A Turkish “Bayraktar-2TB” UCAV (unmanned aerial combat vehicle) neutralized a Syrian Pantsir-S1 aerial defense system (NATO/AISC reporting name: “SA-22 Greyhound ”).
This is more like a #Syrian Pantsir-S1 (AISC/NATO: SA-22). But this time, the crew was not on a cigarette break nor was the system awaiting to be reloaded. The radar was active, the generator was running and the #Pantsir had already fired some shots. #Bayraktar https://t.co/oJNL4JnvmZ pic.twitter.com/tfGHP9WBTj
— T-Intelligence (@T_intell) March 4, 2020
The footage clearly shows that the Pantsir was on (generator emits thermal signature) and its radar active (antenna is spinning). The scorched ground left of the vehicle, caused by successive missile launches, even suggests that the Pantsir has recently engaged aerial targets. There is no indication that Turkey employed stand-off munition instead of the Bayraktar’s trademark MAM-L. This means that the Turkish drone was within the Pantsir’s engagement range when it destroyed the air defense system. In theory, the Pantsir S 57E6/E SAM has a superior engagement envelope (max. 20 km) compared to the MAM-L (max. 14 km).
The Pantsir’s failure to detect and engage the Turkish UCAV adds to previous reports that the system is underperforming in combat and tests. This is a major blow for the Russian defense industry, which has heavily marketed the Pantsir series of air defense systems as the “jack-of-all-trades” against low-observable munitions and drones.
The Israeli Air Force has also previously destroyed at least two (visually confirmed) Pantsir-S1s in Syria in 2018 and 2019.
Turkey released another video showing the targeting of a Pantsir-S1 system several days ago. In that case, however, there is reason to doubt that engagement took place in Syria. As many correctly argued, the Pantsir from that video seems to be mounted on a Rheinmetall/MAN-SX45 chassis truck, a configuration used by the UAE. Syrian Pantsirs use 8×8 KAMAZ-6560 TLARs. This suggests that the Turkish UCAV destroyed an Emirati Pantsir-S1 in eastern Libya.
Some quick analysis. 1st, the chassis on the Pantsir-S1 from this video and other video published by Turkey look different, and I still think the original is likely one of the UAE’s Pantsir-S1 on a MAN chassis, instead of the normal KamAZ-6560 used on Syria’s Pantsir-S1s. 158/ pic.twitter.com/N2Trqscpzv
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) March 3, 2020
This article has originally appeared on our Facebook page, on 4 March 2020.