S-300PMU / SA-N-6 SA-10 GRUMBLE
The S-300PMU [SA-10 land-based, SA-N-6 naval version] surface-to-air missile system is able to engage a number of targets simultaneously, countering intensive aircraft raids at low-to-high altitude. The SA-10 offers significant advantages over older strategic surface-to-air missile systems, including multitarget handling and engagement characteristics, a capability against low altitude targets with small radar cross-sections such as cruise missiles, a capability against tactical ballistic missiles, and possibly a potential to intercept some types of strategic ballistic missiles.
The first SA-10 site became operational in 1980. Over 80 sites were operational by 1987, when work was progressing on at least another 20 sites. Nearly half of these sites were located near Moscow. This emphasis on Moscow as well as the deployment patterns noted for the other SA-10 sites suggested a first priority on terminal defense of command-and-control, military, and key industrial complexes. A program to replace all of the older strategic SAM systems with the SA-10, well under way by 1996, has been considered by experts to be one of the most successful reequipment programs of the post-Soviet armed forces.
This vertically launched missile uses a single-stage solid propellant rocket motor. It is normally armed with a 100 kg HE-fragmentation warhead with a proximity fuse, though a low yield tactical nuclear type is believed to be an alternative warhead option. The missile's vertical launch trajectory provides fastest available reaction time capability to counter targets approaching from any azimuth. Missile engagement altitude extend from 25 m up to about 30,000 m. The maximum engagement range is stated as at least 90000 m, though in practice it is probably greater.
The SA-10A launch complex consists of a missile battery which includes a battery command post and engagement control center, the large CLAM SHELL 3D continuous wave pulse Doppler target acquisition radar, the FLAP LID A I-band multi-function phased-array trailer-mounted engagement radar with digital beam steering in hardened sites, and up to 12 semi-trailer erector-launchers which mount four tubular missile container-launchers. The towing unit for the semi-trailer erector-launcher is the KrAZ-260V (6 x 6) tractor truck. The launchers are usually positioned on concrete pads with the trailers being leveled by the use of four hydraulic jacks. An S-300PMU Regiment comprises three such batteries and employs the BIG BIRD 4 meter tall F-band long-range, 3D surveillance and tracking radar at the Regimental command post for initial target detection.
In the mid-1980s design work on the mobile S-300PMU SA-10B GRUMBLE Mod 1 was completed. This version of the weapon is carried and vertically launched from a dedicated four-round capacity transporter-erector launcher vehicle based on the MAZ-7910 (8 x 8) truck chassis. The combined engagement radar and control station is mounted on the same chassis. The SA-10B mobile missile battery comprises the combined FLAP LID B engagement radar and engagement control/command post station mounted on a MAZ-7910 chassis, up to 12 TELs (SPU: mobile launcher unit), a trailer-mounted 36D6; CLAM SHELL 3D 360º scanning target designation radar, and a maintenance section. The SA-10B Regiment consists of three such batteries with an additional radar section and a number of TZM (transport-loader vehicles) MAZ-7910 transloaders for resupply purposes. The TEL carries a total of four sealed container-launcher cylinders, each of which is used for the storage, transport and launching of a missile. When traveling the launcher system is carried in the horizontal position but at the launch site is elevated to an angle of 90º.
The battery takes only five minutes to deploy once it comes to the halt. The vehicles have electronic inter-vehicle communications and data transmission links with elevatable pole-type antenna, and thus it does not require interconnecting vehicle cables. Each of the MAZ-7910 derivative vehicles has four hydraulic jacks positioned either side between the first/second and third/fourth road wheels which are lowered to the ground to provide a more stable and level environment.
Missile guidance is of the Track-Via-Missile (TVM) type with the FLAP LID guidance radar capable of engaging up to six targets simultaneously, with two missiles assigned per target to ensure a high kill probability. Maximum target velocity is stated as 4200 km/h with the battery capable of firing three missiles per second.
If the battery is employed in rugged terrain or forest then the engagement radar system can be mounted on a special trailer-mounted extendible 24.4 m high tower to improve radar coverage. The use of this extended-range radar for low level engagements increases the system's range to 43,200 m from the original 32,000 m. In its sealed container-launcher cylinder the missile is considered to be a round of ammunition and is said not to require any check-ups or adjustments for a period of 10 years.
In the early 1990s China imported 100-120 S-300 missile systems which are deployed aroung Bejing, and it has been suggested that China intends to obtain a license to produce them, with a designation variously reported as either HQ-10 or HQ-15. The first Chinese copy have been tested, but all the components of the first copy version were imported from Russia. The October 1999 parade celebrating the 50th anniversary of the People's Republic of China in Beijing featured a large number of truck towed quad-cannister systems associated with the SA-10.
Russia has delivered 15 batteries of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to China. Officials from the National Defense Sector said 23 October 2010 the deal was unprecedented both in terms of cost and quantity. The deal was said to be worth over $2 billion. The S-300 systems would be used to defend the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai against potential threats. The upgraded S-300 system is capable of hitting short range missiles and also fixed land targets.
Moscow-based political analyst Aleksandr Pikaev thinks China's purchase will not trigger tensions in the region. “Japan is purchasing the American Patriot system, and likely the Chinese think they need to have their own air defense and missile defense capabilities. I do not expect considerable negative reaction from the region, but certainly the United States would be concerned about that. It would require them to concentrate more offensive weapons on Chinese targets,” Pikaev told RT.
Since 1995 India had been negotiating with Russia regarding purchase of the S-300, in response to Pakistan's deployment of M-11 missiles from China. In 1995 Russian Defense Deputy Minister Kokoshin offered to sell S-300 missiles during his trip to India. Following this offer Indian officials started negotiations with the Russian manufacturers, and in August 1995 the Indian Defense Secretary Nambiar went to Russia to observe tests of the missiles near Moscow. The $1 billion purchase is said to include six S-300 systems, with each combat system consisting of 48 missiles. Reportedly in June 1996 27 S-300 missiles were delivered to India.
Cyprus signed an agreement with Rosvooruzhenie (Russian Armament) state arms-trade agency on 4 January 1996.
South Korea discussed possible purchase of the SA-10, prior to deciding in late 1999 to purchase the American Patriot PAC-3.
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