Russia In Military Frenzy: Pantsir Over Arctic, S-300 Missiles For Iran, H-Bomb Replica In Display
Russia has ramped up its deployment of air defense systems in the Arctic, near the borders of U.S. and some of its allies, including Norway, the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office or FMSO said in its August 2015 report. Russia has been fielding the SA-22 Pantsir-SM Greyhound mobile combination short-to-medium range surface-to-air missile and antiaircraft artillery weapons system in the Arctic, the report said.
Meanwhile, other media reports are saying that Russia is planning to supply Iran with S-300 missiles. The country is also said to be displaying a replica of the Soviet “Tsar Bomba” near Kremlin in Moscow in September.
SA-22 Pantsir-SM Greyhound in the Arctic
According to the FMSO report, Russia’s SA-22 Pantsir-SM is capable of engaging in a range of 20 kilometers to 30 kilometers. Its 30mm twin-barreled gun can reach four kilometers. The system can reportedly function effectively below-50 degrees Centigrade or -58 degrees Fahrenheit.
Citing various local reports, the FMSO quoted Russia’s General Major Sergei Babakov, the Commander of Air Defense Missile forces, as saying “that a special Arctic version of the Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile and gun system will be developed for Russian Armed Forces use it in the Arctic.”
“We plan to make serious modifications to this vehicle (Pantsir) for use in the Arctic zone. After these modifications, all Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile and gun systems delivered north of the Arctic Circle will be the Arctic versions,” Babakov said, according to FMSO, citing the general’s interview on Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei [Russian News Service] radio.
“In the Arctic zone, we have deployed a radar section to gather information. On the island of Kotelnyy, a subunit [battery] of the Pantsir-S system has been deployed, which is on combat duty there.
“Last year, this subunit carried out live launches, which were successful,” Babakov was quoted as saying.
S-300 missiles For Iran
Russia will also be supplying Iran with four S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, Reuters reported, citing a statement from Russian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan.
“The text of the contract is ready and our friends will go to Russia next week to sign the contract,” Dehgan was quoted as saying. The minister also said that Iran is also in talks with Russia to buy fighter jets. The decision is said to be aimed at upgrading Iran’s aging fleet that consists mainly of fighter jets ordered from U.S.
Speaking with Reuters, Pieter Wezeman, an arms expert at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said that “with four battalions [of S-300 missile system], [Iran] should be able to deploy missile systems in four different locations.”
H-Bomb Replica In Kremlin
As tensions linger between U.S./NATO and Russia, the latter will display a replica of AN-602 hydrogen bomb in Kremlin’s Manezh centre, BBC reported. The bomb, which is said to be 3,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, is also known to as “Kuzma’s Mother.” BBC noted that the name means “we’ll teach you a lesson.” Soviet Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev told this to former U.S. Vice-President Richard Nixon in 1959 during the cold war era. The Soviet Union then dropped the hydrogen bomb in the Arctic in 1961.
The bomb will be displayed in an exhibit done in commemoration of the “70 years of the atomic industry – a chain reaction of success.”