TechRussia's anti-aircraft system faces stability and falls on the street

Russia's anti-aircraft system faces stability and falls on the street

Russian anti-aircraft system Pantsir-S1 overturning while negotiating a turn on the road in Sochi.
Russian anti-aircraft system Pantsir-S1 overturning while negotiating a turn on the road in Sochi.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | WarTranslated (Dmitri)
9:44 AM EST, February 29, 2024

A video recently emerged online depicting the Pantsir-S1 system overturning while navigating a turn on an ordinary road. This mishap questions the stability of the system's design and the competency of its operator. The incident occurred in Sochi, where the Pantsir-S1s are deployed to safeguard Vladimir Putin's winter residence.

The Pantsir-S1: A Pillar of Russian Point Defense

The Pantsir-S1 stands as one of Russia's newest and most significant anti-aircraft systems, with its development dating back to the 1990s. Russia sought a more cost-effective alternative to the formidable 2K22 Tunguska system during this period.

To minimize expenses, the decision was made to install the system's armaments on the chassis of a standard military KamAZ truck. This choice was anticipated to considerably lower operational costs compared to a tracked chassis option.

The 1990s posed numerous challenges for Russia, leading to delays in the Pantsir program due to financial constraints. However, the project's continuation was secured by interest from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was in search of a comparable system. Notably, the UAE became the initial operator of the Pantsir-S1 system, mounted on a German truck, while the Russian version on a Kamaz truck was only acquired in 2012.

The Pantsir-S1 system's armament features a pair of automatic 30 mm caliber 2A38M cannons, capable of firing up to 2,500 rounds per minute each. These cannons can engage targets up to 2.5 miles away, offering various ammunition options. Additionally, the system is equipped with a missile launcher.

The launcher houses 12 anti-aircraft missiles, 57E6 or 57E6-E, divided into two groups of six, allowing for simultaneous engagement of multiple targets. With a range of 12.4 miles, these missiles are radio-command guided, relying entirely on the launcher until they strike their target. The system utilizes an integrated IR sensor and radar for target detection, capable of tracking targets up to 18.6 miles.

In practice, however, it was discovered that the radar, optoelectronic head, or fire control system, valued at up to $30 million, struggles with accurately targeting advanced threats, such as stealth-enabled Storm Shadow missiles or small Polish Warmate drones.

Related content