Russia’s advanced naval air defense system undergoing trials

      Russia’s latest Pantsyr-ME (Pantsir-ME) naval air defense system is currently undergoing trials on Molniya, a Tarantul-class corvette (Project 1241) missile boat, in the Black sea, TASS news agency has reported quoting Alexander Shlyakhtenko, head of the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau.

      “Now the seaborne Pantsyr will undergo the entire set of tests. We have actually already installed it on the experimental model, on the Molniya,” he said at the 8th International Maritime Defense Show in St. Petersburg.

      The system was unveiled on Wednesday at the St. Petersburg International Maritime Defense Show by the Russian state corporation Rostec. The system is developed by the Tula design, the Rostec press office has announced.

      The Pantsyr-ME is the shipborne version of the Pantsyr family of air defense missile/gun systems. The system’s version for the ground forces is called Pantsyr-S. The Pantsyr-M differs from the land-based version by having two GSh-6-30K/AO-18KD 30 mm (1.2 in) six-barrel rotary cannons, as found on the Kashtan CIWS which it will replace, in place of the single-barrel autocannons, and an additional radar separate from the one fitted on top of the turret itself.

      The development of the Pantsyr-ME system had been completed and the complex had been launched into serial production. The trials of the Pantsyr-ME complex were planned to be completed in one or two years and the Russian Navy had already ordered this system.

       The seaborne Pantsyr are expected to be mounted on Project 22800 Karakurt-class missile corvettes currently under construction at Pella Shipyard, St. Petersburg. The are expected to be commissioned later this year or early next year. There were also reports stating that the Pantsyr systems will be deployed on the Russian aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov. Russian destroyers and other large ships will also be modernized to accommodate the system.

      Rostec has claimed that the complex has three-four times the striking potential compared to the Kashtan-M complex. Specifically, the range has been increased from 10 to 20 kilometers and its altitude from 3 to 15 kilometers.

      The system uses  phased array multi-functional radar and allows engaging four targets at a time. The missiles are capable of destroying modernized anti-ship missiles, low-flying remotely controlled aircraft and surface targets. The complex can be mounted on warships displacing more than 300 tonnes.

      The Pantsyr-ME missile system are also expected to equip on warships slated for export.

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