Russia is planning to showcase a new, advanced version of its anti-aircraft-gun-missile (AAGM) system Pantsir this month in Moscow. The upgraded version of the air defense missile and artillery system has been designed especially keeping in mind its export value.

The Pantsir anti-aircraft-gun-missile system is considered as one of the most effective weapons during air combats and has been used by Russia time and again. Pantsir's most recent use was in Syria. If reports are to be believed, the upgrade was carried out on the basis of experience gained during the Syrian campaign.

Russia to Bolster AAGM System

Pantsir Missile
Pantsir’s effectiveness during the Syrian campaign encouraged the country’s Defense Ministry to upgrade the anti-aircraft defense system. YouTube Grab

A new advanced version of the famous Pantsir anti-aircraft-gun-missile system will be unveiled during the country's annual military parade in Moscow's Red Square. The parade, which was to be held earlier, had to be postponed on President Vladimir Putin's orders as the coronavirus spread across Russia. The grand military parade will now be held on June 24 as coronavirus cases appear to have stabilized.

This will also be the first time that the short-range air defense (SHORAD) system will be on display for the general public. The advanced version called the Pantsir S1M has been designed to provide protection against fixed and rotary-wing combat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and high-precision weapons, including anti-ship and cruise missiles.

The new version has been designed to effectively hit all types of drones. Moreover, Pantsir S1M has an improved target range of 30 kilometers. "With the introduction of the new missile the system's range has been increased to 30 kilometers. Respectively, we will have two types of missiles - near and longer range ones," Sergei Mikhailov, the deputy CEO of High Precision Systems, said. Pantsir S1M has the capability of launching high-speed-two-stage missile with improved target interception features.

Another Upgraded Version Expected Soon

Russia
An upgraded system Pantsir-SM is also being developed for the Russian Army and Navy. Pixabay

The decision to come up with an advanced version follows Russia's military campaigns in Syria and Libya. Russia has also been long planning to replace the troubled Pantsir SA-22 anti-aircraft defense system.

Russian airbase Hmeymim was subject to severe terrorist attacks in Syria. The airbase, which is by the basic version Pantsir-S1 system, was bombarded with rockets using makeshift drones. Pantsir's effectiveness during those times encouraged the country's Defense Ministry to upgrade the anti-aircraft defense system, which is now in the final phases of trials.

However, sources in the Russian Defense Ministry and Navy said on condition of anonymity that both the country's Army and Navy are dissatisfied with the Pantsir air defense system and have been looking for an alternative. Keeping that in mind, an upgraded system Pantsir-SM is also being developed for the Russian Army and Navy.