Pantsir S-1 – Brazil sends evaluation committee to Russia for new trials

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PANTSIR S1 – Embarca comitiva MD para testes na Rússia Link

O Editor

by Nicholle Murmel

Brazil’s Ministry of Defense has sent nine military officers to Moscow last Tuesday (AUG 26th), for complementary trials of the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft defense system.

The Brazilian officers will take part in field exercises conducted by the Russian Armed Forces, in order to witness the system’s performance and assess crucial requirements for the future acquisition contract to be signed. The negotiations with Russia’s Rsoboronexport began back in 2013.

“We must assess operational requirements at the test field, where every procedure is monitored, providing us with precise data regarding the system’s performance”, says brigadier Gérson Machado, head of the Pantsir evaluation committee and chief of the Ministry of Defense’s Logistics Department. Officers from all Armed Forces – Army, Navy and Air Force – will take part in the field exercises at the city of Tula, 120 miles south from Moscow. According to Machado, the maneuvers and trials were designed by the Russians “taking all our demands into account”.

The data collected throughout the nine days of trials will provide crucial information to an acquisition report, to be issued by the Brazilian committee. The document is a key point for the Brazilian government to close the deal on the three Pantsir-S1 units. “There are many aspects that must be considered. And we can’t evaluate all of them after only one test”, he explains, referring to trials performed early this year.

Medium-range defense system

Purchasing the Pantsir units comes as an answer to the pressing military demand for a medium-range anti-aircraft defense system, able to destroy targets flying up to 6,2 miles high. If the purchase is successful, each Force will be in charge of a S-1 unit. The systems will be mainly employed to protect military and civilian strategic assets, such as hydroelectric power plants and nuclear facilities. All deployment protocols for the Pantsir units will be designed by the Air Force’s Aerospace Defense Command.

Brazil and Russia began defense negotiations back in 2008, when both countries signed a Technological and Military Cooperation Agreement. Since December 2012, the relations between both parties are guided by the Strategic Partnership Action Plan, which establishes long-term cooperation, based on mutual interests, industry partnerships and technology transfer.

The Pantsir acquisition process started February last year, when Brazil and Russia signed an Intention Statement, setting the purchase of the missile systems on grounds of effective and unlimited technology transfer, joint development of future products and integrated logistics.

According to brigadier Machado, in the near future Brazil plans to achieve industrial and technological capacity to develop its own anti-aircraft artillery systems. “That’s why the purchasing process from Russia must be so meticulous. We’re not only buying the product, we wish to be part of its development”.

The acquisition cycle has already gone through its diagnostic and exploratory stages, and is now in the final steps of negotiation. Following the tests and exercises in Russia, and if all qualifications are met, the Brazilian government will proceed to signing the actual purchase contract with Rosoboronexport – Russia’s state-owned company in charge of defense imports and exports.

Besides acquiring the three Panstir units, Brazil’s future air defense plans include buying two Ingla short-range missile systems, also from Russia, as well as the indigenous development of a medium-range control and warning system comprised of three sensors and three artillery control stations.



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