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Home International NewsAfrica Rwanda in Panic Mood As Burundi Acquires Russian Pantsir Air Defense System

Rwanda in Panic Mood As Burundi Acquires Russian Pantsir Air Defense System

by James Ateenyi

Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi to Russia Edward Bizimana has confirmed that his country has acquired Pantsir-S1 medium-range surface-to-air missile from Russia sending fear to neighbouring Rwanda.

The decision to acquire the Russian missile comes months after Burundi’s Defense Minister Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye revealed that his country would acquire Pantsir-S1 missile systems on the sidelines of the Army-2018 international defense forum earlier this year.

“You know, it’s a process, and we think that given that the challenge of terrorism and other security issues confronted with Burundi, I think that the sooner that will be, the better. I don’t know how much [units] they would take but I think that it’s a need for Burundi and for Burundi security,” Bizimana said answering the question when Burundi could purchase Pantsir-S1 missile systems.

The poorest East African nation has expressed readiness to purchase Russian-made ‘Pantsir-S1’ air-defense missile-gun systems.

“It’s very powerful. My country is interested in buying it,” Burundi’s Defense Minister Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye told journalists in August. The minister’s comments came after the nations had signed a military cooperation agreement earlier that day.

Burundi and Russia also signed an agreement on defense cooperation in late August, within the framework of which the two countries agreed on knowledge sharing and continue to engage in and develop cooperation on peacekeeping efforts and on the fight against terrorism.

The Pantsir missile system is a family of self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems.

The Pantsir-S1 was designed to provide point air defense of military/industrial/administrative installations against aircraft, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs and to provide additional protection to air defense units from enemy air attacks employing precision munitions especially at the low to extremely low ranges

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