In a first-of-its-kind incident in Saint Petersburg, the Russian anti-aircraft missile system S-400 'Triumph' was used to intercept a drone. The local news outlet Fontanka reported this event, citing sources familiar with the matter. Authorities confirmed that there were no casualties resulting from the incident.
The drone was reportedly downed over Kolpino at 4:20 AM (Local time) and fell onto the premises of the "Nevsky Mazut" company on Glukhozerskoe Highway by 4:50 AM. The crash led to a fire in some tanks at the site, which was subsequently extinguished by the local emergency services.
Saint Petersburg's Governor, Alexander Beglov, remarked that residents heard a loud bang in the area of Glukhozerskoe Highway during the night. While he did not provide detailed information, he mentioned that an incident in Nevsky District required the attention of security agencies.
It is specified that this was the first time the S-400 'Triumph' system was used against a drone in Saint Petersburg, with no official report about the operation of air defense prior to the incident. Investigative measures are being conducted in light of the event, and the city administration is cooperating with law enforcement agencies.
In the USA, the S-400 'Triumph' is considered one of the deadliest weapons. Former U.S. Air Force pilot John Veneable described the Russian S-400 'Triumph' as a significant threat and the leading anti-aircraft missile system in the world. He also mentioned that one of the few ways for aircraft like the MiG-29 to evade such air defense systems is to fly at low altitudes.
In April 2023, military analyst Alexey Sukonkin noted that the 'Triumph' systems could counter a potential swarm attack of unmanned aerial vehicles.
He stated that all ranges of air defense means, from long-range S-400, S-300 systems to workhorses like 'Buk', 'Pantsir', 'Tunguska', 'Strela-10', 'Osa', and 'Shilka', are effective against radio-contrast air targets, regardless of their age.