Pantsir-ME displacing 300 tons and more. Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft

Pantsir-ME– Deadly Russian CIWS Goes To Sea                                      ARKADYSAVITSKYOn December 27, Syrian militantsfired three Grad rockets at Hmeymim air base used by Russia’s military deployedin Syria.

Two of them were intercepted by Russia’s Pantsirair defense system, while the third one, deviating fromthe trajectory, landed in the outskirts of the city of Jebla. Once again, the Pantsirair defense system proved its high efficiency in real combat.  The system can first launch missiles. If theymiss, artillery shells will be used to do the job.  It was not the first time the weapon savedlives of Russian servicemen.  The Pantsirsuccessfully intercepted three rockets that targeted Hmeymim in late March.

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It isreally formidable close-in weapon system (CIWS -“sea-whiz”) few other lastditch systems can measure up with. Nowthe famous air defense missile/gun system is going to sea.  It was reported in late December, 2017, that theseaborne Pantsir-MEversion is going through tests in 2018. “It will be tested from next year, first onthe land-based stand and then it will be delivered to one of the ships,”said Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau CEO Alexander Shlyakhtenko.

The trialsare expected to be completed in a year or two. Karakurt-classcorvettes (project 22800) will be the first ships to be armed with the newweapon.  The naval version is smallenough to be installed on vessels displacing 300 tons and more.

Admiral Kuznetsov aircraftcarrier will be equipped with the Pantsir-ME to replace its existing CIWSsystems. Equippedwith radar and optical control systems, the Pantsir-ME can to interceptmissiles in any weather conditions, even storms. The naval version of Pantsir-Scan hit sea-skimming missiles with unpredicted path.

Thanksto the 1RS2-1E phased array radar multi-functional system, the naval Pantsircan engage four targets flying at a speed of up to 2,240 milesper hour at a time. The reaction time is 3-5 seconds. Thesea-based Pantsir can fire nearly 10,000 rounds per minute. A maximumengagement range: 20 km (10.8 n miles) to strike targets at altitudes 0.002 kmand 15 km.

A   minimum range: 1.2 km.  The system can operate independently to make itfit for arming ships of various sizes from corvettes to cruisers.TwoGSh-6-30K/AO-18KD30 mm (1.2 in) six-barrel rotary guns with a rate of 6,000 roundsa minute are an element of the armament suite. This rate of fire caneffectively counter incoming missiles, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and smallsize vessels.

An operational range: 0.3-4 km at altitude 0-3 km.The57E6-E two-stagesurface-to-air missile can hit targets at ranges from 1.2 to 20kilometers.  Altitude:  0.

002-15 km. There are fourtubes to fire missiles on each side of the turret. They all feature individual scanningand tracking radars that can be integrated into a ship’s combat system. Theammunition load is 32 missiles. Pantsir-MEcan fire the Hermes-Ksurface-to-surface fire-and-forget missile to strike small boats or shoretargets.

 Its semi-active laser seeker allowsstriking over-the-horizon targets with great precision. Gettingthrough the naval Pantsir’s overwhelming firepower would be next to impossible togreatly enhance the ship’s survivability.  Even if missiles fail, the cannons will takecare of target – a good example of an example of “kitchen sink” approach. ThePantsir CIWS going to sea allows maintaining credible “sea-whiz” defenses asRussia keeps on building a more agile and technologically advanced Navy.