June 30 (UPI) — Rostec has revealed its Pantsir-ME naval anti-missile and anti-aircraft weapons system at the International Maritime Defense show in St. Petersburg.
Designed by the Russian Instrument Design Bureau or KBP, the Pantsir-ME combines two 30mm Gatling type cannons with eight infrared surface-to-air missiles in a single module. Russia hopes to spur interest by foreign governments in purchasing the system.
The weapons are mounted on a fully-automated close in weapons system pedestal designed to detect, track, and engage targets autonomously using radar, electro optical, and infrared sensors all aided by a laser rangefinder.
The Pantsir-ME can engage up to four targets simultaneously and can link up with a battery of up to three other modules to coordinate each other’s targets.
The weapon system is similar in concept to the U.S. Phalanx 20mm cannon and SeaRAM point-defense missiles, but with the advantage of incorporating both guns and missiles into a single turret, allowing it to engage targets at a variety of ranges and altitudes.
CIWS systems like the Pantsir-ME function as the last line of defense for vessels against anti-ship missiles, close-in aircraft and high-speed boats. The systems are autonomous due to high-speed missiles closing and maneuvering so fast that human-controlled targeting and engagement would be inadequate.