A Pantsir air defense system operated by the Libyan National Army (LNA) has reportedly shot down two of Government of National Accord (GNA)’s Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 combat drones last week.
“I just got confirmation that the Libya National Army successfully shot-down at-least one Turkish Bayraktar TB2 armed drone of GNA over Tarhuna city using Pantsir S1E surface-to-air missile system last night,” Babak Taghvaee, a military expert, tweeted on Friday.
A second Bayraktar TB2 was also allegedly destroyed in Shweref. “Another Turkish TB2 was shot down in Shweref on Friday,” posted another Twitter user.
Between May 21 and May 23, the LNA, led by renegade commander Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, claimed to have shot down five Turkish aircraft.
A handful of Pantsirs used by Haftar’s forces were blown up by the GNA in the few days.
On May 22, Defenseworld.net reported the possibility of LNA having another international arms supplier.
Posting a video on May 24, Taghvaee wrote, “This video leaked today shows LNA sending Pantsir S1 SAM system on a KAMAZ-6560 8x8 truck chassis from Tarhuna to Bani Walid. This is not an ex-UAE Army equipment which is on MAN SX45 8×8 truck chassis. LNA has procured these recently from Russia.”
The authenticity of the information has not been confirmed officially.
Pantsir-S1 is a very efficient air defense system only when properly used and manned by skillful operators, not hastily trained crews. For example, earlier, in January, Valery Slugin, the chief air defense designer of KBP company that builds the Pantsir, told TASS news agency, that the system has shot down some 100 drones around the world.
In April 2018, Russian defense ministry announced, that the systems deployed in Syria fired 25 missiles of which it hit 23 hits targets.