I am kind of confused. There are 2 systems A-235 and S-500. And each time i read about them, i get conflicting info about one being terminal ABM defense (THAAD equivalent) and the other being midcourse defense (GBI equivalent).
Both are essentially evolutions, the A-235 is the latest iteration of the moscow based ABM system which is designed to be fixed and launched from silos and has been in operation and is regularly tested every year or every other year to make sure it works.
THAAD is not even better than S-400 and is not really comparable... it is a mobile battlefield system designed to engage extended range Scud missiles.
THAAD could not handle Iskander let alone intermediate range missiles or SLBMs or ICBMs.
GBI is a silo based missile system that the A-235 could be compared with, except A-235 works and is in operational service and it is the latest missile in a range of missiles that have been operation around moscow for half a century... the A-35 entered service in 1971 and the A-135 entered service in about 1996 to replace it, and now the A-235 replaces this system...
The difference is that GBI is designed to be located in Europe so any debris is isolated from the US. The Soviet ABM system follows the rules of the 1972 ABM treaty... meaning it has to be located either around the capital city of the country that operates it or around an ICBM field.
The US system was of course put around their ICBM field and was open for one day before being closed.
The S-500 is a mobile system intended to operate near airfields for the Air Force or near HQs and comms centres and major bases or ports or on capital ships eventually.
It is the top coverage system that prevents your air defence system from being defeated by the enemy simply launching huge ballistic missiles from subs or land... which would be the wests only sensible way of effectively dealing with the extreme Russian air defence network...
And i tend to think that the A-235 is the midcourse defense and that S-500 is THAAD equivalent?
Well the A-235 is fixed and silo based so it is operational around Moscow, but they have four military regions so they might build one ABM system with A-235s around one centre in each military area, plus perhaps Leningrad.
S-500 is portable and mobile and will likely be based at strategic airfields and ports and other things that are critical and need protecting... and in that sense it is very much like THAAD.
How it is different of course is that S-500 can stop anything from Scuds theatre ballistic missiles (TBMs) to Minuteman ICBMs, and Trident SLBMs.
It is fully mobile and will have a range of missiles which will likely also allow it to engage satellites too.
It would be a total waste to use such missiles against fighter planes and cruise missiles etc etc so it will likely be based with TOR and Pantsir as well as S-350 and S-400 systems so they could take out any threats and other targets while the S-500 focusses on the hypersonic ballistic and hypersonic manouvering targets.
So it could reach near space but it was not designed to shoot objects in space lite satellites?
A-235 is an ABM system launched from fixed silos and intended to defend against ballistic missiles of all types. S-400 would likely also be there to take on cruise missile and enemy aircraft based threats too.
The last model S-400 reportedly can reach targets at 185km altitude which is in low earth orbit.
The S-500 will likely reach much higher and be able to take down objects in stable low orbit, as well as ballistic targets like ICBMs and SLBMs moving at up to 7km/s.
The S-400 can already hit targets moving at 4.8km/s which would include most SLBMs and many IRBMs.
They should add an A-235 system to St. Petersburg as well.
They were talking about that, and also one in Vladivostok too....
From what i read before A-235 was designed from bottom up to be mobile. Making a stationary weapon from a mobile system is much more easier than the other way arround. Nudol is a designation given to the A-235.
The designation gives it away... A-35 and A-135 and A-235.... they are all related and were all carted around on the back of a truck and are all silo launched.
They are not mobile, nor do they need to be... if they wanted a mobile ABM system they would develop one... and they have and it is called S-500.
All mobile SAM systems are transportable via strategic aircraft. In less than 24 hours you can probably reinforce say, faraway and lightly defended Vladivostok with several divisions of S-400s, S-500s and Nudol turning the region into a fortress that can eat entire air forces on its own.
The point is that while you could move Nudol all round the place, the huge radar and the command and control infrastructure is around moscow and is not mobile.
My understanding is that Nudol is A-235 and is silo launched.
If you need to defend a location from ballistic missile attack then the S-400 and S-350 and S-500 and TOR and BUK and Panstir are all fully mobile and I would add S-300V4 would be an excellent ATBM system too... rather better than THAAD or Patriot PAC-3... or both together.
S-500 is going to allow Russia to defend most major cities and military bases from ballistic missile attack... thanks to the US withdrawing from the ABM treaty of course.
They will be able to put S-500s near their OTH radar stations to keep them safe and providing quality target information regarding every enemy platform approaching Russian territory by sea or land or air or in space...