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Specs of Russia’s new missile capable of hitting hyper-sonic targets ‘revealed’

Terrain-hugging aircraft cannot feel safe when confronted by Russia’s newest anti-aircraft missile developed for the S-400 and future S-500 systems, as it can reportedly hit targets flying a mere 10 meters above the ground.

The 40N6E interceptor missile specifications, shown at the booth of Almaz-Antey during the Army-2018 expo near Moscow, are probably the first ‘official’ figures related to the advanced weapon. The missile itself reportedly passed military trials in July, with first deliveries to deployed S-400 units expected in a matter of weeks.

According to a presentation slide published by bmpd, a popular Russian defense blog, the latest missile weighs around 1,893 kg (4,173 lbs), or about 2,600 kg (5732 lbs) when stored inside its sealed transport/launch container. When launched, the missile flies at an average speed of 1,190 meters per second (2,662 mph).

The interceptor can hit targets flying as low as 10 m (33 ft) and as high as 30 km (19 miles), disproving rumors that it was designed with a built-in anti-satellite capabilities. It can engage targets at a range of at least 5 km (3 miles). The maximum range for targeting aircraft with the 40N6E is 380 km (236 miles). The range for ballistic missiles is up to 15 km, according to the presentation.

Almaz-Antey provides several examples of potential targets for the interceptor, including the Northrop B-2 Spirit strategic bomber, the MQ-9 Reaper armed drone, the Tomahawk cruise missile, the Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft. The 40N6E will also work against ballistic and hypersonic cruise missiles, the presentation promises. When properly stored, the weapon has a guaranteed shelf life of 15 years with no maintenance required.

The slides noticeably fail to show the appearance of the projectile, using the image of an older 48N6E3 missile instead, the blog noted. How the missile looks like may still be classified.

The 40N6E is the fifth interceptor developed for the S-400 anti-aircraft system, with a longer range than the other models. The S-500, a successor to the S-400 currently in development, will also be armed with this type of missile.

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