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Serbia receives first Pantsir S1 system from Russia

Serbian defense ministry photo of a Pantsir system during exercise Slavic Shield

The Serbian defense ministry received the first Russian-made Pantsir S1 air-defense system after it landed at the „Pukovnik-pilot Milenko Pavlović“ airport in Batajnica.

The system arrived in line with a previously-outlined schedule after it was ordered by Serbia during the joint Russian-Serbian exercise Slavic Shield in October 2019.

The February 22 delivery is the first of overall six systems that are expected to be handed over to Serbia this year.

“By acquiring this defensive system, the only such in the region, Serbia is continuing with the strengthening of its forces and means of deterrence,” the country’s defense minister Aleksandar Vulin said on the arrival of the system.

The Pantsir S1 was delivered to Serbia despite hints by the US that such an acquisition could pose a risk of sanctions. Speaking to Macedonian reporters in November last year, the US special envoy for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, warned Serbia that purchases of Russian weapons could lead to sanctions.

The first version of the Pantsir S was developed by the USSR as a self-propelled medium-range surface-to-air missile system for the defense of mobile units, and strategic locations.

Mounted on an Ural 8×8, the Pantsir S1 integrates 57E6 surface to air missiles, two 30 mm guns, target detection and tracking radars, and electro-optical sensor systems.