Below is our translation of an article from TASS. Commentary is by Vince Dhimos.
Isn’t it funny how trolls at various military and political forums keep telling us that Russia is not a superpower or that it is just a pipsqueak? Yet most ranking military brass and also some top political analysts, like Richard Haas, tell us that top Russian arms cannot be intercepted or that Russia cannot be defeated. Most tellingly of all, Rand Corp. and other arms sellers warn that the US needs to catch up in key areas. Now why would the powerful US have to keep catching up with a country that is so far behind in technology? Nothing to worry about, right, guys?
There are no direct equivalents of this newest Russian anti-aircraft missile and artillery complex (ZRAK) on the world armament market.
For the first time, the maritime SARK "Pantsir-ME" is being shown abroad - the demonstration took place at the international exhibition of weapons and military equipment IDEX 2019, which opened on February 17 in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates).
"Pantsir-ME" (NATO calls it the Greyhound) Is the only anti-aircraft ship-based system in the world with a single-post combat module, which includes both air defence artillery and missile weapons, as well as a control system. It can be installed on most Russian ships and is ideal for equipping ships built in other countries. The Pantsir-ME is a shipborne version of the Russian anti-aircraft missile-gun complex, the land version of which is called the Pantsir-S.
Rosoboronexport is confident that the marine Pantsir has a large export future in the countries of the Arab East, Southeast Asia and Latin America. It is expected that the complex will go into service with the Russian army in the near future and in the future should replace the Kortik complex, which was developed back in the 1970s.
Possibilities of the "Hound"
The Russian SIRK is equipped with a multi-channel control system and is designed to destroy aircraft, helicopters, high-precision weapons (including anti-ship missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles), as well as surface and coastal targets.
The special feature is the possibility of simultaneously downing up to four targets, attacking from different directions within the same group. "The complex can be installed on all types of warships - from a missile craft with a displacement of about 500 tons to an aircraft carrier," TASS was told at the holding company High-precision Complexes (included in Rostec). It can also be installed on fixed platforms.
The complex includes:
a command module;
a combat module;
a storage and reloading system.
The command module is able to detect and accompany small-sized low-flying and surface targets, determine their degree of danger, and issue target designation data to combat modules.
The combat module finds air targets for tracking according to target designation data from the command module, accompanies them and, using radar and optoelectronic control channels, hits targets in automatic mode.
The armament of the naval "Pantsirya" includes two 30-mm six-barreled anti-aircraft guns AO-18KD with an ammunition load of 500 shells per machine gun and eight two-stage 57E6-E1 ready-to-launch anti-aircraft guided missiles with a solid-propellant accelerator and a stick-rod warhead. "32 missiles are stored in the storage and reloading system of the underdeck accommodation," Precision Complexes noted.
"Pantsir-ME" is capable of hitting air targets flying at speeds up to 1000 m/s. At the same time, the zone of destruction of targets of most modern combat aircraft in terms of slant range amounts to 20 km with missile armament and up to 4 km with artillery.
A special feature of the SCR is the possibility of destroying surface and coastal ground targets, if necessary.
holding "High-precision complexes"
The control system is capable of tracking four targets and firing four missiles at the same time, and if the target is not sufficiently defeated, they can be equipped with automatic artillery weapons.
The rate of anti-aircraft machine guns of the complex is up to 10 thousand shots per minute, which provides a lower average firing distance of one and a half to two and a half times compared with counterparts and a greater probability of hitting targets. It is worth noting that the Pantsir-ME complex can shoot both armour-piercing-sabot and high-explosive fragmentation projectiles.
It also differs in quite compact dimensions: the mass of a combat module with full ammunition is 8250 kg, while it is operated by three people: the commander of the command module, the commander and operator of the support of the combat module.
A representative of the Pella shipbuilding plant told TASS that the newest small rocket ship (corvette) of the project 22800 (Karakurt) Squall was equipped with the complex.
There are no direct equivalents of the newest Russian SAME on the world arms market: the leading foreign developers of naval equipment have not yet solved the problem of combining missile and artillery weapons in one compact combat module.
The most popular systems performing similar tasks are the anti-aircraft artillery complex (CIWS) Mk.15 Phalanx developed by the American company Raytheon and the naval small-caliber artillery complex Goalkeeper developed by the Netherlands division of the European consortium Thales.
Currently, the US Navy’s arsenal consists of the Block 1B version of the Phalanx CIWS, which is located on the outer deck of the ship. In the absence of missile weapons, the American complex is distinguished by a fairly large mass - 6,120 kg.
Mk.15 is designed to defeat anti-ship missiles and manned aircraft. They are actively working to modernize it in order to shoot down drones. The CIWS is armed with one six-barreled anti-aircraft gun M61A1, with a rate lower than the Russian counterpart, ie, 3–4.5 thousand rounds per minute depending on the type of target. The guidance system of the American complex includes a radar station and an optoelectronic sensor.
Dmitry Fedyushko, Roman Azanov, Nikolay Novichkov