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Brzeczyszczykiewicz
08-26-2005, 04:44 AM
On arrows and needles: Russia's Strela and Igla portable killers.



Journal of Electronic Defense, January, 2004 by Michal Fiszer and Jerzy Gruszczynski




Russia's Strela and Igla portable killers
In the local conflicts that flare up in the current world situation, man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) have become the major threat to airpower. Simple, cheap, easy-to-use, non-suppressible and effective, MANPADS are ideal for numerous "rouge countries" and terrorist organizations. The Soviet Union created a family of increasingly effective (and available) MANPADS systems. The Strela-2 (SA-7) and -3 (SA-14), Igla-1 (SA-16), and Igla (SA-18) are much more easy to get than Western systems, while Igla is just as capable as the US Stinger. The Russian Igla-S (or Super Igla) currently under development is an extremely deadly weapon.



In the Beginning
In 1958, Soviet intelligence reported that the US had started work on a simple and light air-defense system that could be used by single soldier. The system, which was later known as Redeye, was based on a miniaturized infrared (IR)-guidance system that enabled the missile to home on the aircraft's heat without further interference from the launcher. The news led the USSR Ministers' Council (Soviet MC) to issue a decision in the summer of 1960 for the development and fielding of a similar system. In fact, two air-defense systems were authorized: the regimental-level, self-propelled Strela-1 and the battalion-level, man-portable Strela-2 (Strela is the Russian word for arrow). The latter system, known under the designation 9K32, was to be designed by the CKB GKOT design bureau in Kolomna near Moscow, soon to be renamed KBM Kolomna.

The designers' work had been much simplified by the fact that Soviet intelligence had delivered a detailed technical description of the Redeye system. While Strela-2 was not a copy of the US system, some technical solutions and the general concept owed a dept to the Redeye. The IR-guidance system was designed by the OKB-357 design bureau in Leningrad. The seeker build on earlier achievments reached in the designs of the K-13 (AA-2) and K8MT (AA-3) air-to-air missiles. The biggest difficulties encountered were with the design of the small, lightweight gyro platform. Finally, the original US solution was copied. This consisted of placing a parabolic, IR mirror on a gimbal that was stabilized by a small gyro with three degress of freedom. The assembly did not require a separate gyro platform, as commonly used in air-to-air missiles, and helped hold the weight of the IR-guidance system down to only 1.2 kg.

The 9M32 missile of the 9K32 Strela-2 system (in Soviet/Russian nomeclature, "M" is generally the missile designation and "K" denotes the complete system) had a diameter of only 72mm. The missile had weight of 9.15 kg and, the whole system weighed 14.5 kg in the launching tube. The disposable container was designated 9P54, and a loaded missile had a shelf life of ten years. It was attached to the 9P53 grip-stock launching mechanism, which included the electronics block, a mechanical-trigger block, a battery, and some other equipment.

A solid-fuel rocket engine that used a special rapidly burning fuel accelerated the missile to a speed of 430-450 m/s. It was controlled by small, folded forward control surfaces spring-loaded to deploy when the missile left the launcher. Each individual fin only moved in a single direction, so to execute a turn the missile rotated to the appropriate position for the control surfaces to work. A proportional navigation method was used in missile control. The small 1.17-kg warhead could destroy a target only on a of direct hit. However, since the system was designed for chase attack, the most probable hit-point was the aircraft's engine - it's Achilles heel. Therefore, such a small warhead was considered enough. As it was later proved, the designers were wrong. There were other factors that limited the Strela-2's combat effectiveness. It could only engage a target moving at an altitude of between 50-1,500 meters, at speeds below 220 m/s (790 km/h or 425 knots), and that was not maneuvering in excess of 3.5 g. But this was just a beginning.



Concepts and Early Operations
After visual spotting a target, the Strela-2 operator put the system in the launch position (on his shoulder) and turned the power on. The system's reaction time from power on was about five seconds. Then the operator aimed the launcher at the target so the missile's seeker could acquire it. After the missile locked onto the target, a sound and light signal informed the operator. Subsequently, he pushed the trigger to half-position, enabling the gyro to measure the track data. When the missile was ready for launch, the operator was informed by another sound and light signal. He then pushed the trigger fully, and the missile took off from the launcher, ejected to a safe distance by a special charge. When the missile reached a velocity 30 m/s, the sustainer was automatically ignited, and the warhead was armed. In flight, the missile rotated at 900 rpm. An impact fuze detonated the warhead. If the missile missed the target, it self-destructed after 11-14 seconds.

A Strela-2 team consisted of an operator and two assistants. They carried a total of five 9P54 containers with missiles and a single 9P53 grip-stock launching mechanism. They also had a few spare batteries, since each one only had enough of a charge for 30-40 seconds, which sometimes was not enough to complete a single engagement sequence! Over time, the team was provided with a light radio set so that it could be informed about approaching targets by the regiment's air-defense chief.

For tactical employment in full- scale conflicts, the weapon was to fill a double role. First of all, every first echelon unit of battalion level had a platoon of Strela-2 systems. Though the engagement zones of the system did not overlap in cases of fast-moving aircraft, there was a great chance that a given enemy strike package would be fired at and suffer some losses. This added to multi-layer threat that was firmly established by longer-range missile systems (see "Russia's Roving SAMs,"JED , July 2002). In the rear areas, all the important sites and objects had their own close-range defenses, consisting of Strela-2 sections or platoons. Among such objects were command posts, SAM sites, radar posts, river crossings, major logistic installations, etc. Those systems were authorized to fire only in case of a direct threat to the protected installations. MANPADS were not able nor intended to fully protect the object themselves, but they enhanced the overall air-defense effectiveness by causing more losses to the enemy. It also became more dangerous when only a few attack passes were involved. In such cases, the strike package could suffer unacceptable losses.

Launches of experimental (unguided) missiles started in late 1962. Guided launches of developed missiles started in late 1965. Of the 125 guided launches conducted through May 1966, 33 were failures, with 90% of these due to IR-guidance malfunctions. It wasn't until January 1968 that the 9K32 system was officially accepted in to Soviet service. Mass production of the system started immediately at the VA Degtaryev Plant in Kovrov, while the grip-stocks were produced by the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant. The same production factories remain in operation today. The Strela-2 appeared too late to see action in the 1967 Six Day War, although Strela-2s were delivered to Vietnam, where they were used in combat as early as 1968.

The first combat experiences quickly proved that the system was very far from ideal. Even when fired within the strictly limited engagement envelope, the hit probability was low (0.19-0.25). Furthermore, it turned out that a hit did not necessarily mean a kill. Many times an aircraft hit by a Strela-2 was damaged but managed to make it back to home base and, after repair, was again in action. To address these serious shortcomings, in September 1968, the Soviet MC decided on the development of two improved systems: an intermediate model called the 9K32M Strela-2M and a significantly improved model called the 9K34 Strela-3. The 9K32M was developed very quickly, and its trials were conducted between October 1969 and February 1970. In mid-1970, it was accepted into service and immediately replaced the 9K32 on production lines.

The 9M32M missile had a modernized guidance system that added the capability of engaging targets head-on, but only when they were moving slower than 150 m/s (540 km/h or 290 knots). Practically, only slow transport aircraft and helicopters could be attacked from the front hemisphere. Moreover, the tail-shot engagement performance was improved so that a target could be moving up to 260 m/s (940 km/h or 505 knots). The engagement range increased to 4.2 km, and the target-altitude limits expanded to 50-2,300 meters (for helicopters and transport aircraft, or slow moving targets generally speaking; the ceiling was only about 1,500 m for fast movers). The Strela-2M was more sensitive, with simple ground-clutter discrimination and moving-target selection to improve the resistance against decoy flares.

The grip-stock launching mechanism was modernized to the 9P58 version. Although it was much more automated, making the engagement sequence simpler, it was also incompatible with older missile tubes. Soon, the Strela-2M became the standard production version, and it was widely exported to numerous countries in great numbers. Export customers for Strela-2 and Strela-2M include Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Benin, Bulgaria, Burkina-Faso, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, the (East) German Democratic Republic, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Laos, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, North Korea, Peru, Poland, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Vietnam (North), Yugoslavia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Actually, the Strela-2M was much more popular than the subsequent "ultimate" Strela-3, which was quickly replaced by a second-generation MANPADS system, the Igla.

The 9K34 Strela-3 system passed state trials between November 1972 and May 1973 and was officially accepted into Soviet service in January 1974. A new 9M36 missile was introduced with the system, sealed in a 9P59 launch container. The missile received a totally new IR seeker with an effective cooling system, thus doubling its sensitivity. The new seeker worked on 3-5 ľm wavelength, as opposed to 2-3 ľm for the previous system. The seeker and its cooling system were heavier and increased overall missile weight from 9.15 to 10.3 kg. The missile speed decreased from 430 to 400 m/s, and the maximum range was also slightly less at 4.1 km (2.5 km for head-on engagements). But due to the more sensitive seeker, the target speed could be 260 m/s for approaching targets and 310 m/s (1,115 km/h or 600 knots) for tail-on engagements. This enabled the Strela-3 to engage jet aircraft in a head-on mode. Also, the altitude limits widened to 30-3,000 m.

To enhance the lethality of the missile, a new 1.8-kg warhead was introduced. Like the Strela-2 and -2M, it only had an impact fuze. The modernized 9P58M grip-stock launching mechanism had an automatic system that blocked launch when the target was outside of the calculated envelope. The system also had a better battery that could last for 1.5 minutes. The grip-stock launching mechanism had a characteristic ball-shaped coolant tank, as opposed to the more cylindrical tank of the Strela-2 series.

As it was found during trials, the new missile had better all-weather and even night-engagement capabilities. The kill probability increased from 0.25 (for the Strela-2M) to 0.32, featured better resistance to countermeasures haze, snow, and rain - all the while being simpler to use. Despite its qualities, Strela-3 did not find the widespread acceptance of Strela-2M. The reason was that many countries had already met their requirements for MANPADS, and the improvements found on Strela-3 did not justify the purchase of the replacement system.



Lethal Injection
Even before the Strela-3 entered service, it was found that a much more capable system was needed to deal with the increasing threat posed by ever-more-maneuverable tactical aircraft equipped with IR decoys. The fact that many new jet fighters had two engines made them even more survivable. Thus the "ultimate" Strela-3 system actually became the "interim" solution itself.

The great improvement in combat effectiveness was made possible in large part by the progress in electronics and light, solid-fuel rockets. Such technological progress enabled MANPADS designers to meet increased tactical requirements, providing troops with totally new capabilities. First all, the increased engagement envelope resulted in overlapping missile- engagement zones between deployed battalions, and thus another interlocking layer was added to the existing air-defense network. There was no route enemy strike packages could take towards Soviet troops (at least in the main directions of operations) where they would not be engaged by MANPADS. The other tactical advantage, expecially important in the point defense of objects and sites, was that attacking aircraft could be engaged while approaching to the target, before executing a strike against it.

The generational improvement of existing characteristics was of equal importance. First of all, the new seeker was to be much more resistant to jamming from electronic countermeasures and natural sources. The kill probability was also increased radically. And - as a result of combat experience - an identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) system was to be introduced in order to eliminate fratricide. Great emphasis was put on the effectiveness against hovering helicopters, since combat helicopters became one of the main threats to Soviet land forces. According to the decision of the Soviet MC made in February 1971, the new system was to be designated 9K38 Igla (needle) and was to use a brand-new 9M39 missile with newly designed seeker, warhead, rocket motor, and guidance and control section. The development of the system was undertaken by KBM Kolomna, while the seeker was to be developed by Leningrad's LOMO MOP.

The only way that a fast- approaching target could be engaged by a MANPADS was if the fire section received early warning about its basic data (direction, speed, and altitude). Voice warning, provided from the regimental level over radio, was often too little, too late to be useful. Therefore a light, portable C2 system was to be developed separately to increase combat effectiveness. The system, called the 1L15-1, would provide air information in the area of 25x25 km. The information in the form of analog input from a regimental PU-12 (PU-12M) air-defense C2 post was passed by a R-147 radio set.

The task of developing such systems proved to be much too ambitious for the time, and in 1978 the system - which was initially scheduled for trials in late 1973 - was still far from being ready. Actually, all the elements had been developed by 1978, except for one: the seeker. In light of this, the Soviet MC issued an order to develop an interim system, called Igla-1, in May 1978. It was to be a hybrid of the new missile and associated equipment with the existing seeker from a Strela-3 missile. The system, designated 9K310, was to use the "interim" 9M313 missile sealed in a 9P322 composite container. The new grip-stock launching mechanism was designated 9P519 and integrated with the 1L14 IFF system, blocking the launch in a case of a positive IFF answer from an aircraft. The block could be disengaged manually.

The Igla-1 system passed state trials and was accepted into service in March 1981. Production started at the Kovrovskoy Plant, while grip-stock's and the 1L15-1 C2 system were produced by the Izhevskiy Mechanical Plant. Contrary to common belief, the Igla-1's seeker was not in fact identical with the one used in the Strela-3. The former had an improved guidance subsystem that directed the missile more accurately towards the calculated intercept point, rather than using the "typical" proportional navigation method. However this demanded different algorithms for head-on and tail-chase engagements. Two separate software packages were installed, and the operator had a select switch for HEAD-ON/CHASE.

Also, a special aerodynamic device was added to the outside of the seeker to decrease air resistance and enhance the seeker cooling by reducing aerodynamic heating. In fact, the name Igla (needle) was derived from this device. Both the Igla-1 and Igla missiles use such aerodynamic devices, and the difference is the most obvious way to distinguish one from the other. The Igla can be identified by its aerospike protruding from the centerline of the seeker dome, whereas the Igla-1 missile has a cone mounted on a tripod to achieve the same effect.

There were changes also with the warhead. It had weight of 1.27 kg but had higher explosive power and generated more and bigger fragments. Additionally, the fuze detonated the remaining rocket fuel (0.6 to 1.5 kg), together with warhead, to enhance the explosion effect. A proximity fuze was also added to the impact one. The aerodynamic controls were improved, and the fins folded against the side of the missile body rather than being spring loaded inside to leave more volume inside the body. A new rocket motor gave the missile a velocity of 570 m/s, much greater than the Strela-2/3.

Generally, the engagement zone was increased in comparison with previous systems. The Igla-1's maximum range was 5.2 km in a tail-chase and 3 km in head-on engagements. The target altitude could be between 10 and 2,500 meters. The target speed limits were 320 m/s in head-on and 360 m/s (1,300 km/h or 700 knots) in chase.

Like the Strela-2M, the Igla-1 was to be the interim solution, but it was actually produced longer and remained in production even after the introduction of the "ultimate" Igla. The Igla-1 served as a downgraded export variant of the system and, as such, was delivered to many customers who were not cleared for the Igla. The typical export version is called Igla-1E. It usually has an older IFF system, but the more modern one could be also installed for some selected customers. The Igla-1M export version totally lacked IFF. According to some sources, the export versions also lack the fuel-remnants- detonation device. Among Igla-1E recipients were Angola, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia (now the system is used by both the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Finland (known locally as "Type 86"), Hungary, Iraq, North Korea, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yugoslavia, and the UAE.

Iraq successfully used Igla-1s during Desert Storm in 1991, where they were responsible for the shoot-down of an AC-130H on January 31; a F-16 on February 27; a UH-60 helicopter on February 27; (according to Russian sources) four of the five AV-8B Harriers lost on January 28 and February 9, 23, 25, and 27; and at least one Tornado on January 18. It is possible that more aircraft among those lost in the operations were downed by Igla-1 missiles. The last known Igla kill outside Russia was a US F-16C Block 40, shot down on May 2, 1999, over Kosovo. It is not sure which version (Igla or Igla-1) was used in this engagement. However, it is worth noting that the F-16 went down despite being equipped with the AN/ALE-40 countermeasures dispenser.



Scary Good
Eventually, all the problems were resolved, and the 9K38 Igla system was officially accepted into Soviet service in September 1983. With this system, the final version of the IR seeker was introduced. It was actually a dual-mode IR/UV seeker to increase the system's ECM resistance. The new seeker analyzed the IR/UV signals in pulse rather than continuous mode, which enables introduction of advanced signal processing. Additionally, photo elements placed around the main gimbal enable the seeker to detect IR emmissions close to the target and analyze them. All the new features were aimed at countering the American AN/ALQ-144 active IR jammer and large-caliber flares. The seeker's 80-degree field of view enabled easy target acquisition.

The missile with the new seeker is designated 9M39, and is sealed in the composite (fiberglass) 9P39 launch tube. It is used in conjunction with the same 9P519 grip-stock launch mechanism as the Igla-1, enabling it to fire either 9M39 Igla or 9M313 Igla-1 missiles. The reaction time is only 5 seconds, while missile-reloading time is 13 seconds. The Igla is an extremely effective system. The seeker has great ECM resistance and natural jamming- discrimination capabilities. The only shortcoming is its altitude characteristics. The maximum altitude of target interception is 3,500 m. However, this figure refers to slow-moving targets. For fast-moving targets (with speeds over 250 m/s), the maximum engagement altitude is 1,500 m (head-on) or 1,800 m (tail-chase), but the performance is similar to the US Stinger.

Russia recently completed trials of the new version, officially called Igla-S. It was developed by KBM Mashynostroeniya (Moscow, Russia). The most interesting feature of the new variant is the use of a much improved missile, called 9M342, that possesses state-of-the-art, fully digital, solid-state electronics. Since the new electronics blocks are much lighter, it was possible to introduce a bigger (2.5 kg) warhead with the metal rods to increase lethality and directional-laser proximity fuze. The fuze detonates the warhead at a distance of five meters below the target, and the explosive energy and rods are directed toward the target. As in the previous model, the remaining fuel is also ignited to enhance the killing power.

The digital electronics allowed the use of a more modern proportional navigation method in the missile guidance instead of line-of-sight guidance, which greatly increases the kill probability, especially against agile, maneuvering targets. The range of the Igla-S is increased to 6,000 m, approaching the range of early SHORAD systems, such as Roland 2. At the same time, the Igla-S is offered with a 9S520 night-vision and C2 system, enabling not only night operations but also integration of Igla systems into C4I systems, such as the 9S80 Sborka, 9S737 Ranzhir, or the older 9S482 (PU-12).

The export of Igla systems has been very limited. Known export customers include Brasil, Yugoslavia, and recently India. It is also used by some ex-Soviet republics (Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakchstan, etc.).

The Igla is now the standard Russian Army MANPADS system. Every front-line battalion has an Igla platoon of three sections. An Igla platoon is mounted on BMP-2/BMP-3 infantry combat vehicles or BTR-80 APCs or on light cross-country trucks. At regimental level and higher, a section of Igla systems is attached to every air-defense battery and to every radar post. Command posts are usually defended by SHORAD batteries, each with their own Igla sections attached. In such a system, the density of Iglas in ground forces is very high.

Furthermore, the Igla is not simply a weapon of opportunity. Sections equipped with the special 1L110 display panel, which looks like a field notebook computer, and a connection to the higher, integrated land-forces air-defense system, engagements by Igla units can be planned on a higher level of command and can be combined with engagements by other air-defense assets. So it happens that a group of enemy aircraft maneuvering to avoid air-defense fires can be pushed onto a deadly carpet of "needles," with operators aware and ready.

But the biggest and most real threat Igla presents now is to Russian forces. In the latter half of 2002 alone, Chechnya's rebel forces have shot down at least six Russian helicopters: a Mi-26 on August 19; two Mi-24s on August 31 and September 26; and three Mi-8s on October 17 and 29 and November 3. While the cause in each case is not confirmed, there is suspicion that in most cases the helicopters became Igla victims. Russian Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters are usually equipped with exhaust suppression systems to reduce their IR signature, L-144 active IR jammers, and 26mm ASO-2V flares dispensers. But even all of these countermeasures together are unable to suppress the Igla.

Lokos
08-26-2005, 09:43 AM
Excellent article. Thanks for posting it.

Lokos

zealot
08-26-2005, 10:28 AM
Excellent article. Thanks for posting it.

Lokos

X2

JoaMei
08-26-2005, 10:34 AM
Especcialy because it shows the real capabillities of Manpads in general and not the best case ranges.

Jedburgh
08-26-2005, 11:06 AM
Big Issue, Big Problem? MANPADs (http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/Yearbook%202004/03%20MANPADS.pdf)

Protecting Airliners from Terrorist Missiles (http://www.usembassy.it/pdf/other/RL31741.pdf)

Further Improvements Needed in US Efforts to Counter Threats from MANPADs (http://www.fas.org/asmp/resources/govern/GAO_04_519.pdf)

COMMERCIAL AVIATION MANPADS DEFENSE ACT OF 2004 (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_reports&docid=f:hr565p1.108.pdf)

Kingswat
08-26-2005, 11:42 AM
Great post, thanks

Manpads
08-29-2005, 09:13 AM
Good article - better than nothing, but it seems that the original is here:
http://pvo.guns.ru/russia/index33.htm

ПЗРК 9К32 "Стрела-2" (SA-7 Grail)
Методика подготовки стрелков-зенитчиков, вооруженных переносным зенитным ракетным комплексом ПЗРК "Стрела-2"
ПЗРК 9К34 "Стрела-3" (SA-14 Gremlin)
ПЗРК 9К310 "Игла-1" (SA-16 Gimlet)
ПЗРК 9К38 "Игла" (SA-18 Groose)
ПЗРК "Игла-С"

You can find also fresh pictures of Igla-S.
The true history of russian manpads is different than described above.

joshfox0
08-29-2005, 10:05 AM
lol rouge countrys.
damned harlets of countrys standing out on street corners.

Xtoisè
08-29-2005, 10:36 AM
Good article - better than nothing, but it seems that the original is here:
http://pvo.guns.ru/russia/index33.htm

ПЗРК 9К32 "Стрела-2" (SA-7 Grail)
Методика подготовки стрелков-зенитчиков, вооруженных переносным зенитным ракетным комплексом ПЗРК "Стрела-2"
ПЗРК 9К34 "Стрела-3" (SA-14 Gremlin)
ПЗРК 9К310 "Игла-1" (SA-16 Gimlet)
ПЗРК 9К38 "Игла" (SA-18 Groose)
ПЗРК "Игла-С"

You can find also fresh pictures of Igla-S.
The true history of russian manpads is different than described above.

I havent visited pvo.gun.ru in a while. They have best MAKS-2005 photos.

Teufel_
08-29-2005, 12:53 PM
thanks for the article

Tiki
08-29-2005, 01:57 PM
nice article

LazerLordz
08-29-2005, 03:00 PM
Singapore Airlines recently announced their decision to e the first Asian airline to be fitted with anti-missile devices.

Considering the fact that we operate Iglas might put us in an advantage because we would be much more able to develop an effective counter MANPADs system.

Bluezoo
08-29-2005, 04:17 PM
Good read. Dangerous if it gets into the hands of the wrong people. :|

NicNZ
08-29-2005, 05:19 PM
Great article, thank you very much.

Edit: Cant help but feel that the article has one of the worst titles in the world. Not to mention the use of abstract sub headings. Mmf.

Michael RVR
08-29-2005, 07:51 PM
Great read, thanks :)