OREANDA-NEWS.  The newest Russian anti-aircraft missile system (SAM) S-550 has begun combat duty, TASS reports, citing a source close to the Defense Ministry.

"The S-550 air defense system has successfully completed state tests. The first C-550 brigade has taken up combat duty," the source said.

The source noted that the S-550 is a new mobile strategic missile defense (ABM) system that "is capable of hitting spacecraft, intercontinental ballistic missile warheads, hypersonic targets at altitudes of several tens of thousands of kilometers."

In December, RIA Novosti, citing a source, reported that Russia would conduct firing tests in the Arctic with a modern missile defense system using a hypersonic target. According to the interlocutor of the agency, the shooting will take place before the end of the year at one of the military ranges in the Arctic. He said that the missile defense system will have to detect, escort and hit a hypersonic target.