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Russian Army Says Successfully Tested New Missile Defense System

A new interceptor missile of the Russian missile defense system is launched from the Sary Shagan anti-ballistic missile testing range. Russian Defence Ministry

Russia has successfully test-launched a new missile defense system at its Sary Shagan firing range in neighboring Kazakhstan, the country’s Defense Ministry announced Friday. 

“The anti-missile defense system is in service with the Aerospace Forces and is designed to protect against air and space attacks,” the ministry said in a statement, without naming the system that was tested.

"The new missile defense system, after a series of tests, confirmed its inherent characteristics, and combat crews successfully completed the task, hitting the conditional target with the specified accuracy," said Major General Sergei Grabchuk, head of the Aerospace Forces’ anti-missile defense unit.

The test is the latest in a series of test launches as Russia seeks to upgrade the missile defense system around its capital Moscow. 

In July 2020, it was announced that the Russian army will deploy the next-generation S-500 hypersonic missile defense system to protect Moscow. 

Then-head of the Russian Aerospace Forces Sergei Surovikin — who was placed in charge of Russia’s forces in Ukraine in October — claimed at the time that the S-500 system will be able to destroy satellites and hypersonic weapons in near space.

Following months of setbacks for the Russian military in its offensive on Ukraine, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday spoke in favor of using next-generation weapons in battle.

Speaking at a government board meeting Shoigu added that state defense orders funding is expected to increase by 150% in 2023 to ensure the Armed Forces are provided with consistent arms and equipment supplies.

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