Ever since the late 1960’s and appearance of ICBMs both west and Russia were facing the threat that can’t be dealt with in an effective way. Simply, the ICBMs are too fast and they fly too high to be intercepted. If the fact that they carry nuclear warheads is taken into consideration, it becomes clear that it is the weapon which would cause severe casualties in both military and civilian segment. It was for over 4 decades the main reason why there were no nuclear wars in the world. The inability to effectively intercept the enemy’s intercontinental ballistic missiles was the threat serious enough to keep the world in balance and until this day there was no weapon that could tip the scale and break this balance. Still, with the appearance of S-500 Autocrat, this balance became extremely fragile as it will finally be the weapon that can completely halt the US, French and British missiles with a 100% accuracy.
The development of S-500 Autocrat (also known as Triumfator-M) was announced in 2009 and it was predicted that it will start reaching the units of Russian Army by the end of 2014. The western experts were sure that they can’t be developed until 2020 but the first presentation was made in 2013 and the representatives of Army were absolutely thrilled with its performance. It is announced that 2 new factories for production of this system will be finished by the end of 2014 and that means that they will be introduced much earlier than anyone predicted.
In the following year the first batch of 10 battalions should be deployed and the contract was made only for so much units. Still, the fact that two new plants are being made with haste, it would be no surprise if the final number of battalions exceeds the previous estimate by a huge number. There are some rumors that all S-300 regiments will be replaced by S-500 Autocrat.
This air defense system is something that has no competitor in the world. Many western experts thought it’s a further development of the S-400 but in fact this is a completely new air defense system with capabilities to engage targets on incredibly high altitudes and huge speeds (some sources claim that the top speed of a target is 5 km/s while the Russian sources claim the top speed of the target is 7 km/s). With a ceiling of 400 kilometers, it surpasses the abilities of both S-300 and Patriot SAM by more than 12 times. Also, the initial missile built for this system has an effective range of 600 kilometers and it is impossible to jam.
Still, this is far from everything the S-500 Autocrat has to offer. It is also able to engage all kinds of stealth planes and aircraft for electronic warfare. At the same it can engage 10 targets on various altitudes and moving at different speed. Some claims say that its radar can detect the targets at the distance of 3500 km and that is a terrifying data. It is reasonable assumption that the further development of the missiles will enable it to engage low orbiting satellites and that would be simply incredible advantage since all military relevant satellites are orbiting on altitudes below 2000 kilometers.
Even now, with this initial configuration, S-500 Autocrat can provide an absolute defense against ICBMs if it is deployed in sufficient numbers and combined with S-400 Triumf and S-300 can enable Russia to be completely free of fear when it comes to nuclear strikes. This would shift the balance of power in the world completely on the Russian side as the complete NATO doctrine relies on heavy air superiority. It won’t take too long until we witness the major changes in the world if the western countries don’t find the means to counter this awesome defensive system.