The Pantsir S1 missile system is a self-propelled surface-to-air missile system. It is designed to provide point air defense of military/industrial/administrative installations against aircraft, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles, and UAVs. Viewer may note that S 400 missile defense system is also protected by Pantsir S1. Several of the Pantsir-S1 were provided by Russia to Assad regime. In May, Israeli Defense Forces released a video showing the destruction of a Syrian Pantsir-S1, which came as a big embarrassment for Russia. In this video Defense Updates, analyzes how Israel destroyed Russian Pantsir-S1 in Syria? Let’s get into the details. The Pantsir-S1 is mobile and uses wheeled or track chassis. Its fire control system includes a target acquisition radar and dual waveband tracking radar that operates in the UHF and EHF waveband.

Detection range is 36 km (22 mi) and tracking range is 28 km (17 mi) for a target with 2 m2 (22 sq ft) RCS. The system has a 360-degree coverage and both the sensors use Passive electronically scanned array. There is also an infrared radar that is capable of detecting, acquiring and tracking targets even in low visibility conditions. Pantsir-S1 is unique as it is the first version of the Pantsir family air defense system that combines short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery in a single platform. The surface-to-air missiles option is the 12 57E6 or 57E6-E two-stage solid fuel radio-command-guided missile. The missiles are arranged into two groups of 6 sealed ready-to-launch container tubes on the turret. The missiles have a range of 20 km or 12 miles, max speed of Mach and carry a 20 kg High Explosive fragmentation warhead. Anti-aircraft artillery is the two dual 2A38M 30 mm autocannon guns that are fitted with 700 rounds.

The crew can choose the kind of ammunition depending on the nature of the target which includes High explosive fragmentation or armor piercing rounds. The maximum rate of fire is 2,500 rounds per minute per gun. The cannon has a range is up to 4 km (mi). Israeli Defense Force told the decision to strike the Syrian Pantsir-S1 anti-air missile system was made after it opened fire on Israeli aircraft.

IDF said in its statement,“The installation attacked by Israel’s Air Force fired missiles at Israeli aircraft to shoot them down. The IDF will continue to act against anyone who tries to harm the State of Israel and its inhabitants,” the The link to the footage is provided in the Description below. Aytech Bizhev, a former deputy commander-in-chief of the Russian air force told Russian Today, that there could be two possible reasons for the failure of Pantsir-S1 in protecting itself. “One is that it had already used up its ammunition reserve. The other is that it was simply turned off; it wasn’t battle ready.” He continued that, “There can be no third option, as it wouldn’t have let itself to be destroyed. When it’s battle ready, it performs constant surveillance of enemy aircraft and has a very fast reaction time.

It would’ve brought down those cruise missiles with either its cannons or own missiles.” If the theory of ’no ammunition’ is to be believed, then it can be concluded that Israel was able to get the critical element of surprise just like they did in the 6 Day War, when they destroyed the Egyptian air force on ground when personnel were changing shift and aircraft were not ready for combat. Israel may have got the intelligence from satellites or drones. If the remarks of ‘not ready’ is believed, it is an utter lack of professionalism from the Syrian Army. The system should have been camouflaged to hide it when it not ready for combat.

Another probable reason could be that Pantsir-S1 was jammed or it was not able to detect the incoming weapon. Israel has not disclosed what kind of weapon was deployed to take it out though some reports suggest it was, Delilah missile. Delilah is specifically designed to hunt & destroy the enemy air defense system and is dubbed as Air Defense System killer by Israel. The missile has a maximum range of 250-300 km, carries payloads between 30-54 kg and can cruise at a speed of only Mach 0.3-0.7.

The missile reportedly has an accuracy of 1 m CEP. The Delilah’s radar signature is either too small or too high and the signature doesn’t match the profile of a missile. It appears as a decoy while being detected by the enemy radar and may have been able to fool the Pantsir-S1. The Delilah is capable of autonomous search, identification, and loitering which is why it may have been able to pull off this strike. The exact circumstances are not clear from the information on hand, but the incident will surely be a bad advertising for the Russian systems, and could financially hit Russia since it is heavily dependent on foreign military sales to run its economy. The operation again proves Israel’s Air Forces prowess in SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) role.


As found on Youtube

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