Middle Eastern countries have shown interest in the Pantsyr-ME surface-to-air missile system, according to Russian officials.
Speaking to TASS on January 25, 2019, Rostec official Viktor Kladov said, “We see great interest in this weapon from Middle East countries and not only from them. We are confident that the Pantsyr-ME as the Pantsyr-S1 version adapted for sea holds very big market prospects but today it is early to speak about any specific agreements as the system was demonstrated just several days ago.”
Rostec brought the Pantsyr-ME to the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, held earlier this month in Abu Dhabi.
While Kladov indicated that the system drew attention at the expo, he did not reveal whether Russia is actively engaging in negotiations with other countries on a sale. The United Arab Emirates operates the land-based Pantsyr-S1, which began entering service around a decade ago. At IDEX, the UAE signed a $12 million deal with Russia for the upgrade of those systems.
Russia sees opportunities for the naval air-defense system given the range of threats that militaries face. Ahead of the military exhibition, Rosoboronexport director general Alexander Mikheev said in a press release, “The current trends in the development of the navies force the maritime powers to equip their ships with reliable assets to counteract air threats, i.e. cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems, helicopters and planes.”
Mikheev added, “Pantsyr-ME can be installed on most Russian warships and is very well fit for ships manufactured by other countries. I am confident that it has very good export prospects in the Arab countries, Southeast Asia and Latin America.”