The S-500 is a new generation surface-to-air missile system, designed for intercepting short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles with ranges up to 3,500 km (2,175 mi) and for defense against Airborne Early Warning and Control, Airborne Warning and Control System, and jamming aircraft. It is not an upgraded version of the S-400. With a planned range of 600 km (373 mi), the S-500 will be able to detect and simultaneously engage up to 10 ballistic supersonic targets flying at a speed of 5 km/s.
As of 2009, the system is currently under design stage development at Almaz-Antey, and is planned to be completed in 2012. There is also a version of the system called S-1000, but it is not known what the difference between the two versions is.
Although sharing a similar designation, the relationship between this new S-500 and the S-500U project of the 1960s is unclear. The S-500U multichannel antiaircraft system was a 1968 initiative by the Soviet Air Defence Forces, Soviet Navy, Ministry of the Radio Industry and Ministry of the Shipbuilding Industry to create a unified complex for the National Air Defense Troops, Navy and Ground Troops. Missiles of the S-500U complex were supposed to engage enemy aircraft at a range up to 100 km. The S-500U SAM complex project was rejected by the Red Army, which had a requirement to engage not only enemy aircraft, but also short range ballistic missiles. Consequently the S-300 family, SA-10 and SA-12, was developed instead.