Russian media is reporting that the long awaited upgrade of the Kashtan (Chestnut) close-in weapon system (CIWS) will begin testing in 2018. Trials will start on a land range before moving to the sea aboard one of Russia’s Project 1241 Molniya missile corvettes in the Black Sea. The country’s new Project 22800 Karakurt corvettes will be the first vessels to receive the system operationally once testing is complete. Panstir-ME appears to be something of a mix between the potent Pantsir-S1 land-mobile self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery gun system and existing Kashtan CIWS installations found on many Russian-built naval vessels dating back to the Cold War. It uses a modified version of the Pantsir’s 1RS2-1E phased array radar system as well as an electro-optical/infrared targeting and identification system mounted above the radar in a similar fashion as seen on many of its ground-based cousins.
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