Pantsir-S air defense system to be delivered to Serbia despite US warning

Russia will deliver a Pantsir-S gun-missile air defense system to Serbia even though the U.S. has warned of possible sanctions against the Balkan country in case of such purchases. The Pantsir-S system will be delivered to Serbia "in the next few months in accordance with the signed contract." But Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told RTS national television on Nov. 6 that the country will not buy the S-400 air defense missile system.

Pantsir S air defense system to be delivered to Serbia despite US warning
Pantsir-S firing its twin 30mm guns (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The U.S. special envoy for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, warned Serbia last week that the purchase of Russian weapons "poses a risk" of U.S. sanctions. Last month, Moscow already sent a S-400 missile system battalion and a Pantsir to Belgrade for their first joint drills in Serbia. Serbia remains a key ally of Russia even though it wants to join the European Union. Belgrade has pledged to stay out of NATO and refused to join Western sanctions against Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound in NATO code) is an air defense missile-gun system designed to protect military areas, industrial targets and land forces units, and reinforce the air defense units responsible for the protection of troops and military installations against precision-guided air attacks from low and extremely low altitudes. The mobile version of the Pantsir-S1 system includes a combat vehicle (up to six vehicles in a battery), surface-to-air guided missiles, 30 mm rounds, a transporter-loader vehicle (one for two combat vehicles), maintenance and training facilities.