A sophisticated attack on the forces of the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftar by the Turkish-backed Government of the National Accord on May 17 led to the destruction of numerous Russian-made Pantisr air defense systems. In all, around nine may have been destroyed and one captured.
Media coverage of the setback for Haftar led to questions about how he would continue his offensive against Tripoli. In the ten days that followed Russia and Turkey, as well as other backers of both sides, maneuvered. Russia sent MiG and Su warplanes to Libya.
The destruction of the Pantsir followed difficulties it faced in Syria where both Turkish UAVs and Israeli airstrikes have destroyed the system. The Russian system has not faced these mounting losses historically. Media reports highlight the harm done to the system, especially reports in Turkish media. The challenges the system faced may have ramifications elsewhere. Serbia and other countries see the system as a deterrent. There were disputes about the numbers that Turkey also destroyed in Idlib in late February and early March. Between two and eight were allegedly hit. This could be a turning point in Libya and it is a watershed moment for the competition between UAVs and air defense. Satellite images and video show the destruction of the Pantsirs and reveal some details about what transpired (see video here). There is also video from June 2019 of Israel destroying one of the systems. In addition there is video from late February 2020 of a system being hit in Idlib…
To read more visit MECRA.