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Russian-made Pantsir-S2 short-range air defense system in service with Serbian Army

On May 2, 2020, the President of the Republic of Serbia and the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vučić, accompanied by the Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin and the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilović, visited members of the 3rd Missile Battalion of the 250th Air Defence Missile Brigade in the “Major Milan Tepić” Barracks in Jakovo. This unit is now equipped with Russian-made Pantsir self-propelled anti-aircraft gun and missile (SPAAGM) system.

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Russian-made Pantsir-S2 of Serbian armed forces. (Picture source Serbian MoD)

In March 2020, Serbian President Alexandar Vucic has announced that Russia has completed the deliveries of the Pantsir-S1 (NATO reporting name: SA-22 Greyhound) self-propelled anti-aircraft gun-missile (SPAAGM) systems to Serbia. According to our analysis of pictures released on the official website of the Serbian Ministry of Defense, the Pantsir delivered to Serbia is the Pantsir-S2.

Serbia’s head did not detail the number of the Pantsir-S1 systems that had been supplied to the country’s military. However, Belgrade is known to have procured an SA-22 battery, which traditionally comprises six combat vehicles.

On October 24, 2019, Vucic said Belgrade had ordered the Pantsir. The first two systems were delivered to Batajnica airbase on February 22. The Serbian crews had been trained to operate the Greyhound prior to the shipping of the first batch of the SPAAGMs to the country.

Serbia has announced an intention to base the national air defense system on the Pantsir. According to the Military Balance 2019 book issued by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Serbian MoD has deployed 86 2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful) self-propelled medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, six S-125 Pechora (SA-3 Goa) medium-range stationary SAM systems, 12 9K31M Strela-1M (SA-9 Gaskin) and five 9K35M Strela-10M (SA-13 Gopher) short-range air defense systems, and some 9K310 Igla-1/Silo (SA-16 Gimlet) man-portable air defense systems.

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Russian-made Pantsir-S2 of Serbian armed forces. (Picture source Serbian MoD)

Today, Pantsir is one of the most popular short-range air defense systems which is in service with many countries all over the world. The armament of Pantsir-S1 consists of twelve 57E6 surface-to-air guided missiles and two 2A38M30-millimetre automatic guns developed from the two-barreled 30mm GSh-30 gun. It is provided with a multi-range radar capable of detecting aerial targets with an effective surface of dispersion of up to 2-3 square meters at a distance of more than 30 kilometers and track them down from a distance of over 24 kilometers.

The Pantsir air defense system delivered to Serbia is the Pantsir-S2, an upgraded version of the Pantsir-S1 which incorporates new SOTS S-band search radar to increase the detection range from 36 km to over 40 km. It uses the same missile launcher and anti-aircraft cannons as the Pantsir-S1.

The Pantsir-S2 uses a KAMAZ 6560 8x8 truck chassis. There is a two-man cab at the front of the truck chassis. The truck is motorized with KamAZ-740.35-400 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 400 hp. The truck has a total weight of 14,850 kg and can run at a maximum speed of 90 km with a maximum cruising range of 800 km.

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