S-300 Air Defense: The S-300PMU-1 is a multi-role air defense missile with a range of over 1,000 km. Its name is derived from the Russian designation S-300PS/S-300PM, and it is the only version of this system to carry a nuclear warhead. The missiles are fitted with modern TEL guidance and a mobile radar, and it also has the ability to track and neutralize targets at long range. Its four S-300PMU missiles are mounted on a command post, a MAZ-7910 8×8 truck that serves as a command post.
The S-300 air defense system has evolved over the years, with each variant incorporating improvements to meet different military needs. In 1981, the S-300P was first deployed, and it was upgraded in 1992 to include low-altitude defense capabilities. In 1991, the S-300PT was developed, and this variant included upgrades to the S-300PMU-1 and S-300V for improved cruise missile defense. In 1998, a new variant, the S-300PMU-2, was developed and was deployed with the Russian Air Force.
The S-300P is the first variant of the S-300. Its radars are 5N66M continuous-wave radars for target acquisition. The S-300P/PM utilises 30N6 FLAP LID A I/J-band phased array tracking radars, as well as a trailer-mounted command center and up to twelve erector/launchers with four missiles each. The S-300PS/PM is a modified version of the S-300P/PM, which uses upgraded 30N6 FLAP LID A I-band phased array tracking and engagement radars, truck-mounted TELs, and a command-guidance system.
The S-300V missile, formerly known as SA-N-6 in the United States, was introduced in 1984. It has a range of seven to nine kilometers and can engage threats at altitudes up to 30,000 meters. The S-300V missile has the capability to shoot down tactical ballistic missiles with a range up to 300 kilometers. The S-300V is one of three types of SAM.
The S-300PS uses 30N6 FLAP LID A I/J band phased array tracking radar. It has a command center and up to twelve trailer-mounted erector/launchers, each containing four missiles. The S-300P/PM uses upgraded 30N6 FLAP LID A I-band phased array targeting radar and truck-mounted TELs. The S-300P/PM is the main variant of the S-300.
The S-300P uses an S-300PT and S-300PS missile. The S-300P has a range of seven to nine hundred kilometers and a maximum target speed of Mach 4. Its engagement altitude has been reduced to twenty-five thousand meters. Its command guidance system employs a terminal semi-active radar to hit targets. These missiles can also be used in conjunction with other air defense systems.
The S-300PMU1 SAM is a long-range Surface-to-air Missile system. It can engage up to six targets at once and provide guidance for up to 12 missiles. The S-300PMU2 SAM is upgraded from the S-300PMU1 SAM. Its improved range and improved aerodynamic capability make it a top choice for air defense.
S-300 Air Defense System Reviews
S-300 air defense system reviews are mixed, but one thing is for sure: these systems are not cheap. The S-300 is comprised of four classes of road-mobile vehicles that detect, track, and destroy aircraft. They have a range of 93 miles and can shoot down an aircraft flying at 90,000 feet. A US Marine Corps aviator said that an acquisition of this system would be “a game changer” for fourth-generation aircraft. The acquisition would render Iran’s air defenses virtually impenetrable to advanced jets.
The A-135 air defense system is the most popular choice for the Russian Air Force. While it is primarily used for theater defense, this system has been tested around the capital city. The S-500 is a road-mobile, ten-ector-launcher system that is mounted on a BAZ chassis and can be more survivable. While the A-235 is more advanced, it is not yet available for the Army.
In the US, the S-300 is one of the best systems for combating ICBMs. But it does not have a great track record in test missions. The FAA has proposed conditions that could prevent it from accidentally operating on the ground. This is because most tests do not mimic operational conditions. The S-300 can destroy an ICBM up to three times its range. It can be a very versatile air defense asset.