July 30, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE
The Russian Navy is replacing its Kortik autocannon/missile systems with a navalized version of the similar Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft system. Both systems use high-volume 30mm cannon, and longer range missiles, to destroy incoming aircraft and anti-ship missiles. The Kortik system was developed at the end of the Cold War, and entered service in 1992. The Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft system entered service (with the Russian Air Force) last year. Pantsir-S1 was supposed to be ready three years ago, but there were more technical problems. There's been a pattern of that with Pantsir-S1. Development began in the 1990s, but was sporadic for nearly a decade because there was no money.
Pantsir-S1 is a mobile system, each vehicle carries radar, two 30mm cannon and twelve Tunguska missiles. The 90 kg (198 pound) missiles have a twenty kilometer range, the radar a 30 kilometer range. The missile can hit targets at up to 8,400 meters (26,000 feet). The 30mm cannon is effective up to 3,200 meters (10,000 feet). The vehicle can vary, but the most common one carrying all this weighs 20 tons, and has a crew of three. Each Pantsir-S1 vehicle costs about $15 million.
The naval version eliminates the vehicles, adds more waterproofing and vibration resistance. Pantsir-S1 is more effective and reliable than the older Kortik systems.