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Latest version of Russian Pantsir air defense system is used in Ukraine as Bayraktar drone killer

According to a video published by the Russian Ministry of Defense on August 2, 2022, the latest generation of the Pantsir, a Russian-made dual weapons air defense system has demonstrated its ability to be used as a drone killer in its fight against the Bayraktar TB2 drone used by the Ukrainian armed forces.
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Citing Russian information the latest version of the Pantsir air defense system is used in Ukraine as Bayraktar drone killer. (Picture source Russian MoD Footage)

The Pantsir-S1 is a mobile air defense system that is armed with cannons and missiles based on an 8x8 military truck chassis. In the video published by the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Pantsir deployed in Ukraine is an improved version of the Pantsir which uses the same missile launcher and anti-aircraft cannons.

The upgraded version of the Pantsir, which we have named Pantsir-S2 is able to launch new surface-to-air missiles to destroy aerial targets at a range of up to 30 km. This version is also fitted with a new SOTS S-band search radar to increase the detection range from 36 km to over 40 km.

In the conflict in Ukraine, the Turkish-made Bayraktar drone is used by Ukrainian forces to conduct reconnaissance and strike missions. In fact, the Bayraktar drone can be armed with four guided missiles. It can destroy land targets such as tanks or combat vehicles at a maximum range of 14 km. It can be equipped with observation optic systems including a thermal imager, several daytime cameras and a laser range finder, or alternatively, radar with AFAR (Active Phased Antenna Array). The weakness of the drone is to have no countermeasure system against cannon fire at short range or missile fire at long range.

The new radar of the Pantsir-S2 has been designed to detect a wide range of unmanned threats such as small and medium size drones. The upgraded Pantsir has substantially increased the Pantsir's ability to counter all types of drones. In particular, the system is capable of effectively detecting and destroying all types of attack drones.

The Pantsir-S2 is able to fire a new type of missile as well as all the missiles fired by the Pantsir-S1. Drones have a low radar cross-section and their detection range is often shorter than the operational range of their weaponry. The operational range of the new Pantsir has been extended and the drones can now be identified quite clearly in the combat area.

As for the Pantsir-S1, the Pantsir-S2 is armed with two 2A38M 30mm anti-aircraft guns and twelve 57E6-E ready-to-fire missiles in steered launch containers mounted at the rear of an 8x8 truck chassis. The cannons have a combined rate of fire of between 3,900 and 5,000 rounds per minute (1,950 to 2,500 rpm for each gun), and have a muzzle velocity of 960 m/s.

The Pantsir-2 fires the 57E6-E missiles which have a bi-caliber body in tandem configuration, separable booster, and sustainer with a separation mechanism.

The Pantsir-S2 is fitted with a new SOTS S-band search radar increasing the detection range from 36 km to over 40 km with 360° coverage. The system can now track in excess of 40 incoming targets up from 8-10, and can now engage targets traveling at up to 1,200 meters per second up from 1,000 m/s. Search azimuth has also been increased from 80° to 90° owed to electronic beam steering.

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