Direct HIT! Russian Navy Claims 1st-Ever Interception Of Storm Shadow By Ship-Launched Pantsir-M Missile

Russian state media has reported that the Pantsir-M naval air defense system successfully intercepted a long-range Storm Shadow missile fired by Ukrainian forces. 

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The interception is significant since it is the first time that the Russian naval air defense system has neutralized a Franco-British long-range air-launched cruise missile, highlighting a critical advancement in Russia’s defense capabilities. 

According to reports, a Russian ship stationed “on combat duty” engaged the Storm Shadow missile with the Pantsir-M system.

Oleg Ryazantsev, General Director of the High-Precision Complexes Holding (part of Rostec), confirmed the interception in an interview with the Military Acceptance program on the Zvezda Plus TV channel. 

Ryazantsev stated, “The ship, while on combat duty, hit a Storm Shadow missile. We can already talk about the first effective, successful use of the serial Pantsir-M complex against the Storm Shadow cruise missile.”

He said that the Pantsir-M system was specifically designed to combat such threats posed by cruise missiles, which are among the weapons of destruction used by the enemy. 

Currently, the only vessel in the Black Sea Fleet equipped with the Pantsir-M complex is the Karakurt-class corvette Cyclone of Project 22800. 

The intercepted Storm Shadow missile had been supplied by Ukraine’s Western allies, with the British government confirming deliveries of air-launched Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine in May 2023.  

Later that July, the French government declared its intention to provide Ukraine with its variant of the missile, the SCALP, to support Ukraine’s efforts in countering Russia.

The Pantsir-M system’s interception of the Storm Shadow missile is particularly significant, given the losses suffered by the Russian Black Sea fleet since the conflict escalated in February 2022. 

Over the past year, Storm Shadows and SCALP missiles have been attributed to several high-profile successes for Ukraine’s military, including strikes on Russia’s Black Sea fleet naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea. 

Ukrainian officials estimate that up to a third of the fleet has been lost due to a combination of Ukrainian missile and drone strikes. The destructive strikes using Western weapons pose a notable embarrassment to Moscow, especially when directed at strategic assets such as the Black Sea fleet.

Pantsir-M Naval Air Defense System

The Pantsir-M, alternatively known in its export variant as the Pantsir-ME, represents a naval adaptation within the broader Pantsir family of air-defense systems. Its development is aimed to supplant the Kashtan-M systems in the Russian Navy.

Equipped with a friend or foe identification system, the Pantsir-M is armed with a naval iteration of the Pantsir’s 57E6 missiles alongside Hermes-K missiles. 

The 57E6 missile, characterized by a two-stage, solid-fuel design, functions as a medium-range surface-to-air missile capable of neutralizing aerial threats across ranges spanning from 1.2 to 20 kilometers and altitudes ranging from 5 to 10,000 meters.

In contrast, the Hermes-K missile, a guided munition, features a multistage rocket design supplemented by a high-powered booster. Its fire-and-forget capability, coupled with laser guidance and infrared homing, grants it a maximum firing range of 30 kilometers.

Complementing its primary armament, the Pantsir-M features two six-barreled 30×165mm GSh-6-30K/AO-18KD rotary cannons, akin to those found on the Kashtan-M system, offering effective engagement within a range of five kilometers.

Pantsir-ME- Rosoboronexport

Employing full automation, the Pantsir-M possesses the capability to engage up to four targets simultaneously within a radius of up to 20 kilometers. 

Further, it can function as a modular battery, with the capacity to operate in configurations of up to four modules. The Pantsir-M can intercept sea-skimming missiles flying as low as two meters above the surface.

In cases where a target remains inadequately neutralized by the Pantsir’s missile attack, the system can automatically direct its cannons toward the threat. 

In January 2024, Russia announced that its latest naval anti-aircraft missile-gun system, the “Pantsir-ME,” developed by the High-Precision Complexes company, had demonstrated its capability to effectively counter all forms of airborne threats in combat scenarios.

This system is adaptable for installation on a wide range of Russian naval vessels and is also suitable for incorporation into ships constructed by other countries. It offers dependable protection against both current and future airborne threats across various combat conditions.

According to Russian assertions, the Pantsir-ME is the world’s only ship-based anti-aircraft complex featuring a single-post combat module encompassing artillery, anti-aircraft missile weaponry, and a control system.

If the claims regarding the successful interception of Storm Shadow missiles by the Pantsir-ME system prove to be accurate, it would undoubtedly serve as a promotional highlight for the Russian defense industry.