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Algeria, Libya to buy Russian short-range air defense systems

Russian Pantsir S1 developed by KBP

ABU DHABI (BNS): Algeria and Libya are keen to buy Russian Pantsir-S1 short-range air defense systems, deputy head of the Russian Military-Technical Cooperation Service Vyacheslav Dzirkaln has said.

The two countries have expressed their interest in the new system which has shown high efficiency, Dzirkaln told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

Syria has already bought these systems in the past. Algeria was planning to buy 40 Pantsir-S1s for $500 million, according the Russian press.

Meanwhile, Dzirkaln has also confirmed media reports on Russia signing a $734-million contract with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2000 on purchasing 50 Pantsir-S1s. Russia would finish delivering the Pantsir-S1's to the UAE this year, he said.

Pantsir-S1 is a short-to-medium range combined surface-to-air missile and antiaircraft artillery system manufactured by the Tula-based Instrument Making Design Bureau (KPB).

It is designed to protect point and area targets and carries up to 12 two-stage solid-fuel surface-to-air missiles in sealed ready-to-launch containers.

The system also has two dual 30 mm automatic cannons that can engage targets at a range of up to 4 km, the agency report said.

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