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Several news items appeared in recent weeks about Russia’s KBP-developed Pantsir ground-based air defence system, which is admittedly one of the most capable and sought after GBAD system in the world.

In Demand Anywhere?

Dmitry Shugaev, Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) announced during Dubai Air Show in late 2019 that Moscow received 15 official requests from foreign countries for the Pantsir-S1 systems.

Following this statement, Viktor Kladov, Rostec Corporation’s Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy, confirmed that Russia is currently involved in the upgrade of the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile and gun systems that are already in service with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to sources, the UAE Army operates 50 Pantsir-S1 air defence missile systems on a Man SX45 truck chassis.

In addition, Serbian Ambassador to Moscow recently confirmed that a Pantsir system delivery to Belgrade will be completed by late December 2020 or January 2021.

Training to Counter New Tactics

Russian military officials confirmed that the Pantsir training system will include “fire in motion” drill modifications.  To-date, Russia’s Pantsir and Tor air defence systems currently in deployment require a brief pause to fire at cruise missiles, aircraft and drones. This is significant because terrorist groups lack technologically superior weapons and employ different tactical techniques.

Photo: Yuri Laskin

For example, terrorists and armed insurgent groups launch surprise, makeshift drone attacks against armoured vehicles and poorly protected columns on the march. This means “fire in motion” skills are vitally necessary for air defence vehicles to survive and effectively ensure adequate protection for personnel and assets.

A Defence Ministry spokesperson confirmed the new set of new “firing in motion” drills are set for range tests in early 2020. If this technique to repel surprise, low-tech air raids proves to be effective, then it will become doctrinal and training of troops en masse will begin in late 2020.

While Seaborne…

At the Pella Shipyard, construction of the small missile ship ODINTSOVO of Project 22800 (code KARAKURT) reached completion and the ship is preparing for sea trials. As the Pella revealed, this is the first KARAKURT, which was armed with the Pantsir-M anti-aircraft missile and gun system (“M” stands for “Morskoy,” meaning “navalised” in Russian). The ODINTSOVO is one of nine ships of Project 22800 currently under construction for the Russian Navy and is planned for customer delivery before the end of 2020.

Sergey Kirshin