Russia is reportedly set to deliver up to six Pantsir-S1 air defence missile systems to Serbia as part of a contract between the two countries.

According to news published on the Sputnik Russian press agency website, the systems will be delivered this year.

The Pantsir-S1 system has been designed to offer protection against a precision-guided air attack from low and extremely low altitudes.

Its mobile version includes a combat vehicle, surface-to-air guided missiles, 30mm rounds and a transporter-loader vehicle. It also has maintenance and training facilities.

The system, which is currently used by countries such as Vietnam, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Iraq and the UAE, protects military units or installations against aerial threats.

Designed by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau of Tula, Russia, and manufactured by the Ulyanovsk Mechanical Plant, Pantsir-S1 has a sensor package that comes with a target detection and designation radar, target and missile tracking radar, and electro-optical sensor systems.

Each Pantsir system is capable of guiding up to four missiles at a time.

Sputnik quoted a source in the defence cooperation sector as saying: “Russia and Serbia signed a deal on one battery made up of six Pantsir-S1 missile systems. The work on it is underway and will be completed in 2020.”

Pantsir-S1 armament comprises 12 57E6 surface-to-air guided missiles and two 2A38M30mm automatic guns.

The air defence system was initially unveiled to the public in 1995 during the MAKS Air Show that held in Zhukosvsky, Moscow.

In March 2010, the Russian Air Force had inducted the first ten Pantsir S1 (SA-22 Greyhound) anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile systems.