MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia plans to carry out acceptance tests of a modernized Pantsir-SM surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system with an extended range before the end of 2019, while flight tests for an upgraded missile may take place this year, Russian state corporation Rostec CEO, Sergey Chemezov told Sputnik.
“Flight tests of the upgraded missile are expected to take place before the end of the fourth quarter of this year. We cannot disclose its characteristics, I will only note that it will outdo its predecessor in several parameters,” Chemezov said.
As for the acceptance testing of the new missile system, the executive said, “we expect to complete them before the end of 2019.”
In May, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that development and preparation for serial production of the newest S-500 air defense system should be completed as quickly as possible.
“We should actively develop and increase technological capabilities in the field of air defense, continue the modernization of the Pantsir air defense system, complete the development and preparation for the serial production of the newest S-500 system,” the Russian president said.
Pantsir is a Russian-built short-to-medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system. The system has a feature to automatically fire targets with artillery armament if it turns out that the target is not hit or not sufficiently hit after the primary missile attack.