Drone Destruction Range of Russian Pantsir-SM Air Defense System Increased by 30%

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Russia’s powerful Pantsir-SM air defense system can now destroy enemy drones located 30% farther than before.

Sergei Shoigu, Russian defense minister was quoted as saying by government-owned Zvezda“The new Pantsir installed closeby can detect unmanned aerial vehicles at far greater distances. Let me put it this way- it has been increased by 30%,” Shoigu said.

The Pantsir-SM is a deeply modernized version of the Pantsir-S. The Pantsir-SM variant incorporates a multi-functional targeting station, increasing target detection range from 40 to 75 km and engagement range from 20 to 40 km. The anti-aircraft system also uses a new high-speed extended range missile, and existing Pantsir systems can be upgraded to SM standard. It is fitted to a new 8×8 Kamaz truck chassis with an armored cab. Development completed in 2019.

The SM variant of Pantsir was first unveiled during the Victory Day parade in Moscow last year. It comes armed with new long-range missiles. It is expected to feature greater capabilities for intercepting artillery munitions, missiles and drones in the future.

Myanmar is the latest customer of the Pantsir system.  It placed an order for Pantsir S1s in January when Shoigu visited the country.

Based on practical experiences drawn from conflict zones such as Syria where cheap and small UAVs are often used, Russian experts created miniature missiles for the Pantsir. Four of these are placed in the standard transporter-launcher container of the basic anti-aircraft missile of the system. “Thus, the principle of hitting a cheap target with a cheap missile is being consistently implemented,” Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, told Defenseworld.net in June 2020.

Pukhov added that manufacturer KBP Instrument Design Bureau showcased upgraded Pantsir-SM on a Tornado chassis at Army-2019 event.

The system is said to have a striking range of 30km. “New more powerful missiles double the maximum range of destruction of air targets, while the updated radars extend the detection range and provide accurate guidance of missiles towards its target,” Ruslan added.

“If we again take a look at the experience of the combat use of the Pantsir, it is important to note that it perfectly performs its tasks of combating drone-type targets. The facts are available for both Syria and Libya,” the official asserted.