– Deadly Russian CIWS Goes To Sea
On December 27, Syrian militants
fired three Grad rockets at Hmeymim air base used by Russia’s military deployed
in Syria. Two of them were intercepted by Russia’s Pantsir
air defense (AD) system, while the third one, deviating from
the trajectory, landed in the outskirts of the city of Jebla. Once again, the Pantsir
AD system proved its high efficiency in real combat. It can first launch missiles and if they miss,
artillery shells will finish the job.
It was not the first time the weapon saved lives of Russian servicemen. The Pantsir successfully intercepted three
rockets that targeted Hmeymim in late March. It is really formidable close-in
weapon system (CIWS -“sea-whiz”) few other last ditch systems can measure up
the famous AD/gun system is going to sea. It was reported in late December, 2017, that the
version is going through tests in 2018. “It will be tested from next year, first on
the land-based stand and then it will be delivered to one of the ships,”
Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau CEO Alexander Shlyakhtenko. According to
him, the trials are to last a year or two.
corvettes (project 22800) will be the first ships to be armed with the new
weapon. The naval version is small
enough to be installed on various platforms, including vessels displacing 300
tons and more. Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft
carrier will be fitted with the Pantsir-ME to replace its existing CIWS
with radar and optical control systems, the Pantsir-ME can intercept missiles in
any weather conditions, even storms. The naval version of Pantsir-S can hit
sea-skimming missiles with unpredicted path.
to the 1RS2-1E phased array radar multi-functional system, the naval Pantsir
can engage four targets flying at a speed of up to 2,240 miles
per hour at a time. The reaction time is 3-5 seconds. Long range early warning
is provided by the vessel’s radar.
GSh-6-30K/AO-18KD 30 mm
(1.2 in) six-barrel rotary guns with a rate of 6,000 rounds per
minute are an element of the armament suite. This rate of fire can effectively
counter missiles, aircraft, drones and small size vessels. Some
sources report the rate of fire could be near 10,000 (160
projectiles per second) rounds a minute. An operational range: 0.3-4 km at altitude
two-stage surface-to-air missile can hit targets at ranges from
1.2 to 20 kilometers. Altitude: 0.002-15 km. A kill probability:
70–95%.The weapon has a 15-year storage lifetime.
system can operate independently to make it fit for arming ships of various
sizes from corvettes to cruisers. There are four tubes to
fire missiles on each side of the turret. Tracking radars can operate as part
of vessels ship’s combat system. Totally, the naval Pantsir carries 32
can fire the Hermes-K fire-and-forget
missile, which are especially useful for striking small size surface or shore
targets. The semi-active laser of the
surface-to-surface missile seeker allows striking over-the-horizon targets with
through the naval Pantsir’s firepower would be next to impossible. The weapon
greatly enhances the survivability of any vessel it is installed on. Even if missiles fail, the cannons will take
care of target – a good example of “kitchen sink” approach.
Pantsir CIWS going to sea allows maintaining credible “sea-whiz” defenses as
Russia keeps on building a more agile and technologically advanced Navy. UK Business Insider, has included the
Pantsir family systems into the list of Russia’s ten most formidable weapons.
sources have reported that the Pantsir-SM
version is under development. The production
may start as early as this year. The system boasts an operational range of 40km and
detection capability increased up to
75km. The Pantsir-SM’s naval version will
be first installed on the Project 21631 Buyan-M
Pantsir is not the only Russian land based air defense system to have a naval
version. The Tor-M2 short-range AD missile
also be adapted for naval applications. No ship can be called modern today
without robust CIWS capability that Russian surface combatants will boast as new
cutting edge systems enter service.