Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia's military commanders to prepare the S-500 missile system for mass production and boost the country's strategic nuclear forces.
Speaking to his top brass and executives of defense-sector enterprises, Putin said Wednesday that enhancing "anti-precision warfare means" was Moscow's priority.
"It is necessary to develop and build up technological groundwork in the area of air defense, to continue modernization of Pantsir systems, to finish the development and preparations for mass production of the S-500 newest systems capable of hitting targets at super-high altitudes, including near-the-earth space," he said.
While the project remains a well-kept secret, some reports suggest that the S-500 will have a range of 600 kilometers for the anti-ballistic missile variant and 400 kilometers for the air defense version.
The system is also said to be capable of engaging up to 10 ballistic hypersonic targets flying at speeds between 18,000 kilometers per hour and 25,000 kph.
This means the system will be best equipped to counter ballistic missiles with a launch range of 3,500 km.
According to some reports, the S-500 will be able to use nuclear-tipped missiles to wipe out multiple warheads at once or take out individual warheads with hit-to-kill missiles.
The S-500 is expected to offer considerable upgrades over the S-400, Russia's current flagship air defense system. However, higher production and maintenance costs mean the S-500 system will only be used against threats that are out of reach for its predecessor.
During the meeting, Putin also made it clear that he wanted to reinforce Russia's nuclear triad as well.
He called for continued work on the ongoing modernization of Russia's strategic nuclear forces and rearming 14 regiments with Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems before year end.
"Strategic nuclear forces have key significance for defense and security," he said. "Pursuant to provisions of the state program for armaments, we'll continue replacement of the outdated Topol missile complexes with the newest Yars systems and will put them on the tables of equipment at fourteen missile regiments."
Putin said Russia's air force was going to receive modernized Tu-95MS and Tu-160 long-range strategic bombers, modified to carry the advanced X-101 and X-102 nuclear-capable cruise missiles.
He also stressed that the construction of five Borey-class strategic nuclear submarines must continue on schedule.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team