Russia to deploy ‘star wars’ missile system in 2017
A 9A83ME launcher unit of the S-300VM "Antey-2500", Russian-made anti-ballistic missile system, is displayed during the MAKS-2013, the International Aviation and Space Show, in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, on August 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVRussia’s Defense Ministry plans to deploy in 2017 a sophisticated new air missile defense system that can hit targets in space, a senior ministry source told Russian news agencies on Aug. 30.
“The promising S-500 air defense missile system is at the development stage. It’s planned to be deployed in 2017,” the source was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
The long-range system will be able to destroy targets even if they are in space and cover the whole Russian territory, the source added. Russia is developing more and more effective missile defense systems for use as a deterrent while opposing plans by the United States to build a missile defense shield in Europe.
Russia says its most advanced anti-aircraft and anti-missile system currently in use, the S-400 Triumph, has a range of 400 kilometers. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last year that Russia’s armed forces would acquire around 28 S-400s over the following decade.
Meanwhile, Russia banned pork imports from Belarus on Aug. 30, stepping up a diplomatic and trade war over the arrest of a Russian businessman and threatening to deepen the isolation of its former Soviet ally.
Russia is one of Belarus’ few diplomatic backers after 19 years of authoritarian rule by President Alexander Lukashenko but has responded furiously to the arrest this week of Vladislav Baumgertner, head of Russian potash company Uralkali.
Since then, Russian officials have announced a 25 percent drop in oil supplies to Belarus in September, threatened to extend the cuts for several months and hinted at possible restrictions on imports of Belarussian dairy products.