Russia: Pantsir in US hands is terrible news, but it’s not a tragedy

MOSCOW, (BM) – The fall of a Russian air-defence missile system into US hands is terrible news and a negative fact for Russia, but it is not a tragedy. This statement is of the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, Sergey Modestov.

We announced, citing information from The Times earlier today, that the mobile anti-aircraft missile system Pantsir-S1 had delivered to a US military base in Germany. The Pentagon then transported the system to the United States.

The Russians are not tragic about the situation. According to them, since this is an export version of the product, it is quite “crippled” in technology. “War is War. There are trophies. It happens that we get something too,” philosophically added Aiteh Bizhev, a retired Russian lieutenant general.

However, there is a danger that the Americans will learn essential data from Pantsir-S1. A source in the Russian edition of Interfax claims that the missile system’s hardware would be of serious interest to the Americans. However, the question remains whether they will be able to use it and how. The same source claims that it will take time for the Pentagon to understand and implement something, but it assumes that they will do it sooner or later. “By this time, Russia will have come a long way,” he concluded.

Rapid reaction from the US

A secret military operation to transport a Russian mobile anti-aircraft missile system led to its acquisition by the US military, the British The Times reported. Pantsir-S1 was captured on the Libyan battlefield and taken intact to a US military base in Germany.

The US military and its Atlantic partners and the Western-backed government in Libya have jointly organized a covert operation to transport the system. Russia’s Pantsir-S1 can shoot down civilian and military aircraft. The Americans feared that the system could fall into the hands of militias or arms smugglers.

According to The Times reporters, a C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft transported the system to Germany. The Pentagon’s military experts should study the design features in detail. It is not yet clear which specific forces and units were involved in the covert operation.

Pantsir-S1 suffered severe damage during the last military clashes in Libya and Syria last year. The Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, had a dozen such systems, but Turkish Bayraktar drones conducted “deadly effective” against them.

Pantsir-S1 missile systems are useless

Russian-made Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile-cannon systems [ZRPKs] used in Libya are useless against Turkish operational-tactical multi-purpose unmanned aerial systems Bayraktar TB2 learned citing the Russian Zvezda newspaper.

The weekly writes that the modification of this ZRPK and its export version used by Russia’s Armed forces are different. In particular, the second is equipped only with an optical control system. Simultaneously, the first has a three-coordinate target detection station with a semi-active phased array antenna and a dual-band centimeter-millimeter radar tracking system for targets and missiles.

“Infrared channels in various ranges are used to track targets and missiles. Radar and optoelectronic devices make up a single system and can operate in different wavelengths,” the newspaper writes, recognizing that Russian-made air defense missile systems “are only poorly adapted to combat targets such as Turkish Bayraktar TB2.”

The weekly notes that the Turkish drone strikes with precision weapons from four or more kilometers and can barrage for a long time at high altitude, which “significantly complicates its detection by the optical-electronic station ZRPK.”


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