The Russian armed forces are to carry out live firing tests of the Army's Pantsyr short-range gun-missile air defense system against cruise missile targets for the first time at a range in northern Russia, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
"The Pantsyr will be tested in live attacks for the first time against real cruise missile targets on the range," a Defense Ministry source said.
The system has previously only been tested against practice targets imitating cruise missiles.
"The system has been flown several thousand kilometers to an airfield near the Pemboi Range in the Komi Republic, after which it will be driven to the firing range," the source said.
The Pantsyr, produced by Russia's KBP, is a combined gun-missile system combining a wheeled vehicle mounting a fire-control radar and electro-opitical sensor, two 30-mm cannons and up to 12 57E6 radio-command guided short-range missiles, and is designed to take on a variety of targets flying at low-level, including cruise missiles and aircraft.
Cruise missiles represent a difficult target as they are small, fast-moving, can fly at very low levels and often have a low infrared and radar signature.
The Pantsyr can engage targets up to 12 miles (20 km) by missile and 2.5 miles (4 km) using the cannon, KBP claims.
The system was first made in 1994 and first shown at the MAKS airshow in Moscow in 1995. A modified variant was shown at MAKS 2007.