Russia has begun tests of its advanced S-500 surface-to-air missile systems, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuriy Borisov told journalists at the Army-2020 forum.
The official added that a light configuration of the systems already exists and its parts are already being purchased for mass production.
The S-500 Prometey ("Prometheus"), also known as 55R6M "Triumfator-M", is a universal system for long-range and high-altitude interception with increased missile defence potential. The weapon's main tasks will include combating medium-range ballistic missiles and intercontinental ballistic missiles if they are in close proximity.
The cutting-edge defence system was tested by the air defence troops in 2019, and 2021 is expected to be the year when the S-500 will be first deployed by the Russian armed forces, according to the Defence Ministry.
In July, the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces said that the S-500 Prometey ("Prometheus") defence system will be capable of destroying hypersonic weapons in near-Earth space, adding that the S-500s have no analogue in the world.