Russia is sending six of its new Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft systems to the southern town of Sochi, where the Winter Olympics will begin in early February. Pantsir-S1 entered service in 2010 and has proved quite popular, with nearly a thousand ordered by Russian forces and foreign customers. Pantsir-S1 is a further development of the Cold War era 2K22 (SA-19) system that was mounted on a tracked armored vehicle. The SA-19 was developed in the 1970s, to replace mobile 23mm autocannon anti-aircraft systems. Pantsir-S1 uses the latest computer and missile technology and fixes many of the performance and reliability problems the SA-19 suffered from.
Pantsir-S1 is a mobile system, each vehicle carries radar, 2 30mm cannon, and 12 Tunguska missiles and has a crew of 3. The 90 kg (198 pound) missiles have a 20 kilometer range, the radar a 30 kilometer range. The missile can hit targets at up to 8,400 meters (26,000 feet). The 30mm cannon is effective up to 3,200 meters (10,000 feet). The type of vehicle varies, but the most common one carrying all this is the KamAZ-6560, a 37 ton 8x8 truck that can carry up to 20 tons. Each Pantsir-S1 vehicle costs about $15 million.
A Pantsir-S1 battery consists of 6 Pantsir-S1 vehicles, 3 ammo resupply vehicles, 4 maintenance and spare parts vehicles, and a mobile trainer (containing a computerized Pantsir-S1 simulator to help maintain operator skills).
Russia is responding to growing threats by Islamic terror groups to attack the Winter Olympics. Russia has already organized heavy security on the ground and the 6 Pantsir-S1 vehicles are apparently there to prevent any terrorist air attacks. To that end the crews for these 6 Pantsir-S1 vehicles are receiving 2 months of intensive training and live fire exercises against target drones that will carry out the kinds of air attacks terrorists might use.