Aug 14, 2022
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Mini-missiles “Pantsir-S1” will protect Donetsk from MLRS

In the photo: short-range anti-aircraft gun-missile system "Pantsir-S1"

In the photo: short-range anti-aircraft gun-missile system “Pantsir-S1” (Photo: Sergey Bobylev / TASS, archive)

Russian designers have developed mini-missiles for the Pantsir-S1M air defense system, which allow shooting down small targets from a record close distance of 500 meters. This was announced on the eve of the international military-technical forum “Army” by the first deputy general director of the state corporation “Rostec” Vladimir Artyakov.

“She is [ракета] significantly expands the possibilities of combating mass small-sized targets. Of course, this is not only about UAVs, but also, for example, multiple rocket launchers, anti-radar and guided missiles, precision weapons, aircraft and helicopters, as well as their onboard weapons, ”Artyakov explained.

According to some reports, the reason for the creation of new missiles for Russian anti-aircraft missile and gun systems was the fairly widespread use of Switchblade and Ghost Phoenix drones during the hostilities in Ukraine, which are small in size but capable of incapacitating air defense systems.

The renewal of Russian air defense systems is being carried out against the backdrop of increased shelling, including from MLRS, of cities in the liberated territories of Ukraine. So, on the morning of August 13, the Armed Forces of Ukraine shelled Gorlovka, Donetsk and Makeevka for an hour. The day before, a woman died in Zaitsevo. In total, since the aggravation in the DPR, more than 300 civilians have died, over 3,000 have been injured.

Weapons expert, editor-in-chief of the portal Dmitry Kornev sees the use of mini-rockets as an opportunity to save money.

– The classic Pantsir S1 has 12 missiles (and two 30mm cannons – author). Each missile costs, say, several million rubles. And when you are in a zone of active hostilities, you may need to defeat a dozen drones of various classes per unit of time, starting with tactical quadrocopters, almost household ones, which are sometimes used, and ending with something at the level of our Orlan or even more serious devices. And spending the expensive Pantsir-S1 ammunition on such tasks is too wasteful.

At the same time, missiles with more modest performance characteristics are enough to defeat such UAVs. Therefore, now on the Pantsir-S1, a special container with four small missiles will be put in place of one conventional missile. Such missiles will be controlled by the command guidance of the complex. There are no problems in directing such a small rocket in the same way. The cost of such missiles will be several times lower than a regular missile, but its capabilities will be enough to clear the tactical zone around the Pantsir-S1 with a diameter of one kilometer.

“SP”: – That is, the designers realized that it was inefficient to shoot sparrows from a cannon …

– Apparently, the events of this year, as well as the hostilities in Syria, have shown that there is a need to defeat drones at a distance of about 500 meters. And regular missiles “Pantsir-S1” are designed to work from a distance of 1.5-2 kilometers. I think they are absolutely effective at shorter distances, but a certain “funnel” is still possible – the distance at which large missiles cannot be used because of the risk of hitting the complex itself. And small missiles can be used at the very minimum distance too.

According to military commissar Dmitry Seleznevnew mini-rockets “Pantsir-S1” will help fight the shelling of the cities of Donbass by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

– I will assume that the new mini-missiles will be primarily designed to intercept MLRS missiles, and not drones. This is a difficult to shoot down missile, unlike, for example, the outdated Tochka-U. They learned to shoot them down, despite the cunning of the enemy, who sometimes launches two “Point-U” one after the other, so that if the first is shot down, the second would still reach the target.

“SP”: – Enemy drones still cause a lot of trouble to our military …

– The Armed Forces of Ukraine use the entire range of UAVs, including household ones. Artillery duels on both sides are conducted with the help of UAVs. Observation posts are placed everywhere, which notice the suspicious movement of the enemy and direct the fire of their artillery in real time. There is even a war of drones. I know from my own experience that it is very unpleasant to hear the buzz of someone else’s drone.

“SP”: – Rumor has it that our side has an excess in drones, alas, no. But at least we will shoot down strangers with the help of “Shell C1” …

– The Russian army has serious professional UAVs. I saw them at exhibitions. For example, Orion. There is data on their use. But in my opinion, it is too early to talk about their wide use. They don’t seem to be produced in sufficient quantities. Hence the great interest of the military in the information that Russia has agreed on the supply of Iranian drones.

It is unlikely that I am mistaken in my assessment. If we had UAVs as much as we need, it would be noticeable. During the last war in Nagorno-Karabakh, where I was in the midst of hostilities, the notorious Azerbaijani “Bayraktars” could be seen and heard everywhere. Here, in the Donbass, this, unfortunately, has not yet been observed.

However, there is movement in the right direction. First, on a private initiative, and then under the patronage of the DPR authorities, who supported it, a school was created – the Center for Unmanned Systems. They train officers to use household, non-military UAVs like the Chinese Mavik. Pilots of different levels come out of the school. I hope the enemy will soon feel the result.

Military expert Vladimir Prokhvatilov considers new versions of Russian weapons to be a particularity that does not seriously affect the outcome of hostilities in Ukraine.

– No new or old miracle weapon from either the Russian or the American-Ukrainian side will fundamentally change the balance of forces at the front.

SP – Please explain…

– In accordance with the laws known since the beginning of the 20th century Lanchester (a mathematical formula for calculating the relative strengths of a pair of combatants, also known as the laws Osipova – ed.) Our absolute superiority in artillery is of decisive importance. The fact that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have dug into the ground, holding the line in some underground cities (industrial zones under factories) is a temporary hindrance, it is not essential for the final outcome of hostilities.

Total fire superiority, a “barrage of fire” as in the First World War, as in the Second World War, decides literally everything. It is clear that in the 21st century artillery remains the god of war. And the god of war is on the side of Russia.

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