Next gen S-350 mobile mid-range missiles to make Russian air defense impenetrable

S-350 Vityaz launcher (Image from Igor Korotchenko's Military Diary
Russian air defense is getting ready to deploy S-350 Vityaz mobile SAMs to replace outgoing versions of S-300 anti-aircraft systems. The core of the new system features missiles with state-of-the-art active radar-homing warheads.

Everything is ready for the production of Russia’s brand-new medium to short range mobile S-350 Vityaz anti-aircraft missile complex. The system will replace S-300ps SAMs, which are armed with outdated V55R missiles due for decommissioning by the end of the year.

“The next generation S-350 systems will be operational in the nearest possible future,” General-Major Sergey Babakov, the Commander of Russia’s anti-aircraft missile troops, told journalists in early July. “Deployment is expected to comply with the schedule, no failures on delivery are expected,” the general added.

The S-350 Vityaz system consists of a launcher vehicle, all-aspect radar for scanning airspace and a command vehicle. The maximum number of launchers operating with one radar and command center is classified, as well as the maximum quantity of simultaneously tracked targets.

S-350 Vityaz launcher (Image from Igor Korotchenko's Military Diary

The S-350 Vityaz is armed with two types of missiles. One is medium range also employed by anti-aircraft S-400 Triumph systems. The other interceptor missile is a brand-new modern projectile with an active homing head, which means it has its own radar station.

The technical characteristics of this new missile “outperform missiles of previous generation systems,” Colonel Igor Klimov, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, told journalists.

S-350 Vityaz launcher (Image from Igor Korotchenko's Military Diary


The new missile is smaller, lighter and more maneuverable, General Babakov said last weekend in an interview with Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine. “Though it is smaller, its characteristics are better than that of S-300ps. It is agile, does better at ultra-low and maximum heights and has longer range,” the general said.

“I believe the new system is going to be die-hard,” Babakov said in an interview with the Russian News Service radio station.

The S-350 Vityaz was unveiled to the public at the MAKS-2013 International Aviation and Space Show.

S-350 Vityaz radar (Image from Igor Korotchenko's Military Diary

Initially, the complex was expected to enter production in 2014, but the final tests of the new missile took more time than was expected.

The S-400 Triumph and S-350 Vityaz complexes are replacing those of the outdated S-300 family systems.

The principal difference between S-350 Vityaz and S-300 is the number of missiles ready for use: the S-350 launcher vehicle carries 12 missiles, whereas the S-300 has just four. This is due to modern missiles being more powerful, and so missiles become either smaller or achieve longer ranges with the same size.