RIA Novosti yesterday quoted a VVKO spokesman who indicated a second battery of Pantsir-S anti-aircraft gun-missile systems will go into service this fall around Moscow. For the record, he stated:
“At present, alongside an A-150 missile defense [PRO] division, two S-400 anti-aircraft missile regiments in two-battalion configurations, deployed in Elektrostal and Dmitrov, provide Moscow with anti-air and anti-missile defense. One of them already has a ‘Pantsir-S’ battery in its composition, in September-October, the second regiment will also receive the same battery complement.”
The spokesman added that, in August, the new Pantsir-S battery, along with its S-400 regiment at Dmitrov, will be in Ashuluk to perform ‘test’ live firings against low-altitude targets.
Novosti has some video of the Pantsir as does a background piece by Arms-Expo.ru.
Let’s add things up as best we can.
First Deputy Defense Minister Sukhorukov has said the army will get 28 Pantsir-S systems in 2012. The VVS CINC said there would be two more S-400 regiments (for a total of four) before the end of 2011. But, there are, as the VVKO spokesman says, still only two. The CINC also said the next six Pantsir-S systems would be for the Moscow area. The first four went to Novorossiysk.
Recall there was some question whether ten delivered in 2010 were for Russian forces or some foreign customer. Have we somehow lost track of six of those ten?
Now all these numbers are pretty low when there’s talk that 200, 600, or possibly (incredibly?!) as many as 1,000 Pantsir-S might really be required.
The case of the Pantsir-S is a good example of how, for all the worry about a massive Russian rearmament program, this rearming has been pretty slow thus far.