Russia deploys S-350 air defense system within the striking range of HIMARS

The Russian Ministry of Defense has released footage for the first time showing the deployment and operation of the advanced S-350 Vityaz air defense system in a missile brigade in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

The newest S-350 Vityaz, developed by Almaz-Antey, is designed to counter both aerodynamic and ballistic targets. Each launcher of the system is equipped with 12 surface-to-air missiles.

The S-350 is touted by Russian propaganda as having a fully autonomous, “unique” mode of operation against targets. A key feature of the system is the use of highly maneuverable 9M96D and 9M96DM missiles, with ranges of 60 km and 120-130 km, respectively. These missiles are equipped with active radar homing heads from the “Slate” series and gas-dynamic control belts, which allow for kinetic interception of complex aerodynamic and ballistic targets maneuvering with up to 25 Gs.

Among the targets reportedly intercepted by the Vityaz are ATACMS rockets and enemy drones, including fixed-wing aircraft types. According to a commander with the call sign “Lev” from the Southern military group, the S-350 simultaneously intercepted 12 HIMARS rockets.

“Recently, we worked at a large salvo of HIMARS rockets, about 12-16 targets. The system successfully intercepted all of them, preventing any from reaching their intended targets,” said Lev in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Despite these claims, there is skepticism even among Russian media consumers, with comments suggesting the reports are merely promotional efforts aimed at potential foreign buyers. In practice, Ukrainian armed forces have reportedly managed to overcome the S-350 defenses and strike their targets with high precision.

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