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Competing claims surround Russia’s S-550

4th January 2022 - 14:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The S-550 is being developed as a modified version of the S-500, pictured above. (Photo: Russian MoD)

Two Russian media outlets have reported wildly differing information regarding Russia’s new S-550.

Russian government-run news agency TASS has announced the new S-550 air defence system has successfully passed state trials and entered combat service, citing an anonymous source close to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The source described the system as being capable of ‘hitting spacecraft, ballistic missile re-entry vehicles and hypersonic targets at altitudes of tens of thousands of kilometres’.

However, there has been contradicting claims from RIA Novosti.

Also citing an anonymous source, RIA Novosti reports the testing of the S-550 has not occurred and is not planned in the recent future as its prototypes have not yet been created.

Instead, the media outlet reported that it was the S-500 that was undergoing testing in the Arctic.

Details of the new system have been closely guarded, the S-550 system is being developed as a modified version of the S-500 and will specialise in missile and space defence.

The new system would join Russia’s existing missile and air defence infrastructure, including Pantsir systems for low altitudes, long-range S-350s, S-400s, and S-500s.

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