Russian air and missile defense units will receive a new rocket for their S-400 Triumph air defense systems this year, allowing them to shoot down ballistic missiles at medium range and even in space, news agency TASS reported Thursday, citing an unidentified defense industry source.
"The main difference between these [new] missiles and those currently used in our S-300 and S-400 systems is that, thanks to its 'smart head' and improved performance characteristics, it is able to operate in near space against ballistic missiles of medium range," the source told TASS.
The S-400 is a high-performance upgrade to Russia's powerful S-300 air defense system. The S-400 is advertised as being able to intercept ballistic missiles and shoot down enemy aircraft.
The new missile will complete trials and begin deliveries to S-400 air defense units across Russia by the end of the year, the source said. The new weapon does not change the range of the S-400 — about 400 kilometers — but boosts the system's destructive capability within that radius.
The source's information was confirmed by an unidentified source in the Defense Ministry, TASS reported.