Russia’s KBP Instrument Design Bureau is reviewing the possibility of developing a special tracked modification of the 96K6 Pantsyr-S1 (SA-22 ‘Greyhound’) self-propelled anti-aircraft gun and missile (SPAAGM) system for use in the Arctic, according to Vladimir Popov, director general of the KBP subsidiary JSC Scheglovsky Val.
The Pantsyr-S1 is typically mounted on a wheeled chassis, however its manoeuvrability in the heavy snow is “significantly restricted”, Popov told the TASS news agency.
He added that the idea of basing the Pantsyr on the special tracked chassis produced by the JSC Ishimbayskiy machine-building plant (IMZ) was being studied and that some follow-up experiments were also planned to test its viability in polar areas.
Popov said that KBP had previously integrated Pantsyr’s combat module and radar on the tracked GMZ-352M1E chassis produced by the JSC Minsky track plant (MTZ) for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The director general also said that KBP was working to increase the Pantsyr’s reliability in severe climate conditions. “Icing-up is the main problem,” he said. “We are improving both the chassis’ reliability and the frost-resistance of different oils and power fluids.
“[The] Pantsyr system is [already] protecting Russia’s northern borders,” he said, adding that “three serial wheeled SA-22s have been deployed at the Temp air base (on Kotelny Island) since 2014”.
The operating temperature range of the Pantsyr modification for the Russian armed forces runs from -50° to +50°.
The normal chassis of the Pantsyr-S/Pantsyr-S1 is the KAMAZ-6560 8×8 truck, which has been highly praised by the Russian military. “This is the Pantsyr version to be offered to foreign customers,” Popov said. The UAE has been the only exception to this, with the emirate ordering some Pantsyrs to be installed on MAN SX trucks.