A-135 anti-ballistic missile system

The A-135 (renamed to A-235)[5] (NATO: ABM-4 Gorgon) is a Russian anti-ballistic missile system deployed around Moscow to intercept incoming warheads targeting the city or its surrounding areas. The system was designed in the Soviet Union and entered service in 1995. It is a successor to the previous A-35, and complies with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.[2]

51T6 (ABM-4 Gorgon)
ABM Pushkino.jpg
DIA drawing of an SH-08/ABM-3A GAZELLE 53T6 missile launching with Don-2 phased array radar in background
TypeAnti-ballistic missile
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1995–present
Used byRussia
Production history
DesignerNPO Novator Design Bureau
No. built68
Mass33,000-45,000kg (73,000-100,000lb)
Length19.8 m[1]
Blast yield10 kilotonnes of TNT (42 TJ)

Engine2-stage solid fuel
Flight ceiling350-900km
Maximum speed Mach 7 (8,600 km/h; 5,300 mph; 2.4 km/s)
silo, launcher(?)[2][3]
A map of the Moscow A-135 ABM system. The operational missiles are close to the city and the non-operational ones are on the edge of the region.
A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
A-135 ABM system in Moscow Oblast. The black missiles are operational 53T6s, the unfilled missiles are non-operational 51T6s and the dish is the Don-2N radar in Sofrino, which also has a 53T6 complex co-located with it[4]

The system is operated by the 9th Division of Anti-Missile Defence, part of the Air Defence and Missile Defence Command of the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces.[6][7]


A memo from the archives of Vitalii Leonidovich Kataev, written around 1985, had envisaged that the system "will be completed in 1987 to provide protection from a strike of 1–2 modern and prospective ICBMs and up to 35 Pershing 2-type intermediate-range missiles".[8]

The A-135 system attained "alert" (operational) status on February 17, 1995. It is operational although its 51T6 component was deactivated in February 2007. A newer missile (PRS-1M) is expected to replace it.[citation needed] There is an operational test version of the system at the Sary Shagan test site in Kazakhstan.


In November 2017, a successful test of the 53T6 interceptor was carried out. Target speed up to 3 kilometers per second (53T6 speed 3[9]), acceleration overload – 100 G, preload maneuvering – 210 G.[10]


A-135 Early Warning Radars

A-135 consists of the Don-2N battle management radar and two types of ABM missiles. It gets its data from the wider Russian early-warning radar network, that are sent to the command centre which then forwards tracking data to the Don-2N radar.[4] The Don-2N radar is a large battle-management phased array radar with 360° coverage.[11][12] Tests were undertaken at the prototype Don-2NP in Sary Shagan in 2007 to upgrade its software.[12][13]

Russian early-warning radar network consists of:[14]


There are at least 68 active launchers of short-range 53T6 endoatmospheric interceptor nuclear armed missiles, 12 or 16 missiles each, deployed at five launch sites. These are tested roughly annually at the Sary Shagan test site.[15] In addition, 16 retired launchers of long-range 51T6 exoatmospheric interceptor nuclear armed missiles, 8 missiles each, are located at two launch sites.[4]

Location[14] Coordinates [4] Number [4][14] Details
Sofrino 56°10′51.97″N 37°47′16.81″E / 56.1811028°N 37.7880028°E / 56.1811028; 37.7880028 12 Co-located with the Don-2N radar
Lytkarino 55°34′39.04″N 37°46′17.67″E / 55.5775111°N 37.7715750°E / 55.5775111; 37.7715750 16
Korolev 55°52′41.09″N 37°53′36.50″E / 55.8780806°N 37.8934722°E / 55.8780806; 37.8934722 12
Skhodnya 55°54′04.11″N 37°18′28.30″E / 55.9011417°N 37.3078611°E / 55.9011417; 37.3078611 16
Vnukovo 55°37′32.45″N 37°23′22.41″E / 55.6256806°N 37.3895583°E / 55.6256806; 37.3895583 12
Sergiyev Posad-15 56°14′33.01″N 38°34′27.29″E / 56.2425028°N 38.5742472°E / 56.2425028; 38.5742472 8 Site was also used in the A-35 system
Naro-Fominsk-10 55°21′01.16″N 36°28′59.60″E / 55.3503222°N 36.4832222°E / 55.3503222; 36.4832222 8 Site was also used in the A-35 system


The successor system, dubbed 'Samolet-M' (and more recently A-235) will employ a new, conventional, variant of the 53T6 missile to be deployed in the former 51T6 silos.[16][17][18] The new PRS-1M is a modernized variant of the PRS-1 (53T6) and can use nuclear or conventional warheads. It can hit targets at ranges of 350 km and altitudes of 50 km.[19]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "51T6". www.astronautix.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  2. ^ a b c d "Система А-135 ракета 51Т6 - ABM-4 GORGON - MilitaryRussia.Ru — отечественная военная техника (после 1945г.)". militaryrussia.ru. Archived from the original on 2015-11-27. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  3. ^ Sean, O'Connor (12 December 2009). "Russian/Soviet Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems": 1. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e O'Connor, Sean (2012). "Russian/Soviet Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems". Air Power Australia. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2016-09-23. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
  6. ^ "Air space defence troops". BE: Warfare. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  7. ^ Stukalin, Alexander (May 2012). "Russian Air and Space Defense Troops: Gaping Holes". Moscow Defense Brief. Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (2). Archived from the original on 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  8. ^ Podvig, Pavel (23 October 2012). "Very modest expectations: Performance of Moscow missile defense". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Archived from the original on 26 May 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Эксперты рассказали о возможностях новой российской ракеты ПРО". 24 November 2017. Archived from the original on 24 November 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Обнародовано видео испытаний новой российской противоракеты". 24 November 2017. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Don-2NP Pill Box". Global Security. Archived from the original on 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
  12. ^ a b Podvig, Pavel (2007-12-29). "Russia is modernizing the Don-2N radar". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  13. ^ Bukharin, Oleg; Kadyshev, Timur; Miasnikov, Eugene; Podvig, Pavel; Sutyagin, Igor; Tarashenko, Maxim; Zhelezov, Boris (2001). Podvig, Pavel (ed.). Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-16202-4.
  14. ^ a b c Podvig, Pavel (2012-01-30). "Early Warning". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  15. ^ Podvig, Pavel (2011-12-20). "Test of a missile defense interceptor". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
  16. ^ Honkova, Jana (April 2013). "Current Developments in Russia's Ballistic Missile Defense" (PDF). George C. Marshall Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-04-26. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  17. ^ "A-235 Samolet-M". George C. Marshall Institute. n.d. Archived from the original on 1 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  18. ^ Russia Revamps Missile Defenses Around Moscow Archived 2014-07-24 at the Wayback Machine MOSCOW, September 17, 2012 (RIA Novosti)
  19. ^ @DFRLab (1 December 2017). "#PutinAtWar: New Russian Anti-Ballistic Missile". Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.

External linksEdit