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 conditions. 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. 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 firstships to be armed with the new weapon. Thenaval version is small enough to be installed on warships displacing 300 tonsand 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 can fire nearly 10,000 rounds per minute. A maximum engagement range:20 km (10.8 n miles) to strike targets at altitudes 0.002 km and 15 km. A minimumrange of 1.
2 km. The naval Pantsir can operate independently to make itcapable of being installed ships of various sizes from corvettes to cruisers.TwoGSh-6-30K/AO-18KD 30 mm (1.2 in) six-barrel rotary guns with arate of 6,000 rounds a minute are an element of the armament suite. An operational range: 0.3-4 km at altitude:0-3 km. This rate of fire can effectively counter incoming missiles, aircraft, unmannedaerial vehicles and small size vessels.
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 to maintain credible “sea-whiz” defenses asRussia keeps on building a more agile and technologically advanced Navy.