According to a report from RIAN on 17OCT12, the “Russian armed forces are to carry out live firing tests of the Army’s Pantsyr short-range gun-missile air defense system against cruise missile targets for the first time at a range in northern Russia.” (Back in 2010, it was rumored that India was to be a potential buyer of the Pantsyr-S1, a Tula-based Design Bureau of Instrument-building or KBP manufactured system. As suggested in an earlier blog post, watching how producing countries utilize their equipment may be an important indicator as to how a buyer may deploy their system).
RIAN went on to say,
The system has previously only been tested against practice targets imitating cruise missiles.
“The system has been flown several thousand kilometers to an airfield near the Pemboi Range in the Komi Republic, after which it will be driven to the firing range,” the source said.
The Pantsyr, produced by Russia’s KBP, is a combined gun-missile system combining a wheeled vehicle mounting a fire-control radar and electro-opitical sensor, two 30-mm cannons and up to 12 57E6 radio-command guided short-range missiles, and is designed to take on a variety of targets flying at low-level, including cruise missiles and aircraft.
The Pantsyr can engage targets up to 12 miles (20 km) by missile and 2.5 miles (4 km) using the cannon, KBP claims. The system was first made in 1994 and first shown at the MAKS airshow in Moscow in 1995. A modified variant was shown at MAKS 2007.
In Russia, the Pantsir-S1 has replaced the 1970s-era Tunguska-M1 in Russian air defense units. Like other systems of its kind, it provides point defense for civilian or military assets like S-400 SAMs. (VVS Deputy CINC for Air Defense, General-Lieutenant Sergey Razygrayev has said three Pantsir-S1 systems will be deployed around each S-400 launcher.)
According to a translation on the Russian Defense Policy Blog, a VVKO spokesman indicated a second battery of Pantsir-S anti-aircraft gun-missile systems will go into service this fall around Moscow:
“At present, alongside an A-150 missile defense [PRO] division, two S-400 anti-aircraft missile regiments in two-battalion configurations, deployed in Elektrostal and Dmitrov, provide Moscow with anti-air and anti-missile defense. One of them already has a ’Pantsir-S’ battery in its composition, in September-October, the second regiment will also receive the same battery complement.”
In addition to ground deployments, the Pantsir-S1 can be mounted on various vehicles including ships which led General-Lieutenant Razygrayev to say it will become a standard air defense system for each of Russia’s armed services and combat arms in the future. The system reportedly costs between USD13-15 million per unit.