Pantsir-ME displacing 300 tons and more. Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft

Pantsir-ME
– Deadly Russian CIWS Goes To Sea

                                      ARKADY
SAVITSKY

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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 system, while the third one, deviating from
the trajectory, landed in the outskirts of the city of Jebla. Once again, the Pantsir
air defense system proved its high efficiency in real combat.  The system can first launch missiles. If they
miss, artillery shells will be used to do 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 with.

Now
the famous air defense missile/gun system is going to sea.  It was reported in late December, 2017, that the
seaborne Pantsir-ME
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,”
said Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau CEO Alexander Shlyakhtenko. The trials
are expected to be completed in a year or two.

Karakurt-class
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 vessels displacing 300 tons and more. Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft
carrier will be equipped with the Pantsir-ME to replace its existing CIWS
systems. 

Equipped
with radar and optical control systems, the Pantsir-ME can to intercept
missiles in any weather conditions, even storms. The naval version of Pantsir-S
can hit sea-skimming missiles with unpredicted path.

Thanks
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.

The
sea-based Pantsir 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   minimum range: 1.2 km.  The system can operate independently to make it
fit for arming ships of various sizes from corvettes to cruisers.

Two
GSh-6-30K/AO-18KD
30 mm (1.2 in) six-barrel rotary guns with a rate of 6,000 rounds
a minute are an element of the armament suite. This rate of fire can
effectively counter incoming missiles, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and small
size vessels. An operational range: 0.3-4 km at altitude 0-3 km.

The
57E6-E two-stage
surface-to-air missile can hit targets at ranges from 1.2 to 20
kilometers.  Altitude:  0.002-15 km. There are four
tubes to fire missiles on each side of the turret. They all feature individual scanning
and tracking radars that can be integrated into a ship’s combat system. The
ammunition load is 32 missiles.

Pantsir-ME
can fire the Hermes-K
surface-to-surface fire-and-forget missile to strike small boats or shore
targets.  Its semi-active laser seeker allows
striking over-the-horizon targets with great precision.

Getting
through the naval Pantsir’s overwhelming firepower would be next to impossible to
greatly enhance the ship’s survivability.  Even if missiles fail, the cannons will take
care of target – a good example of an example of “kitchen sink” approach.

The
Pantsir CIWS going to sea allows maintaining credible “sea-whiz” defenses as
Russia keeps on building a more agile and technologically advanced Navy.