus, which, each by itself, were not aimed at the final production. Today we want to build the rule of the final products, which become the object of sale. Not mention if it's for the RF Ministry of Defense or for the foreign customer, but the final products will be the standard of the developments effectiveness  . Indeed the criteria of the perfection of technology must be not only scientific and technical, but also financial.

The antiaircraft missile systems “Morpheus”, “Vityaz”, “Favorite”, S -400, S -500, the automated control system of aviation and PVO, the modernization of A -135 Moscow antimissile system, “Tor” or his symbiosis with “Pantsir”… These are still beautiful scientific and technical tasks for the future associations. Because with entire respect for old generation today all this (stagnation in the thematics, the absence of new orders and developments)  is the brake on the development. If we have in [GSKB] the team middle age of 46 years, then we will now merge, for example, NIEMI, where the middle age is  59 years. And what we can do with this?

But dissatisfaction… People always fear changes, always they feel anxiety: what will be tomorrow, and whether we will be fired'? And those administrative structures   , which   understand, that will lose their places, and possibly, something unpleasant  will be revealed  , it is naturally  introduce destructive element, play on   people's emotions, on their patriotism to the names of their firms. Even   the change of   the dislocation can make confuse: 'we will have to drive to another metro station'! This is simple the use of such  ' technologies' for the excitation of situation – for not to allow merging. In realty the merging is accepted by the government and will be executed anyway.

- You said that system S -400 - is already in  the serial production, which perhaps   is not so interesting for you. Although it is your primary order from the state. When S -400 does obtain the promised long-range missile?

- Well, in the first place, I said always openly that there were never any problems with this missile. Simply we cannot tell all about the term, stages of tests etc. You must understand, that the system must be tested in the work on different points, heights, types of targets and so on… The money is necessary, in order to prepare the missiles  for the work on each such specific point. I.e., there were no any failures and difficulties of scientific and technical nature, connected with the long-range rocket. It underwent its tests to planned order in accordance with the documents of Defense Ministry, on the basis of that financing, which is ensured to us by the ministry. Therefore the testing of this rocket was continuing as about three years -   combat work was tested against approximately one-and-a-half ten different targets.

Now this work is finished - on December 26, 2009 they have completed the preliminary tests. And the missiles were prepared to official tests. In the third quarter of 2010 we must complete the tests with the combat launchings and start  the series production in the fourth quarter.

We look with the bewilderment at the bacchanalia of rumors and slander around this, when the working process just continues. And there are no any “sinusoids” in it as, unfortunately, with Bulava missiles. There were no any failure tests, which bring into question the design solutions. The missile is alive, it shoots. It was moreover, developed even from the 1990's, and the long period despite the limited financing,   we   managed the project and even modernized the electronics and changed the whole design. It's without the additional money from the Ministry of Defense. Without these efforts the project would not survive. I hope with the help of God   that till   this year end the long-range rocket will be in   serial production.

In the Soviet times the developer was preparing documentation, further the state was separating money to the technical re-equipping of production, money for the preparation for the series production etc.   Only after all preparation the documentation was transferred to the plants and the initial party was manufactured.   The first one-two models were supplied to the training center, the following models - for the experimental combat operation. On the contrary in our case with S -400 we did not take even a cent from the state for technical re-equipping. Nor the training facility  was made recently, although earlier (in Soviet time) there were   a valuable air defense battalion. So now, the combat crews did not get training in the training centers, but have obtained the skills directly in the troops, and they learned on the base of those two battalions, which today stand on service.   Those soldiers, which worked on them, are certainly deserving rewards. The same rewards would be given to the cooperation of the plants, which managed to manufacture these several battalions for the Russian army and to prepare them  literally "on the knee", without money, with gap of 18 years after the last S-300 manufacturing, on the same equipment and with the same people.

- So, what will be the rates of further delivered  S -400? Two battalions already exist…

- Yes, the third will be in near days. But generally, this is depended on how they order. In this year we expect the delivery of two battalions, in the next year - four,   in 2012 we do not know yet because no   agreement was signed. I.e., today we can said, that we already lost three months of 2012, because the technological cycle of the production of system is 24 months. Accordingly, if on April 1 we will not obtain some money in advance, then in 24 months we will not give out a battalion. Battalions must be laid at the plants already today for obtain them in the first quarter of 2012. And today I have no confidence, whether the agreements will be finalized this year or no. It's despite this is written in the state program of armaments, which is a state rule.

- There is lack of agreements for S -400, and despite this they require a new product - S -500? What weapon it will be?   Whether  it will possess truly antimissile abilities?

- Everything that  is possible to say about this, was already said by generals, which published the information about the complex S -500. We can nothing add. This is the mobile complex of antimissile defense with good distances and heights, which is purposed to “clone” the possibilities of the current antimissile system in the mobile version. Today the only   Russian antimissile system       is the defense system of Moscow and Moscow industrial region.  Its combat readiness has some problems - let us formulate it so. It's including the factor of age, and the factor of element base, the vitality, the time of the interceptors' delivery  to the launchers.  
 Therefore our task now is to set   the framework for “Triumfator- M” system. This is   S -500 - the mobile ABM system, which must be created by 2015. The system will solve the ABM problems in mobile version. It's not stationary   but it will have the capability to  advance in any   direction, which is most important at any given time.

- The  Air Force commander  colonel general Alexander Zelin   openly expressed dissatisfaction with the fact, how quick program S-500  moves. can You comment this? What he was dissatisfacted with?

- After this event  the central board was conducted the extended conference in AF, where the developers “of Almaz” including me spoke with the reports. There the representatives of military institutes were presented too, entire generals and entire key personnel AF, which refer to this theme. As a result the sides came to the mutual agreement: the work on S -500 is conducted strictly in accordance with the order of the Ministry of Defense, and no claims the Ministry of Defense has for this system  today. The early claims were, rather, misunderstanding.

- In what status of the 'Vityaz" new antiaircraft missile system program  ”?

- Its History is very simple. We could not persuade the management of the country until 2000 - about the fact that the new contemporary complex of medium distance in Russia is needed, since more than 50 S -300PS complexes simply cease to exist till 2015 because of reaching  their service time. Replacement was necessary. They did not   hear. After this, we won the international tender in South Korea, ahead of Americans and French. Then we have concluded with   big   complexities the export contract for joint development of   medium distance complex - KM-SAM. We learned to work with the imported element base  . there We placed successfully already two locators and   now supply the third one. the shootings with their rockets at their targets has already been conducted In Korea.

Before the sending we invited the management of the Ministry of Defense   they saw the acting South Korean model, and  ordered the work on the system for the Russian army - with different appearance and other, improved tactical-technical characteristics. This work is conducted since 2007 within the record periods. The problem for us was: in five years to prepare the new technology from zero. Such problems were solved in five years only in Stalin's times, when “Almaz” (then KB -1) in five years has made the first Moscow  air defense systems S -25  . Now The work on design documentation is on the way. The next year - prototype, and in 2013 we must complete the State tests.

- Whether  the complexes of army air-defense S -300VM has any prospects?

- They were not sold  for the export. Ones  the part of the complex was purchased  by Americans for reconnaissance purposes. We prefer to speak as follow: the world already voted for S -300P with dollar. There were sold tens of systems S -300P, S -300PM, Favorite - on total $4 billion”. The advantage of these systems became obvious, because the nature of war changed. S -300V was intended   for defense of the columns, which expected be send to the breakthrough to the English Channel. The situation had been changed long ago, and now we do not want   to attack. So the necessity for this technology fell, because it was not capable of fully fulfilling combat mission in the protection of stationary objects. But stationary point PVO now is actual to develop. S -300VM was produced the last time, in my opinion, at the beginning of the 1990's, since then the productions of this system have been stopped.

- But there were conversations about selling them to Venezuela?

- Well, as to you to here say… it is possible to conclude contract, but it is still necessary to fulfill it. Why it is simpler with the S -300system ? Because, when in you has already been located abroad ten battalions, this means - money from their modernization, from their post-warranty maintenance, and from their repair- service maintenance… And when its entire cooperation of plants obtains this financing, it lives further. And the same manufacturing cooperation is involved in  S -400production. Since 1991 it did not interrupt its serial production,   - due to the export  . And it will further live, since the first batchs (of S-400) is already delivered. Imagine   if we supply one-two battalions of S -300V in this situation… To note: the manufacturing cooperation- on them did not work already   20 years. And then how   to contain these one-two battalions   in order to fulfill international obligations  ?

- What about complexes “Buk” and “Tor”, which were sold abroad in abundance?

- I would answer very briefly although a little roughly. I deal with new technology, I deal with promising developments, and I think about sale of promising developments. “Tor” and “Buk” -   are proved systems, which are in the serial production. Therefore this is a question “Rosoboroneksport”: if there are buyers - they will be sold by the serial plants. But this is located out of the sphere of my scope   as a lead developer, I think only about the future, but not about the past.

- Whether the world did already 'vote' with dollar for your new S -400  ?

- If we speak about S -400, then the volume of the demands, a quantity of countries and a quantity of battalions, which they ask to sell, exceed until today the production capacities   of our industrial    cooperation. Let us say honestly, we thus far cannot produce in time even what they want, so too early to think about the prospects. But S -400 export -      is a political question, first of all. For us the armament of Russian army is our priority, and if these priorities will be reinforced by new orders of our   Ministry of Defense, then we will fulfill   them first of all. If not  - we are ready to fulfill our foreign contracts.

The Interview was taken by Ivan Konovalov

'Vityaz' short range anti-aircraft system:


  1. The problem with the new S-400 system including the Big Missile is that it is limited in max altitude of interception to 40 km although it has range of 400 km.

    40km max interception altitude is just too low to intercept Ballistic Missile of ~ 3,500 km class which is what S-400 is suppose to do.

    Its closest peer of similar capability is US THAAD which can intercept BM with a range of ~ 3,500 km at an altitude of 150 km and ~ 200 km range.

    The S-500 though claims to have a max interception altitude of 200 km and 600 km range

  2. @Austin.

    40km altitude for S-400 accounts only for export version. Russian one will have much higher (around 70) but possibly even 150km. (there was an interview in arms-tass a few years ago).
    S-500 is claimed to have altitude of about 250km.

  3. Hi Igorr, did russia sell S-300 or S-400 to Iran? And I have noticed that there are not many posts on missiles in your blog. I was particularly interested in the iskander missile. Is it a ballistic missile or a cruise missile or a so called hybrid propulsion missile?? Is it similar to the Indian 'shourya' missile? Any info on the missile specs would be greatly appreciated. I realize I have asked a lot of questions:) If possible please do a post on it.:-)

  4. @ Viktor

    Right now all information about S-400 proves its max altitude of interception is 40Km including Big Missile.

  5. Ballistic targets have very steep diving trajectories so increasing the height of interception doesn't really improve interception range by much unless it is hundreds or thousands of kms up.

    Ballistic missiles will be aimed at specific strategic targets so it is a bit of a no brainer to work out where your ABM missile launchers need to be placed to intercept them.

    THAAD is a brand new from scratch build system that was intended from the start to intercept BMs.
    The S-400 is largely based on the S-300 which was designed during the period the ABM treaty was in effect.

    The S-500 will be designed from scratch right now and will have a performance comparable to the Moscow ABM system, and will be mobile. This means it cannot be based on the big S-300 missiles, which remember in their first version only had a range of 90km for use against aircraft and some limited ballistic targets.
    The S-500 is not limited by any ABM treaty so it will probably be capable of intercepting any type of ballistic missile.

    The S-300PMU could only intercept targets flying at 1.2km/s and ballistic targets from 7km to 35km. The S-300PMU2 increased the velocity of the intercepted target to 2.8km/s but the range increased to from 5km to 40km because of the steep trajectory of ballistic targets.
    The S-400 increased the speed of the target to 4.8km/s but the range increased to only a max of 60km and a minimum of 7km.
    As a comparison the S-300VM upgraded SA-12s engages targets up to 4.5km/s out to 40km, though a battery can intercept 16 ballistic targets at once.

  6. to Austin:

    ==40km max interception altitude is just too low to intercept Ballistic Missile of ~ 3,500 km class ==

    - Why too low? They anyway claim the ability for intercepting 3,500 km class missiles. 150 km interception altitude, claimed for THAAD, needs support from the satellite surveillance system I think.

  7. GarrB,Igor the problem of intercepting at low altitude is the narrow window of opportunity you get if you miss the first shot there is no option to recalibrate for 2nd shot , more ever 40Km is too low and even if they intercept it the debris from Warhead/ Intercept has chances of falling on ground , one of the key reason why India rejected the S-300/Antey-2500 system is its low intercept altitude.

    THAAD for eg in one of AW&ST issue I saw has been designed for 3 shots at the target from max 150 km to as low as 80 km. ( in space )

    Similarly Indian PAD is designed for interception altitude of 80 to 100 km

    THAAD and S-400 are designed for interception for the same class of missile ~ 3,500 Km but the former is dedicated BM interceptor and does that more efficiently than S-400 , the S-400 on the other hand is multipurpose ( anti-aircraft,BM,Cruise missile ) so it really boils to doing things efficiently and jack of all trades.

    It also boils down to the capability of PESA radar of S-400 to achieve this feat , interception at such high altitude with a narrow window of opportunity with very high accuracy needs a very capable radar.

    I think its more of a limitation of S-400 radar then interceptor , The THAAD system has very capable new AESA radar and Indian PAD uses modified Israel GreenPine AESA radar.

    Russia will achieve that feat only when S-500 comes with its AESA equivalent.

  8. to sujith:
    Russia has contracted the supply S-300 to Iran but the realization of the contract is frozen for now. However, the Iranian personal has started the training for working with the system in Russia.

    BTW the next my post will be an article about the air-to air missiles development. About Iskander I need to update my knowledge bit before posting.

  9. Iran claims to have built a system similar to the S-300, do you think it has the tech or ability to do so? Looking forward to your next post. Please find out all you can about the 'Iskander'. Thanks:)

  10. to sujith:
    If even China had no the ability to not copy S-300 and follow to import it, what you think by yourself about this? :)

  11. @sujith
    Iskander is short range ballistic missile that can also carry nuclear warhead apart from conventional.
    There are 2 versions
    Iskander E (export version) 290Km range & Iskander M(Russian version)400Km range

  12. The higher you intercept an incoming missile the wider the debris field.

    If the incoming weapon is nuclear the only thing you have to worry about is the airburst height of the incoming missile.

    Assuming you have your SAM battery at the strategic target you are defending a 40km range means a circle 80 across where incoming rounds can be engaged.

    Also you don't just fire one missile and wait to see if it hits, you will generally fire two or more missiles to the anticipated interception area... the first missile at max height and the second a couple of seconds and about 8-12km lower.

    To engage targets higher will need a complete redesign of the missile because conventional control surfaces stop working effectively at high altitude where the air is very thin so thrust vector manouver controls and side thrust rockets are needed.

    THAAD is not a SAM that could be useful for use against cruise missiles and aircraft... it would be too expensive for a start.

    THAAD is also not based on a SAM that has been in service for 40 years.

    The S-400 and Antei-2500 and late model S-300P series missile systems don't require satellite time which is expensive, like the PAC-3 Patriot and THAAD do.

    Having a max engagement altitude of 40km doesn't mean they only detect the incoming target at 40km altitude, the first intercepting missile will be impacting the target at 40km altitude and the missile fired 3 seconds later will engage the target 12-16km lower down.
    The missiles are fitted with 150kg adaptive HE FRAG warheads that can determine the payload and direct the exploding warhead of the SAM to hit the payload of the target to destroy it.
    It is not like the Patriot PAC-2 that was designed to hit the centre mass of an aircraft flying much slower that resulted in shredded modified Scud motors that were not functioning anyway and live warheads still hitting the ground.

    The radar used for the S-300 series is comparable to the radars of the AEGIS class cruisers, they are impressive and very capable and there is no issue intercepting ballistic targets.

    The problem is aerodynamics of the interceptor missile in an environment where there is no air for the missile to manouver in.

    You seem very impressed with THAAD... I am not particularly impressed with it myself.

    The fact that the S-400 can intercept comparable targets but in a reduced envelope, and is more versatile in the variety of targets it can engage makes the S-400 a better choice in my opinion for most military forces.
    Some countries can afford seperate ABM systems, or need to afford them like Israel with ARROW and NATO countries with THAAD, but for most countries where the threat from Ballistic weapons will be more like modified Scuds than theatre TBMs the S-400 makes rather more sense.

    Imagine if the F-22 was comparable in all aspects of performance to the F-15 and just had a larger flight envelope and was more specialised as to what it could be used for...

    [quote]Russia will achieve that feat only when S-500 comes with its AESA equivalent.[/quote]

    The main uber advantage of AESA over PESA is the AESA can be used in stealthy modes like low probability intercept mode. That means nothing when engaging ballistic targets.
    The enormous cost of an AESA that size will limit its appeal for export without improving its performance in any relevant area.

    With the Iranian claims to making a S-300 copy, well if they could they would. If they do it will likely look like a HAWK or SA-3.

    continuing what PakFa fan said the Russian version has better performance because it is not limited by the MTCR treaty and is only limited by the INF treaty.
    Some sources call the Russian version Tender-M.

    It is the same for the Brahmos, where the original Russia weapon is the Onyx, while the export version is Yakhont with MTCR limitations on its performance, and the joint development is the Brahmos.

  13. In my opinion there is no system in the world like the S-300/400. So I was almost sure that Iran by itself could not build such a system, I wanted it confirmed:)

    @PakFa fan and GarryB, thanks. It is clearly mentioned in wikipedia that the 'Iskander' follows a quasi-ballistic path, i.e wont leave the atmosphere and it is powered by a solid fueled rocket engine(unlike cruise missiles). So it would not be right to call it a normal cruise missile or a ballistic missile. Earlier there were similar speculations about the Indian 'Shourya' missile until the scientists themselves revealed what it was. The 'Shourya' was possibly inspired by the 'Iskander'. Hopefully Igorr(or anyone else) would be able to find out more.

  14. I have read that the Iskander is designed to manouver rather than follow a ballistic path to make it nearly impossible to intercept.

    If you think about the problem for a minute you will realise the task.

    A ballistic missile follows a ballistic path like a bullet that is fired from a gun into the air.

    This means that its flight path can be calculated by very briefly tracking it to work out its speed and flight angle.

    The main issue is that very fast targets require more lead so a target that is travelling at 4km a second will be 4km away in one seconds time.

    As you can imagine it is not a problem if it follows a near ballistic path but if it turns 20 degrees the interception point might shift several kilometres very quickly and you would need to continuously track the incoming target because it might be turning 40 degrees or only 20 and by the time you have calculated the new intercept point it might have turned again.
    The first missile interceptors you launched might no longer be able to get to the intercept point in time.

    It is a 4 dimensional problem with time as the 4th dimension a hit is simply getting your interception missile to the physical Z, Y, and Z coordinate of the target at the same time T as the target is there.

    You launch your missile so that it can get to that place at exactly that time (1 second early and the target will be 4km away and 1 second late and the target will be 4km away in the other direction)... a manouvering target that constantly shifts that interception point will make interception very problematic... even when the interceptor missile has active terminal homing and a datalink to warn it of the new trajectory.

  15. to GarryB:

    ==even when the interceptor missile has active terminal homing and a datalink to warn it of the new trajectory.==

    - Yes, I'm agree. I only want to add: the interceptor must have ten or so time more computing and acceleration capability, than the attacking system. And Iskander has the system of in-fly reprogramming\retargeting. In domestic version it must have a system, which coordinate the attack of salvo launched missiles.

  16. I have thought a lot about it:) Since the missile does not follow a conventional ballistic path, it would be next to impossible to track it(especially if it is highly maneuverable).
    I strongly doubt it would be used on a moving target much less on a maneuvering one.I suppose it cant be used instead of cruise missiles as the rocket engine would make it a lot expensive. It seems to be an alternative to a strategic or a theater ballistic missile, and it being nuclear-capable supports this.
    This still leaves many questions unanswered like is the missile boosted during its entire flight envelope, right up to the target(like a cruise missile, its accuracy seems to suggest so)?
    Or does it attain a certain altitude and drop-off the warhead?
    Is it possible to use the missile in a terrain- hugging path or is achieving a certain altitude mandatory?
    Is it capable of multiple warheads?
    Does the missile have separate vehicle for carrying warheads(as in re-entry vehicles)? If it doesn't it will be a lot less complicated than ballistic missiles.
    And of course, who first conceived this idea of using the rocket engine in this way? A lot less is said about this missile. I believe this calls for a detailed study and a dedicated article.. What say Igorr?:-)

  17. #####
    The higher you intercept an incoming missile the ider the debris field.If the incoming weapon is

    Not True , the higher you intercept greater is your chances that the residual/debris will get burnt out while reentering the atmosphere hence interception above 100 km is better than at 40 km.

    THAAD as I have mentioned previously takes a 3 shot approach at the target the highest at more than 150 km to ~ 100 km.

    Though THAAD effective altitude of interception is between 40 km to 150 km.

    To engage targets higher will need a complete redesign of the missile because conventional control surfaces stop working effectively at high altitude where the air is very thin so thrust vector manouver controls and side thrust rockets are needed.

    Certainly True , one needs to develop Thrust Control Rockets (liquid) , solid fuel flex nozzle to do some very high G manouver at high altitude with no atmosphere.


    THAAD is not a SAM that could be useful for use against cruise missiles and aircraft... it would be too expensive for a start.

    THAAD is also not based on a SAM that has been in service for 40 years.

    True hence I call the S-400 Jack of All Trade while THAAD is like a optimum solution to solve a particular problem a silver bullet approach.


    Having a max engagement altitude of 40km doesn't mean they only detect the incoming target at 40km altitude, the first intercepting missile will be impacting the target at 40km altitude and the missile fired 3 seconds later will engage the target 12-16km lower down.


    I understand that , but interception of a target is a function of its MFCR ( Multi Functional Fire Control Radar ) and the Interceptor. The challenging part of the two is to develop an MFCR that can track and provide accurate interception point for a target coming at ~ 5 km/sec and then guide the interceptor close enough where its active seeker/passive IIR can do the job.

    Plus the number of interceptor needed for one target is also about its probability of kill factor , the Indian PAD has a Pk of 99.8 % for a BM target it is designed for ( i.e 1500 - 2000 km )

    I do not have information on S-400 Big Missile Pk but assuming it is high enough it will need atleast 3 interceptor per target to have a very high interception probability and now when one considers a interception altitude of ~ 40 km then chances are you will have to fire many interceptors per target to ensure high probability of kill at max 40 km which makes it expensive and unfavorable ratio for kill per BM.

    If one misses at 40 Km then it just get more complicated for S-400 compared to THAAD or Indian PAD which would have some space to calculate the next optimum interception altitude for next interception.

    As I told you one of the most important reason why India rejected the Antney-2500 was its low interception altitude of ~ 40 km and as confirmed by DRDO there was a high possibility that even if interception occurred the debris will fall on ground


    The main uber advantage of AESA over PESA is the AESA can be used in stealthy modes like low probability intercept mode. That means nothing when engaging ballistic targets.
    The enormous cost of an AESA that size will limit its appeal for export without improving its performance in any relevant area.


    AESA provides longer range detection , number of tracks , ability to track many target with its beam with high accuracy while at the same them scan around for other targets and graceful degradation in heavy jamming.

    Russia choose the PESA route beacuse its industry was not mature to produce a capable AESA , maturity in producing different gen of PESA radar and its cost effective. Put it simply they went for PESA because that is what they knew best.

    Since India got GreenPine technology via Israel and it was proven via Arrow , it modified the GP for its need while US industry is quite mature with AESA so they have a top notch AESA for THAAD as its MFCR.

  18. @GarrB

    The S-400 and Antei-2500 and late model S-300P series missile systems don't require satellite time which is expensive, like the PAC-3 Patriot and THAAD do.


    What do you mean by that?

  19. hola,Igor

    Can you clear this matter? It's revolutionary

    Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yury Osipov

    15 April 2010

    Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

    Vladimir Putin: Mr Osipov, do you have any letters this time?

    Yury Osipov: Mr Prime Minister, I rarely bring letters to our meetings. But this is a special case. We're holding a general meeting on May 18 to hear reports on what's been done and to discuss several current issues, including the Academy's involvement in projects to develop innovative solutions for the modernization of the Russian economy.

    I'd like to remind you that nine years ago you attended the opening of a supercomputer centre at the Academy of Sciences. It was the first interdepartmental supercomputer centre in Russia at that time. A lot of time has passed since then, and now supercomputer technology is quite widespread in Russia. The modeling you can do on these supercomputers is a great help in scientific and technological advancements, and they have practical applications in the defence industry, the economy, management, environmental protection and science. However, there is one obstacle standing in the way of the spread of these high-performance systems with traditional processors, which are available to us: They are rather expensive and they use a lot of energy.

    Vladimir Putin: Expensive to use?

    Yury Osipov: Yes, they're expensive to use. Also, the processors themselves are quite costly. In some other countries, scientists are working on alternative high-performance systems, including multi-core graphics cards. They are ten times cheaper and use ten times less energy. But they aren't widely used yet because of one major shortfall: The programming is very complex, and it's hard to adapt existing algorithms to them.

    The Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics and the Quant R&D centre have developed a new type computer with a capacity of six teraflops. It's already up and running. It uses completely new architecture, both the hardware and the computing technology. And of course its costs much less, even less than graphics systems, and consumes much less energy. But the main thing is that our mathematicians were able to develop very effective algorithms with practical applications in the defence industry, including some major ones in aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, as well as in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons. This system is crucial for developing a new class of aircraft, the fifth-generation jets.

    So we have a six-teraflop computer, and we will definitely be able to create a 100-teraflop machine by the end of this year. Everything is ready, but the project requires government support. A total of 65 million roubles will be needed to develop the 100-teraflop computer. If we have the necessary funding by the end of this year, we could start work on a petaflop computer. A petaflop is 1,000 trillion. It's sheer know-how. It's a completely original solution, and in my opinion we must not miss this opportunity. Could you issue an order to pay special attention to this issue?

    Vladimir Putin: Okay, let's do it.

  20. Link: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with President of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  21. igor:

    Why was India not invited this time for 65th anniversary of VE on red square?

    I mean China,vietnam,Israel etc etc everyone who matters is invited but we aren't!!!! :(

    Our PM was there on the 60th anniversary of VE personally invited by Mr Putin.

  22. to anon May 8, 2010 5:22 PM:

    please, source!

  23. @Anonymous 8may
    Great article!
    Great news for Russian science and modernization!
    Great news for Pak Fa and future modern Russian weapons also!


  24. Sujith, it is easy enough to track, the problem is as it manouvers the intercept point for the missile you launch will shift wildly because of the speed of the incoming target.
    Remember you are not aiming at the target but a point ahead of the target that gets further ahead the faster the incoming target is, so a small turn will shift the interception point by a large distance in the second or so it takes to turn, but the ABM radar has to detect the deviation of the expected course and recalculate the new flight path and recalculate the new interception point and then work out what manouvers the intercepting missile must perform to get to the new interception point at the right time.
    It is not like the intercepting missile get get to the interception point first and wait, they have to arrive at exactly the same time.

    Austin, regarding the debris field I was thinking in terms of radioactive material which doesn't actually burn up in the sense that heating it and vapourising it just makes it more deadly as it becomes easier to ingest and more likely to enter the food chain when it reaches the surface.
    If you could destroy radioactive material and make it safe simply by heating it into a vapour then countries wouldn't need to ship their nuclear waste to other countries for reprocessing.

    I would expect the S-400 PK is reasonably good, a single Antei-2500 battery can engage 16 ballistic targets at one time with a radar cross section of 0.02 m^2.

    When dealing with potentially nuclear armed incoming missiles the kill ratio per missile is irrelevant and I would suggest that standard procedure would be to fire several missiles independantly guided at the same time to ensure a kill. I would expect 2-3 missiles per target to be in the air, and if all hit that is fine, the job is done.

    AESA does not provide longer range, the PESAs in use with the S-300 and S-400 are more limited by the curvature of the earth than the type of radar they are. Range looking up is effected by the frequency in use, not the type of radar antenna.
    The space tracking radars used by Russia and the former Soviet Union could see paint chip sized targets in orbits of thousands of kms up and surprise surprise... they were not AESAs.

    The Radars used in the S-300 and S-400 batteries already track lots of targets at once, and track while scan is something most radars can do and has nothing to do with scanned array radars of any type.

    The graceful degradation refers to the fact that an AESA has thousands of emitting and receiving elements in each array so if a few elements fail then you only get a slight reduction in performance whereas in a normal radar with one emitter receiver the whole system fails.
    It is covered by the law of diminished returns... a S-300/400 battery generally has more radars than it needs to operate in the air defence role. Should one or two radars fail it should still be able to operate fine.
    Any jamming performed from further than 200km away will be rather ineffectual due to the power it would need to jam such powerful radars.
    Any jamming within 200km will result in the jammer platform being introduced to the long range missile in the S-400 family...
    BTW the radars are frequency hopping radars with very small sidelobes like most array based radars, would be impressed to see any jammer defeat them anyway.

    Russia was using PESA antennas on the Mig-31 in the early 1980s when the west had not even mastered AESA so AESA was not really an option at the time. The elements then would have been enormous.
    The Russians continued to use PESA arrays because they have many of the advantages of AESA, but without the cost or enormous heat production problems.

    Victor, what I mean by that is that the PAC-3 Patriot requires satellite info on the ballistic missile for a proper interception, that means you need satellite surveillance time to actually use it.
    It seems the THAAD has an X band radar so it wouldn't need satellite support.

  25. GarryB its true that radioactive debris will have its own fallout if it falls on the ground all the more reason such systems are destroyed as high as possible so fallout is minimal , but a better way to deal is to have first strike so that you dont have to deal with such scenario.

    As far as AESA goes you can have good control over how it manages energy so if one detect an unidentified track , AESA can use its energy and certain T/R modules to keep track of the object with its narrow beam at the longest possible range and at the same time provide a firecontrol solution to intercept it while the rest of the module can scan to other objects.

    Some thing not possible with PESA since PESA uses TWT it cannot manage its energy and T/R modules in the way AESA can do , sort of generational difference.

    Since Russians are quite mature with PESA they decided to go for it and as per Australia Air Power S-400 PESA has some AESA like feature.

    The graceful degradation of AESA helps if the enemy employs jammers via Airborne assest or decoys carry them and certainly an exchange ratio of 3 interceptor per BM is far better than 10 interceptor per BM so Pk does help.

    You are bang right on manouvering warhead ability to penetrate current ABM , all ABM currently are designed to deal with pure BM trajectory and not a manouvering warhead than can change its position many times , if you add decoys to the game then its lot more complicated.

    Russians probably have the best operational Manouvering Warhead in business check this link

    Garry there is a nice Book on MIRV its I have been told well worth every penny , I have ordered it may be it could interest you.

    Lightning Bolts - William Yengst

    I think PAC-3 needs satellite for Early Warning much like any ABM would need to get early information where the missile would fall in general area and then alert the battery much in advance , so its nothing PAC-3 specific ,the early the warning the better it is to tackle it.

  26. News on "Mistral" there is video in Russian also...
    It would be nice to here your comment on this hot topic Igor.

    How do you expect things to develop(how much high tech will France sell with Mistral, is it related with Russian air carriers plans and how?)

    Google translation\

    On this day in St. Petersburg said the head shipyard Andrei Fomichev. Recall, the federal government plans to purchase four helicopter. Two ships will make in France, two - in Russia. Despite the fact that the principal points of agreement had already been agreed, the management of "Northern shipyard" cautiously commented on the details.

    Andrey Fomichev, General Director of OAO Severnaya Verf ":

    "In accordance with the instructions of the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Mr Serdyukov and Navy Commander at the command of General Vladimir Vysotsky will be prepared all the preparations made and work on this request.

    It should be added, if the French will share technologies, shipbuilders would like to make the production of "Mistral" serial. Then the "Severnaya Verf" will be provided state order for decades to come. For helicopter that level in Russia is not allowed. However, agreement on this. And while the company is ready to be launched ships simpler and cheaper. This year in Russian Army will do one frigate and a corvette. Note that before this last corvette built at the shipyard in 2008. Dubbed Steregushchy, he had two years serving in the Baltic Sea.

  27. Another huge article that mentions "Mistral"

    "Do I need to buy weapons abroad?"


  28. @Austin, why do you think fallout would be reduced by a higher altitude intercept?
    There is x amount of radio active material in the incoming threat warhead and interception and reentry don't change that amount. What they do is reduce the radioactive material to a form far more deadly than a large lump of the same material and spread it over a wider area.

    Regarding AESA... Track while scan was not invented along with AESA radars. As the name suggests PESA radars also use incredibly fast electronic scanning too and can keep continuous tracks of multiple targets in real time too.
    It just does it cheaper.

    As I said above Russian radars can track paint chips in orbit and they are not AESAs. They are good enough to do the job.

    Remember the THAAD was originally designed to intercept SCUD type weapons.

    PESA has trouble because it has one emitter element using an array of emission portals. It cannot perform some functions of an AESA, but frequency agility and beam form shifting is something it can do.

    You talk about energy management, but when you have an AESA the size of the radars used with even S-300 systems you are talking about tens of thousands of elements, the energy use is enormous, as is the heat generated.

    I agree that in some areas AESA is certainly more powerful, but for the job at hand it offers no obvious advantages.

    As you mention they are going for a compromise between AESA and PESA simply because PESA can do the job already, though some features of AESA are desirable. If AESAs were perfect they wouldn't bother with a hybrid.

    Graceful degredation has nothing to do with jamming. It has everything to do with MTBF rates.
    A jammer will have problems with jamming the entire range of frequencies an AESA can operate at, but frequency hopping is not something a PESA or any other radar can't do.
    Phased arrays have low sidelobes which makes them difficult to jam as well but it is a feature of phased arrays... active and passive arrays.

    Thanks for the book tip... will look in to it. :)

    AFAIK the PAC-3 requires satellite early warning of incoming ballistic weapons and its radars are not designed to track ballistic targets, so the satellite linkup is required for the initial fire solution... and PAC-3 patriot being a smaller weapon has an intercept height of 10-15km which is half the height of the S-300.

  29. GarryB lets assume a simple scenario for THAAD , if a IRBM is approaching an area and has been detected and tracked by THAAD battery and intercept plotted out say at its best max altitude at ~ 150 km

    The IRBM will be typical travelling at ~ 4.5 m/sec and THAAD will be intercepting the target at ~ 2.8 m/sec if the intercept occurs (HTK) then we are looking at closing speed and intercept speed of typically ~ 7 m/s (~ M 21 ) .

    The typical heat generated at such high intercept speed would be good enough to burn most of the warhead and its Nuclear/Conventional warhead. Even if some of the remains does not get destroyed and fall through it will most likely burn during reentry leaving almost nothing that falls on ground

    Well in a typical S-400 scenario if an intercept occurs at its best ~ 40 km max altitude most part of warhead gets destroyed ( not sure if Big Missile uses HTK or warhead ) but even if some radioactive material does not get completely destroyed it will definitely fall on ground and can cause radioactive damage.

    If the intercept of S-400 occurs occurs like 20 Km lower say at ~ 20 km then the chances are far higher compared to intercept at ~ 130 km for Thaad where it would still renter and likely burnt out.

    The problem is BM defence is a very specialised subject and needs optimum solution to deal with it one need a dedicated missile and Radar with best possible multipoint intercept chalked out which is what THAAD does , THAAD is designed from ground up to deal with IRBM threats and it does its job quite well.

    S-400 while does the same job but does it sub optimally while it tries to do many task like airbreathing targets,cruise missile interception much like Jack of all trades but does not do the key job well IMHO.

    While it may be a good selling point to some one who does not need a dedicated BMD interceptor but needs something just does all thing well but not a right approach to do things right.

  30. I am sorry, but you don't seem to understand some very basic physics.
    Get a strip of magnesium and set it on fire.
    The fire will burn very very hot and the remains will be a lot of heat, a lot of smoke and a lot of white powder.
    Examine the white powder... it is called magnesium oxide. This is created when magnesium burns and the process involves the combination of magnesium and oxygen atoms from the air.
    If you had a teleport machine that could scan an object and transmit that object and reassemble it in another place then you could beam that strip of magnesium from one place to another in a sealed container that had air in it.
    If you lit that magnesium and let it burn till all the oxygen was used up and beamed it back if you examined the contents of the transmitted material you would find all the same atoms present but combined in different ways.

    No matter is destroyed in the process... you would really notice if that happened.
    If you truely destroyed half a gramme of matter you would get an explosion very similar to the Hiroshima bomb... that is what the nuclear fission and fusion process achieves... it totally destroys a small amount of matter.
    If you could make the radio active material in a nuclear warhead safe by burning do you really think radio active waste would be much of a problem?
    If the heat from reentry neutralised radioactive material then nuclear bombs should be very clean because the 3 million degrees generated by a nuclear blast should burn up all the radioactive material.
    It doesn't.
    The intense radiation given off actually irradiates more material.
    As I said the higher you destroy a nuclear warhead the wider the debris field is.
    BTW larger nuclear weapons give off less radiation than smaller ones because the radiation waves don't travel very far and as you increase the power of a weapon the length of the radiation waves do not increase by the same amount.
    At over 10 megatons or so to get a lethal dose of radiation from the blast you would be killed by the fireball anyway, so deaths from radiation are much less.
    Fusion weapons also generate a lot less radiation than Fission bombs, but most Fusion bombs need Fission bombs to set them off.

    The S-400 doesn't need to do the job of THAAD, it is a replacement for the S-300 series, not a replacement for the ABM system around Moscow.
    That job will be handled by the S-500.

  31. Sorry made a mistake.
    Bigger nuclear weapons give off more radiation, but because the fireball and blast effects increase to a much greater extent then the effects of radiation are reduced.
    Tiny nuke = most deaths due to radiation.
    Small nuke = still most deaths due to radiation over time.
    Medium nuke = 50 50 balance of those killed outright by blast and by radiation over time
    Large nuke = most killed by explosion.
    Note this is for a nuclear weapon aimed at a large population centre.

  32. Well if what you say is true and if lower altitude of interception is better , then why is Russia developing S-500 with an max altitude of interception at 200 - 250 km ?

    Why is India developing a IRBM interceptory with altitude of interception between 80 - 100 km ?

    S-400 need not be like THAAD but both have the same goal of intercepting an IRBM class 3,500 km range BM , but THAAD choose an optimum way of doing that single task and doing it well.

    Where as S-400 opted for intercepting BM and air breathing targets at longest possible range but with minimum possible altitude for BM interception a sub optimum solution for BM defence but a fine missile as far as intercepting other types of target goes.

  33. i heard that china had invested in it .......

    so it is not for india.............

    it will go to pakistan soon......

    is it rumeros or real????????

  34. I didn't say lower altitude interception is better.
    I was pointing out a fault of higher altitude interception.
    No solution is perfect.
    The larger S-300/S-400 missile could easily have been modified to reach very high targets, but the choices made would have compromised its performance as a SAM system to replace the S-300 system.
    The original S-300 was developed when the ABM treaty was in effect, and the S-400 is a modification of that weapon rather than a clean sheet of paper design.
    The S-500 will be the first Russian SAM designed that is not constrained by the ABM treaty.
    Its sole purpose is to intercept incoming BMs so its design can be optimised for that role.
    They only just started working on the design so the final shape probably isn't even completed yet let alone the transport vehicles and sensor vehicles.
    They will likely decide on performance parameters, weight limits, interception speeds, detection distances, target reflectivity etc etc first and then work back from that.
    I would guess that the final missile will probably be multi stage and have a very high interception capability and range.
    The first priority is to hit the target before it detonates and they can worry about cleaning up fall out later.
    You are comparing a sniper rifle with an assault rifle and complaining because the assault rifle comes up short.
    If you must compare then compare THAAD with S-500 and S-400 with PAC-2 and PAC-3 Patriot, and you will see that THAAD will likely come up short as it is not really comparable to the performance of the Moscow ABM system despite its age and that the Patriot system is not as good as the S-400 system either... the obvious problem with the Patriot is that the launchers are inclined so you need to know in advance which direction the enemy is coming from and you have no way of quickly turning one launcher to face a different way if targets start coming from an unexpected direction.

  35. Well you are saying the same thing now which I was trying to put across.

    One of the design goal of S-400 and THAAD is to intercept IRBM class missile corresponding to range of 3.500 km.

    While THAAD has an interceptor which is designed from scratch to provide an optimum solution to meet those requirement.

    The S-400 on the other hand carries the baggage of intercepting Airbreathing targets , Supersonic Cruise Missile and IRBM and hence tends to do all that with its missile which provides a sub optimum solution or a solution that tries to do all task.

    So while THAAD is a far better IRBM interceptor the S-400 on the other hand is better at multitasking.

    Its a choice based on design goal both parties have chosen.

    Some news on S-500

  36. No. I don't think so.
    You were comparing the S-400 with THAAD, so you were comparing a long range SAM system with ABM capabilities with an ABM system that will never be used just as a SAM system.
    If you want to compare ABM systems with ABM systems then you wouldn't compare PAC-2 Patriot with S-500.
    Compare S-500 with THAAD and PAC-3 Patriot and PAC-2 Patriot with S-400.

    Second of all I don't think you can make the claim that THAAD is better at intercepting BMs than S-400. If you look at the first 12 tests THAAD only had 4 successes, that is worse than Bulavas record.
    I don't have figures for the speeds of targets for THAAD, but S-400 is confirmed able to hit targets at 4.8km/s.
    Certainly the engagement envelope for THAAD is much larger, but I think S-400 would be more useful and probably cheaper.
    Very few countries on this planet can afford a missile system dedicated solely to intercept BMs, I would expect S-400 when it becomes available will be more widespread than THAAD... and indeed the Patriot will be more widely used than THAAD, making both probably cheaper.
    Why the S-500? Because THAAD exists and having mobile dedicated ABM systems you can sell downgraded models of to Europe or other paranoid countries that think there are ballistic missiles aimed at them.
    It is about time they upgraded the Moscow air defence network with a mobile system.

  37. to GarryB, Austin:

    according to the last information S-500 will have lighter and cheaper missiles with better capabilities. S-400 missiles development was started in 90th, so many tech solutions and technologies on them are already overcome by new opportunities.

  38. And the ABM treaty restrictions no longer apply to the S-500.
    A significant reason for the size and weight of the S-300 series missiles is the requirement to carry 150kg HE warheads.
    For a system designed to intercept ballistic targets outside the atmosphere HE is a spreader rather than something that can do blast damage like it can within the atmosphere.
    It will still likely use a HE charge but most likely it will have the sophisticated fusing system to allow it to direct the blast towards the targets expected position to maximise the effect of the shrapnel on the target in the event of a near miss.
    Though of course their use of side thruster rockets in the terminal portion of the interception could be used to ensure a hit to kill kill mechanism.

  39. ==It will still likely use a HE charge but most likely it will have the sophisticated fusing system to allow it to direct the blast towards the targets expected position to maximise the effect of the shrapnel on the target in the event of a near miss.==

    - S-300 already has such system . It's one of the most secret part of the system, so few publications there are about. If I remember right, it has a net-like set of masses for a direct hit, but cannot find the source.

  40. Yes S-300 and S-400 have those fusing mechanism where a warhead is blasted at the target no matter in which direction the target is from the interceptor , this allows them to use smaller warhead with same impact as large warhead.

    S-500 being lighter is an indication of new type of propulsion and most likely a HTK vehical then any warhead.

    Infact S-400 has already taken first step for developing a lighter missile via 9M96E and 9M96E2 missile

    The article i read at rian also spoke about how energy hungry S-400 radars were but equally effective it said S-500 radar will be less energy hungry an indication of AESA.

  41. The new anti-missile system Russia will be created on the basis of the current system S-400

    The new anti-missile system Russia will be created on the basis of the existing system of S-400, said co-chair extradepartmental expert council on Aerospace and Defense Minister, Army General Anatoly Kornukov.

    "Create now antiaircraft missile system S-500 will be further development of the C-400, - he said. - New reduced will vary in size, good power consumption. Increased range is unlikely to defeat anticipated. But in terms of" stuffing "it would be better."

    According to Kornukov, "C-400 - it is quite cumbersome, expensive, energy absorbing system, although the parameters it is quite effective.

    Asked about adopting a C-500, Kornukov said that "whoever is responsible for it is he who will decide." The expert recalled that in the C-400 should be used three types of missiles."We have one missile at number 48 brought to the end, cleverly shot, this is a great rocket. He said the missile, designed for the fleet, is being finalized, and the third is tested. "While it lacks the planned range of up to 185 km in height," - concluded Kornukov.

  42. So it seems that S-400 had a 3rd missile ( probably the same big missile ) which was planned to have 185 km in max altitude of interception but is not realised or is unsucessful.

  43. to Austin:

    It's not new. The third missile is in testing already some years, a bit late but they said - all was with according to the planned schedule. However, the schedule itself is somehow limited by the state investments to the program, they say.

  44. ==The article i read at rian also spoke about how energy hungry S-400 radars were but equally effective it said S-500 radar will be less energy hungry an indication of AESA.

    Actually your energy hungry comment is a clue that perhaps the S-400 already does use AESA radars.
    PESAs are not generally energy hungry because there is only actually one emitter/receiver module, so if the S-400s radars are particularly energy hungry it will likely be because they are AESA and are using more energy than the S-300s PESA radars. Heat dissipation will be less of an issue as they are exposed to the open air rather than contained in a nose radome of an aircraft, but energy requirements for a mobile system will tax the generators used within the unit.
    I would suggest that the comments that the S-500 will be better is because S-500 will use more modern, smaller modules for its AESA that use less power, though there might be more of them. It is not normal to use all the modules at once, or at full power, so smaller, more modern transmit receiver (T/R) modules generally use less power than older earlier developed larger T/R modules.

    Making the weapon hit to kill also reduces weight because with the main fuel burnt a 150kg warhead that includes HE but also a lot of metal mass to destroy the target is a significant burden to drag up and also manouver with side thrusters.
    Remove the heavy warhead and put a lighter directional one in there and the side thrusters don't need to be as powerful to move the entire rocket into a new flight path for interception purposes and less main rocket fuel to get the missile up to speed, which makes the missile smaller and lower drag.
    This is just a guess but they might use the same configuration as the Pantsir and SA-19 with a large booster and a long slim low drag interception rocket for the terminal attack.

    Austin, the S-400 always consisted of 3 missiles, the two smaller missiles, with the smaller of the two being a 40km range weapon and the larger of the two a 120km range weapon each of which can be loaded 4 to a big missile tube. The longest range heavy weapon hasn't been ready yet because it flys a lofted trajectory where it flys like a ballistic missile till it reenters the atmosphere and manouvers to hit the target out to 400km. SO in the mean time the large long range missile from the latest S-300 series with a range of 200km has been included.

    Regarding integrating the system with S-400 is a great idea.
    An S-400 battery consists of lots of vehicles and an S-500 battery would consist of at least the same number of vehicles, many of which have enormous phased array radars on them which will make them very expensive. Only NATO countries will be able to afford a separate ABM SAM, why should Russia be that stupid.
    The result will be that when Russia buys hundreds of S-400 batteries to defend targets all around Russia they can add perhaps an extra vehicle or two with S-500 missiles and the same battery can defend against pretty much anything that can be defended from (if you take into account that S-400 batteries will have either TOR or Pantsir batteries defending them from direct attack too).
    Note the larger missile with the 400km range probably easily reaches 185km altitude, but the control surfaces would be useless with no air for them to work. Rather than add thruster motors they just allowed it to fly a ballistic path and left the high altitude interceptions to a missile custom designed for that role.

    This is going to make the sale of S-400 systems even more attractive to some countries...

  45. Igor any idea if they will plan to get a altitude of 185 km for the new missile ? Any idea why they couldnt achieve that yet ?

    If they could get a range of 400 km and 185 km altitude of interception at some point in time for the big missile then it would be Pièce de résistance of S-400 system and would outclass the THAAD.

    Garry , AESA on the contrary are quite energy efficient and you can design an AESA with various T/R module so that you get a mix of long range more energy module and low range , LPI and less energy consuming module within a single AESA radar.

    What they perhaps did with S-400 radar was to increase the raw power to get longer range making it energy consuming with its own heat generation problem but neverthless effective , something they did with BARS and IRBIS , they just increased the TWT from one to two and made it twice was effective as BARS but the peak energy consumption went up to 20 kw

    Well I always though S-400 has three types misile including an improved variant from S-300 i think it goes by designation 48H6E3/2 with a range of ~ 250 km.

    The BIG missile is the one that took longer time to come up perhaps because of technical issues and is still in state trials. We need to see the pictures of Big Missile and come with more info before we can be sure what approach it adopted.

  46. The big missile is the old big missile with improved software for a lofted trajectory.
    It might reach 185km altitude but to intercept a target at that height it would need seperate thruster rockets for flight control, which means a complete redesign of the missile.
    With S-500 being developed I doubt they would bother giving the big missile of the S-400 series similar capabilities.

    It takes energy to create heat. In the case of radar antennas it is wasted energy. AESAs are known for generating a lot of heat. Newer smaller modules might be more efficient, but you don't usually start with newer models in your first attempts.

    48H6E2 (or 48N6E2) is part of the S-300PMU2 system and has an engagement range of 3 to 200km against aerodynamic targets.

  47. to Austin:

    the high altitude of interception was already achieved in 80th on Moscow stationary ABM system. So it's wrong to say 'they cannot achieve'. S-400 - is not intended to be a mobile variant of it. The mobile variant of Moscow ABM functionality will be achieved officially with S-500.

  48. Igor we are talking about high altitude interception of S-400 here and not ABM-3 or S-500.

    Kornukov clearly states with respect to the 3rd missile ( Big Missile ) that "While it lacks the planned range of up to 185 km in height," - concluded Kornukov "

    So my question to you if you could find out , if they do have any plans for future to increase the altitude of interception to the planned 185 km or have they completely dropped it.

  49. @ GarryB

    Right now we really do not have much information on the Big Missile but it is a new misile built for S-400 system and the heart of the system.

    Unless we do not have information on that interceptor it would be difficult to figure out if its a single stage or two stage system or if it indeed uses Thrust Vectoring to manouver at high altitudes.

    Intercepting at 185 km is as much a function of S-400 MFCR as it is of interceptor , so we have yet to know if there is a limitations where exactly it is with radar or interceptor.

  50. A Flawed and Dangerous U.S. Missile Defense Plan

  51. My question would be why bother modifying the big S-400 missile to do something they are developing the S-500 missile to do?
    The big S-400 missile is designed to operate within the Earths atmosphere so to redesign it to intercept targets in space will require significant work. Getting the missile intercepting targets within the atmosphere at 400km is rather more important than modifying it to intercept targets in space right now when most targets operate within the atmosphere.

    Let me put it this way... you are developing the Su-35BM and the T-50. Why would you spend money to give the Su-35BM all of the capabilities, or all of the useful capabilities of the T-50 when you are also developing the T-50?
    Not only is it a waste of money, but it threatens funding for the effort on the T-50.
    Very simply the S-500 is designed to defeat targets in space, whether they be ballistic missiles or hypersonic aircraft.
    Spending money to make the big S-400 missile like the S-500 is a waste.

    BTW intercepting a BM with a BM is near impossible. The point of an interceptor is to manouver to hit the incoming target. at above 40-50Km the control surfaces on the big missile will not have any effect so to use it as an interceptor at this height or above would rely mostly on luck or engine thrust vector control to manouver the missile in space.

  52. GarryB we know very little about the Big Missile , AFAIK its pictures have not been released and its a classified system , the fact that he has mentioned that intercepting at 185 km was planned proves that they had that system built for such a capability which is not tested yet.

    Big Missile is a new missile of S-400 system and not something derived from old , so I would rather wait for more information.

    S-500 and S-400 is difference system designed for different task

  53. The Article above the designer states there are a couple of missiles left to develop for it and then the focus moves elsewhere, so I guess there might be a few surprises.

    At the end of the day I think the S-500 will perform the job of interception at high altitude and the big S-400 missile will be kept for use against high value aerial targets at long range like JSTARs and AWACS, etc etc.
    Will finish on this topic by saying that yes, I agree that the S-400 and S-500 will have different tasks and that strategic targets that require ABM defence will also need defence from SAMS, cruise missiles and other threats, so really S-500 will simply be a few extra X band radars and another set of specialised missiles for the S-400 system in practical terms.
    The S-400 system will likely have Pantsir and TOR systems located near it too to make saturation difficult/expensive.

  54. use s-400 to protect from and topol m missiles to attacke ngland and destgroy the one country which isconsistently enemy of nbnot only russia but the whole humanity.
    4th June, 2007.

    President putin is wrong when he says that russia should or will target the missile on europe if america goes with anti missile defence plan in Europe.
    Russia must target (rather than should) the nuclear missiles with multiple war heads against all the cities, towns and big villages( including military instalations) of england because this cold war -like the one before- is being started by england for the benefit of english race is race war between the english parasite race versus the rest of the world-the sooner the rest of the world realizes that better it is for the world.
    look how germany wes villified soon after fall of soviet union-look how russia is being vilified immediately after Putin made russia strong.
    look how american has been isntagated for perpetaul awar by the british bastards. Aritish spy naill faergussan and huntingtosn go to usa and preach hatred and racial inflammmatory speech telling americans that the time for religious and civilization war has come-why do these english bastards not figtht their war by thier own means rather than on shoulders of american arms?
    thse same biriths bastrds talking of religious(chrisitan and muslim ) war propagandasie hispanics, iriash , ger,ams , french as not in american chritisan groups. they also do not think those white europeans to be thier kind wich desreves to be ion america-such is the evil propaganda of britihs spies inside america. .
    poland is nothing but a proxy for the british bastards.
    itis no use targetting poland -target the main villain which is england and the english race which m ust be aniihilated fromt the face of the world.

    28th april,2007.

    The foreign policy sections of Putin's Message were relatively brief, but pointed. They continued what he began Feb. 10 in his speech to the Munich "Wehrkunde" Conference on Security. Putin zeroed in on the types of programs that go by the name of Project Democracy (since the founding of the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, in the 1980s):

    "There are those who, making clever use of pseudodemocratic phraseology, would like to bring back the recent past: some, in order to be able to loot our national wealth with impunity, as in the past, to rob the people and the state; others, to strip our country of its economic and political independence. In addition, there is a growing influx of foreign money, used for direct interference in our internal affairs. If we look to more distant times in the past, we see that during the hey-day of colonialism, there was talk about an alleged civilizing role of the colonizing states. Today, 'democraticizing' slogans are used. But the goal is the same: to achieve unilateral advantage for one's own benefit and interests."

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