Russia said to test missile that can down F-35 fighter jet

In world’s longest-range surface-to-air missile test, S-500 missile reportedly hits target 300 miles away

By TOI staff Today, 2:31 pm 4

Russia has successfully conducted the world’s longest-range surface-to-air missile test, according to a report in US media on Thursday.

The S-500 missile, which Russia said will be able to down F-35 fighter jets — the most advanced in America’s (and Israel’s) fleets, as well as ballistic missiles — was able to hit a target 480 kilometers (299 miles) away CNBC reported, citing “sources with direct knowledge of US intelligence concerning the weapons program.”

Israel said this week its F-35 fighter jet conducted airstrikes on at least two occasions, reportedly in Syria, which Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said made Israel the first country in the world to use the American-made stealth aircraft operationally.

The US military source, who spoke to CNBC anonymously, said that the Russian test was 80 kilometers (50 miles) further than any previous test.

A photograph of an Israeli F-35 stealth fighter jet flying over the Lebanese capital of Beirut, which was apparently leaked to Israel’s Hadashot news, May 2018. (Screen capture)

Russia has said that the S-500 will be operational by 2020 and will also have the capability to hit targets in near space, 100 kilometers (62 miles) above earth.

There was no confirmation of the test from the Kremlin.

The S-500 will operate alongside the S-400 missiles and are set to replace the aging S-300 systems.

Russia had reportedly contemplated supplying S-300 missiles to Syria, but earlier this month, after intensive lobbying by Israel, Moscow said it would not provide Damascus with the advanced air defense system.

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