Russian troops will use the S-400 air defense system to establish a reliable airspace over the Donbas region.
According to the information published by the Russian Ministry of Defense on April 9, 2023, the S-400 air defense system is deployed in the Donbas region and around the Donetsk People’s Republic, especially to counter the US HIMARS missiles.
In this context, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, air defense units destroyed dozens of missiles and rockets that were used “toward” Donetsk and other regions of the DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic). According to the ministry, these include the famous “HIMARS” guided missiles.
According to the report by Army Recognition, Russian soldiers admit that missiles fired from the American M142 HIMARS system are a formidable target. In this context, hitting HIMARS missiles is difficult for an air defense system, primarily due to their high speed. This makes it difficult to track, block and destroy them.
In addition, the relatively short flight times of the missiles in question means that air defense systems have a limited window of opportunity to detect, track and engage the target. The S-400 air defense system is designed to counter a variety of air threats, including HIMARS missiles.
The system has a maximum engagement range of up to 400 km (248 miles) and can engage targets at various altitudes, from as low as 5 meters (16 feet) to as high as 30 km (18.6 miles). The S-400 is equipped with a sophisticated radar system capable of detecting, tracking and engaging targets at long ranges, increasing its ability to detect and track fast-moving targets such as HIMARS.
In addition, the system can engage more than one target at the same time. In this way, it is theoretically possible for more than one HIMARS missile to meet possible saturation attacks. Its ability to prioritize and engage multiple threats increases its effectiveness against such attacks.
The S-400 is also equipped with electronic warfare systems capable of countering enemy electronic countermeasures. This helps improve the system’s ability to detect, track and engage HIMARS guided missiles, even if they are equipped with countermeasures. Overall, the effectiveness of the S-400 in real combat scenarios will depend on a variety of factors, including the skill and readiness of its operators and the tactics employed by both sides.