The first group of operators of the S-500 air defence system is already receiving training, Lieut. Gen. Vladimir Lyaporov, chief of the Zhukov Air and Space Defence Academy has indicated.
"I will point out that 2019 will see the graduation of the first officers from the academy under the training program for the S-500 complex, which has not yet been introduced into the forces, but which we expect in the near future," Lyaporov said, speaking to the military's Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper.
Although most of the system's characteristics have been successfully kept under wraps, for obvious reasons, it is known that the S-500 will have an operational range of 600 km, and to be able of engaging targets at altitudes over 95 km, meaning it will be capable of hitting enemy low-orbit satellites and space-based weapons. The system will also be effective against ballistic missiles, UAVs, and hypersonic cruise missiles flying at speeds up to Mach 15.6, making the S-500 the world's only air defence system capable of engaging hypersonic targets.