The New Russian Anti-Ballistic Missile

On June 4, 2019, Russia conducted a test of its new Anti-Ballistic Missile at the Sary-Shagan missile testing site in Kazakhstan. 

The Moscow Times confirmed the news on June 4 ( see https://t.co/NHON88vej7)

 The missile test was claimed to have been a success though no details of the missile were given; only a video was released by ministry-backed Zvezda television channel on June 4 that showed the  unnamed “modernised missile of the Russian ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] system”, blasting off at blistering speed. It was however  not clear whether the video ( see herehttps://youtu.be/m8W1L6TDG7w)  was sped up to hide some of the missile’s characteristics, or if it was its real-time speed.

Another video was released showing the missile as it was transported to the test site, transferred to a special hauler, being placed into an underground missile silo and deployed to launch position but no details could be gleaned from this video also though missile’s size and weight characteristics as could be ascertained  seems to reject theories on social media that the test missile was an S-500.Some observers have speculated that the “new” missile was an upgraded A-135 anti-ballistic missile, a defensive system designed to intercept various classes of enemy nuclear warheads, but also various other airborne targets if necessary.

Col. Vladimir Sergienko, deputy commander of Russia’s anti-missile defence, confirmed to Zvezda that the Aerospace Forces had “successfully conducted a new test launch of a new rocket for the Russian system of anti-missile defence” without giving out any details.

While details of the missile will take time to be ascertained, speculations and guesstimates may well continue.