The Pantsir-M shipborne anti-aircraft complex received new capabilities. Now he is able to intercept targets flying at a height of no more than 1–2 m above the water. Such characteristics provide protection against all modern, and most importantly, promising anti-ship missiles, planning bombs and other precision weapons.
Interception of targets at ultra-low altitudes was practiced during test launches from the Odintsovo small missile ship (MRK) and the Shuya large missile boat. According to Izvestia sources in the military department, the naval Shells shot down several Kornet anti-tank missiles imitating an enemy strike. All targets were intercepted at a distance of several kilometers from the launch point, when they were flying at an altitude of 1 to 3 m above the water.
Modern western shipborne air defense systems operate on higher-flying targets. For example, the main American anti-missile system SeaRAM confidently hits targets at altitudes above 10 m. According to sources, in order for the “Pantsir” to be guaranteed to hit low-flying targets, its control and aiming system has been improved. When firing at such targets, the rocket at the final stage of the flight makes a sharp maneuver and dives to the water surface.
The Shuya R-71 missile boat fired to test the new capabilities of the Pantsir-M, and the Odintsovo MRK took part in scheduled test launches.
“The Kornet anti-tank missile has a high flight speed and a small dispersion area,” military historian Dmitry Boltenkov told Izvestia. “Therefore, it can be used as a simulator of existing and new promising models of various high-speed missiles. If “Pantsir-M” on tests showed that it can safely shoot down missiles with such characteristics, then this complex can be effectively used to provide anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense of our ships and vessels, to create protection against modern samples of foreign military equipment.
According to Dmitry Kornev, editor-in-chief of the Militaryrussia Internet project, “Pantsir-M” has successfully worked on anti-tank “Cornets”, the flight characteristics of which at low altitude are very close to the properties of many anti-ship missiles. Including one of the most popular in the world – the American Harpoon, which in various modifications is produced for the fleets of many countries of the world.
– Just at low altitude, the dimensions of the Harpoon even exceed the dimensions of the anti-tank Kornets. But at the same time, their characteristics, including speed and altitude, are close, – said Dmitry Kornev. – Accordingly, if “Pantsir-M” was able to successfully work on the “Cornet”, then it will just as effectively operate on “Harpoons”, as well as on other types of anti-ship missiles.
The Pantsir-M anti-aircraft missile-gun system includes eight anti-aircraft guns and two six-barreled 30-mm automatic cannons. The complex is designed to protect ships from attacks by cruise and anti-ship missiles, drones, aircraft and helicopters. The cannons can fire armor-piercing sub-caliber and high-explosive fragmentation ammunition, their rate of fire is up to 10 thousand rounds per minute.
The “Pantsir” was developed on the principle of a two-way air defense system: missiles attack an air target at a distant approach, and cannon fire will meet penetrated objects at close range. One of the features of the naval version of the complex is the ability to destroy surface and coastal ground targets.
Odintsovo is the third ship of Project 22800 Karakurt and the first representative of the series with the Pantsir-M system on board. Unlike its predecessors, it was built according to an updated project. The Karakurt, despite its relatively small size and displacement (800 tons), carry a powerful armament system: Caliber cruise missiles, a 76.2 mm AK-176MA mount, and, if necessary, can be equipped with Onyx anti-ship missiles.
In addition, the ships are based on Orlan-10 drones with a range of up to 120 km. They should be used for reconnaissance and target designation. UAVs will make stealth ships almost invisible to the enemy: if you launch drones, there is no need to turn on radars, the signal of which can be detected by means of electronic reconnaissance. MRK project 22800 is equipped with modern complexes of combat control, detection, target designation and communication. Last year, “Odintsovo” made a trip to the Arctic latitudes and was successfully tested in the White and Barents Seas. Before that, it was not known whether the ships of the project 22800 could operate in the extreme conditions of the Arctic. RTOs successfully completed all assigned tasks and carried out missile launches.
Today the Navy includes three “Karakurt” – “Mytishchi”, “Sovetsk” and “Odintsovo”, they serve in the Baltic Fleet. The fourth ship “Kozelsk” is on the way, it is planned to be handed over to the fleet. Like Odintsovo, Kozelsk is being built according to an updated project with Pantsir-M. A total of 18 RTOs of project 22800 should be built, which will be equally divided between the Pacific, Baltic and Black Sea fleets. Until 2018, such ships were named according to the names of weather phenomena: “Hurricane”, “Typhoon”, “Storm”, “Tempest”, etc. Then it was decided to name them after Russian small towns – regional centers.
Missile boat “Shuya” with a displacement of 495 tons was built in 1983. It can reach speeds of up to 42 knots and has a range of up to 1,600 miles. The boat is armed with two twin launchers of anti-ship 2.5-ton Termit missiles. The boat is operated by a crew of 41 people. Since 1985, the ship has been serving in the Black Sea Fleet in the 41st missile boat brigade. In recent years, the R-71 has been constantly involved in training ship air defense crews. In addition, it was “Shuya” that was chosen as the first site for testing the naval version of the “Pantsir”.
Roman Kretsul, Anna Cherepanova
Photo: TASS / Vitaly Nevar