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Russia mass producing S-500 missile defense units.

S-500 missile unit. Image Credit: Eurasian Times

On Monday, Yan Novikov, the head of the Russian defense technology company Almaz-Antey said that they have started mass producing its new missile defense unit, the S-500, also known as the Prometheus, for the Russian military as the situation in Ukraine worsens and tensions with NATO is escalating, potentially leading to World War 3, according to some Russian officials.

The new missile defense unit, the S-500 is the successor of the S-400, which has seen combat in Ukraine and has proved its capability in downing several fighter jets. The S-500 is a next-generation surface-to-air missile system with a range of 600 kilometers (370 miles). It has the ability to intercept and destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles and stealth aircraft according to the Russian military company. It can counter up to ten ballistic missiles at a time flying at speeds up to 4.34 miles (7 kilometers) per second. It was first tested in July 2021, and by September, the Russian Armed Forces began receiving their first S-500 consignments. In October 2021 the Russian Aerospace Forces deployed it in Moscow.

Russia’s invasion, which does not seem to go according to plan, is facing new difficulties after Germany declared that it shall send heavy weaponry to Ukraine. This includes 50 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks. Germany joins a list of countries that donated heavy weaponry to Ukraine, most notably the United States and Poland. This seem to have caused panic in Moscow and mass producing S-500s maybe a sign that they expect the situation to worsen.

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