(FreedomBeacon.com)- Russia has deployed a new missile system that can strike satellites and shoot down nuclear-armed missiles.
According to the Russian outlet Tass, the S-550 defense system completed its trials and was placed on combat duty.
Citing a source within the Russian defense ministry, Tass reported the “absolutely new and unrivaled” defense system is capable of striking “spacecraft, ballistic missile reentry vehicles, and hypersonic targets at altitudes of tens of thousands of kilometers.”
Back in the early 1980s, President Ronald Reagan had proposed a similar missile defense system. Reagan called on the scientific community to develop a system that could intercept incoming ballistic missiles at high altitudes through a vast network of laser-armed satellites, air-based missiles, ground-based interceptor missiles, and electromagnetic railguns.
Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative was derisively billed “Star Wars” by critics who balked at the cost and argued that such a defense system wouldn’t be feasible.
Russia’s S-550 system will now be part of Russia’s strategic air defense structure, which also includes the long-range S-350, S-400, and S-500 systems.
In November, Russia test-fired a missile that destroyed one of its satellites, creating a debris field that endangered astronauts aboard the International Space Station. It is unclear whether that missile was an S-550.
According to a military expert interviewed by Tass, the new missile system uses the kinetic energy interceptor principle which prevents detonation when striking a nuclear warhead. This allows the missile to physically destroy the warhead while preventing a nuclear blast. However, the fragments from the warhead would create a radioactive background, but to a lesser degree than a detonation.
The new Russian defense system comes amid rising tensions between Russia and the United States over the Kremlin’s military buildup along its border with Ukraine.
This past week, the White House announced that the US and Russia would hold bilateral talks on January 10 in Geneva, Switzerland. These talks are part of the previously agreed-upon Strategic Security Dialogue Presidents Biden and Putin announced during their summit in June.
The Geneva meeting will likely be led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and will address arms control and continued nuclear deterrence.