Russia Now Has ‘100% Protection’ Against US-Supplied HIMARS With Its Upgraded Defense System – Rostec

With Ukraine raining down rockets and missiles on Russian positions in the ongoing counteroffensive, Russian forces have reportedly come up with a foolproof defense against the US-supplied HIMARS.

A senior executive of the state-owned technology company Rostec announced in a statement that upgraded Pantsir surface-to-air missile/gun systems offer 100% defense against rockets of the HIMARS multiple-launch rocket system.

Bekhkhan Ozdoyev, industrial director of the Rostec Cluster of Conventional Armaments, Munitions, and Special Chemistry, said that the efficiency of upgraded Pantsir surface-to-air missile/gun systems following the results of the special military operation reached 100% against rockets of the US-made HIMARS in some cases.

“Any weapon is modernized and improved following the results of its combat employment. This is a continuous process. For example, after the enemy received HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems, specialists of High Precision Systems upgraded the Pantsir to intercept these rockets. Today we see examples of HIMARS strikes successfully countered by our surface-to-air missile/gun system. There were precedents when all the 12 rockets launched from an American MLRS were shot down,” Ozdoyev said.

When HIMARS was first deployed on the battlefield against Russia last year, it proved to be a game changer equipment and helped push the Russian troops further back from the frontlines. Ukraine used the MLRS to target Russia’s logistics and military warehouses and recapture territory in its September 2022 counteroffensive with the help of HIMARS.

Pantsir missile system - Wikipedia
Pantsir missile system – Wikipedia

However, soon after, the Russians were able to strategize and adapt to the continuing HIMARS fire from Ukraine. Besides upgrading an air defense system that can shoot down every HIMARS rocket that Ukraine launches, the Russians are also reportedly using electronic jamming to reduce the efficiency of HIMARS.

The announcement about the capabilities of an upgraded Panstir air defense system comes a day after the Russian Ministry of Defense (RuMoD) stated that the Russian air defense systems had intercepted 11 HIMARS shells in a day without specifying which air defense system(s) was used for the interception. Similar reports are regularly published in the Russian media.

Earlier, officials from High Precision Systems told TASS that the company had improved the Pantsir surface-to-air missile/artillery system in response to its performance in the area of the special military operation in Ukraine and the enemy’s deployment of cutting-edge rocket weapons, such as HIMARS launchers.

The Russian Defense Ministry continues to assert that the Pantsir air defense system crews find and destroy several targets during each shift of their so-called special military operation in Ukraine.

HIMARS Ukraine
File Image: HIMARS

With the aid of these systems, the crew can detect cruise and ballistic missiles, helicopters, aircraft, MLRS rockets developed in the West and the Soviet Union, as well as 30×30 centimeters utility drones, which Ukrainian reconnaissance routinely employs to map out the terrain and serve as kamikaze drones.

The Pantsir surface-to-air missile/gun system is intended to defend against hostile aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and precision weapons and strengthen air defenses to fend off powerful airstrikes.

The Russian Army uses the Pantsir-S upgrade and has a multi-channel system for locking on and tracking targets.

Pantsir Air Defense Systems Against Ukraine

The Pantsir defense system is a vital element of Russia’s defense arsenal. The Pantsir S1 system has also been employed to defend Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow.

When the Kremlin came under attack, media reports indicated that the Russian Pantsir air defense systems were strategically deployed on the rooftops of several crucial buildings in Moscow, including on top of Russia’s Ministry of Defense headquarters.

Interestingly, a military-political analyst from Ukraine, Oleksandr Kovalenko, earlier asserted on his personal Telegram channel that the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile-gun system was not technically equipped to intercept HIMARS missiles. The expert delved deep into the limitations of the Pantsir-S air defense systems in intercepting some specific projectiles.

The comments made by Kovalenko at the time were a stern response to the claims made by the state-affiliated media organization Zvezda, backed by the Russian Ministry of Defense, which advocated that the Pantsir system has a 100% interception rate against HIMARS missiles.

File Image: Pantsir missile system

Kovalenko provided insight into a dramatic incident in 2020 when the Pantsir-S1 air defense missile system was fired, but the outcome was dismal. Four Pantsir-S1 systems launched their missiles in unison to hit the elusive E-95 flying target, but they were unsuccessful.

On several occasions, military experts have highlighted the shortcomings of the Pantsir-S air defense systems. However, they have been widely deployed on the battlefield, especially in the wake of Ukraine acquiring cutting-edge artillery shells and missiles from its allies in NATO.

With the unique advantage of two independent guidance channels, namely radar, and electro-optic, the Pantsir S1 exhibits the remarkable ability to engage not just one but two targets simultaneously.

If Russian claims are anything to go by, the system may have been upgraded to fill in the shortcomings. Ukraine, on its part, has already noted that the efficiency of its HIMARS systems has decreased significantly.