Russia unveiled an upgraded variant of the Pantsyr-S1 air defence system at the IDEX show held in Abu Dhabi on 17–21 February.
The new 57E6M-E missile for the Pantsyr-S1 and SM1 air defence systems (right) is seen next to the standard 57E6-E at IDEX 2019. (Nikolai Novichkov )
A source from the Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) told
that the Pantsir-S1M can use the new 57E6M-E surface-to-air missile (SAM), which can intercept targets flying at speeds of up to 1,000 m/s. It can engage targets at altitudes of 15–18,000 m and has a slant range of 1,200–30,000 m compared to the 57E6-E missile’s 15–15,000 m altitude and 1,200–20,000 m range.
The reduction in the length of the missile has enabled a larger booster to be fitted that increases its speed from 1,300 m/s to 1,700 m/s. Nevertheless, the weight of the warhead, which is designed to destroy a target using fragmentation rods and missile debris, has grown from 20 kg to 25 kg. The overall weight of the new SAM has increased from 98 kg to 115 kg.
The upgraded Pantsir-S1M has a multifunctional fire-control radar and an upgraded search radar, both fitted with phased antenna arrays. The L-band search radar detects and tracks up to 40 targets simultaneously, while the EHF fire-control radar can engage four targets simultaneously.
As with the earlier versions, the S1M has an infrared target tracking station with a laser rangefinder, which has also been modernised.
Existing Pantsyr-S1 systems will be able to use the new 57E6M-E missile alongside the baseline 57E6-E. Because of the use of modular system architecture, older systems could also be upgraded in the country that operates them.