Russian air defense: Pantsir, Tor to train fire in motion

Pantsir and Tor antiaircraft guns have to down cruise missiles, aircraft and drones. Formally, they need a brief stopover to fire. However, Syrian combat experience showed they have to destroy the attacking force in motion, e.g. if kamikaze drones attack. The assaults are mortally dangerous for marching hardware, the Izvestia daily writes.

Russian air defense Pantsir Tor to train fire in motion
Tor-M2DT air defense system displayed at Army 2019 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Changes into Pantsir and Tor training system are being drafted. A set of new firing drills in motion will be tested at ranges in early 2020. If effective, the technique to repel surprise air raids will be adopted and massive training of the troops will begin in late 2020, the Defense Ministry said. Modern combat techniques demand maximum air defense mobility, former head of the antiaircraft missile forces Alexander Gorkov said. "Fire in motion has been already trained. Pantsir attacked both air and ground targets," he said.

The latest hostilities demonstrated that only a weapon capable of immediate fire can reliably protect the troops. Cruise missile and drone attacks are like a lightning and leave no time for preparations to repel them. Air defense weapons have to constantly move to survive. They should rapidly leave the position after they exhaust the round of munitions. It is not easy to adapt the weapons for such fire. Russian designers and engineers had to deal with major technical issues, Gorkov said. Even NATO countries have no short-range air defense weapons capable of firing in motion.

After stationary air defense repelled drone strikes at Russian bases in Syria, the militants began to attack the Syrian government army. It was a difficult task to defend it. The terrorists succeeded to destroy armored vehicles in motion with makeshift drones. The threat of modern drones and smart munitions is even higher. Big attack drones and loitering munitions operate in the armies which are no technological leaders. Surprise attacks against poorly protected columns on the march are a major tactical technique. Mobility is vital for the survival of the air defense weapons in the fight against modern arms.

The Russian army has several Pantsir and Tor modifications. They are all short-range weapons to protect military and civilian facilities, marching troops, accumulation areas and the frontline.

Tor-M2 is the latest weapon of the family. The range of its new missile is 20 km. It operates by one target - one missile principle. It can fire at four targets at a time. The first Tor modification could attack only one target.

Pantsir is the most perfect air defense weapon in the world. It can destroy air and ground targets by missiles and two 30mm guns. Modern conflicts confirmed the high effectiveness of the weapon. It is armed with 12 missiles with a range of 20 km, the Izvestia said.

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