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9K37M1 BUK-1M/Buk-M1-2 / SA-11 GADFLY / SA-N-7 GADFLY

The SA-11 GADFLY is a medium-range, semi-active, radar-guided missile using solid-rocket propulsion that provides defense against high-performance aircraft and cruise missiles. The SA-N-7 GADFLY is the naval Version of the SA-11. Military air defense system 9K37 "Buk" (Beech) was intended to combat, under jamming conditions, aerodynamic targets flying at speeds up to 830 m / s, at medium and low altitudes, maneuvering with congestion to 10-12 units, at ranges up to 30 km, and Lance ballistic missiles.

Each SA-11 transporter erector launcher and radar (TELAR) was equipped with a 9S35 Fire Dome X-band multi-mode engagement radar under a radome on the front of the rotating launch platform, which provided tracking and CW illumination for the missile seekers. The radar, which has search, track and illuminator functions, can scan through a 120-degree arc, independent of the movement of the launch platform.

Rather than being reliant on one central radar for the whole system as in SA-6 Kub, each Buk transporter erector launcher (TEL) has its own fire control radar, moving from TEL to TELAR. This new design departed fundamentally from the 2K12 / SA-6 Gainful in system configuration, and removed the bottleneck in the firing rate of the 2K12 / SA-6A Gainful, in which each TEL depended on the tracking and illumination provided by the 1S91 Straight Flush.

Optimally it should be fired as a whole “kompleks” with the associated vehicles, but a single TELAR (whish has the target engagement radar incorporated onto it) is capable of limited autonomous operations. It would have difficulty against a high speed fast maneuvering target, but against an airliner flying a straight line at subsonic speed, it might have less of a problem problem.

Bill Sweetman writes that "... the Soviet military and the designers installed a set of backup modes that would permit the Telars to detect and attack targets autonomously, in the event the Snow Drift was shut down or destroyed by NATO’s rapidly improving anti-radar missiles. The autonomous modes are intended for last-ditch use by the Telar operators, not the more highly trained crews in the battery command vehicle. According to an experienced analyst of Russian-developed radar, the automatic radar modes display targets within range. The operator can then command the system to lock up the target, illuminate and shoot. Critically, these backup modes also bypass two safety features built into the 9S18M Snow Drift radar: a full-function identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system and non-cooperative target recognition (NCTR) modes."

The BUK-M1 surface-to-air medium-range missile system is designed to engage state-of-the art and perspective strategic and theatre-range aircraft, cruise missiles, helicopters and other aerodynamic targets within the whole range of their operation in intensive clutter and jamming environment, and to fight against LANCE-type theatre ballistic missiles, HARM anti-radar missiles, other high precision elements of air- and land-based weapons, and to engage surface- and land-based radar targets. Possessing high manoeurability and multi-purpose capabilities, this surface-to-air missile system ensures air defence of the troops, military installations, major administrative, industrial centers and other targets.

On 13 May 2015 Radio Free Europe reported that more and more evidence was emerging that seemed to document a large Russian military convoy that traveled to eastern Ukraine in June 2014 and brought Buk antiaircraft systems to Russia-backed separatists fighting against Kyiv. On 13 May 2015, a group of pro-Ukrainian citizen activists published a report purportedly identifying a Russian soldier named Dmitry Zubov who was a driver in that convoy and showing photographs of a Buk system with the identifying number 232 apparently being escorted across Russia to Ukraine.

A few weeks later -- on July 17, 2014 -- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine's Donetsk region. All 298 people on board were killed. Although the investigation into the MH17 downing is ongoing, many believe the aircraft was shot down by the separatists using a Russian-provided Buk system.

Chapter Eight of a report based on research by slain Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov documenting Russia's alleged involvement in the conflict in Ukraine argues that MH17 was shot down by separatists using a Buk antiaircraft system.

9K37M1 BUK-1M / SA-11 GADFLY - Capabilities

The SA-11 represents a considerable improvement over the earlier SA-6 GAINFUL system, and can engage six separate targets simultaneously, rather than the single target capability of the SA-6. Single-shot kill probability are claimed to be 60-90% against aircraft, 30-70% against helicopters, and 40% against cruise missiles, a significant improvement over the SA-6. The system is more mobile, taking only about 5 minutes to move from road march to engagement. The system also offers significantly greater resistance to ECM than previous systems. The SA-11 system is comprised of the TELAR (9A310M1), Loader/Launcher (9A39M1), SNOW DRIFT Surveillance Radar (9S18M1), and Command and Control vehicle (9S470M1).

The Mach 3 semi-active homing 9M28M1 missile has a maximum slant range of 28 km and a minimum range of 3 km. It is capable of engaging targets between altitudes of 30 and 14000 m and can sustain 23 g maneuvers. The solid fuel missile is 5.6 meters long with a diameter is 0.4 m and a wing span is 1.2 m. The launch weight is 650 kg, which includes a 70 kg HE warhead with a 17 meter lethal radius.

The SNOW DRIFT warning and acquisition radar provides target height, bearing and range data. The SNOW DRIFT receives early warning from brigade-level surveillance radars such as the SPOON REST. The SNOW DRIFT has a detection range of 85 km against high-flying targets, 35 km against targets at an altitude of 100 meters, and 23 km against targets flying nap-of-the-earth (NOE). The radar's tracking range extending from 70 km for high-flying targets to 20 km for NOE targets. Tracking of helicopters hovering at 30 m can be made as far as 10 km.

Once a target is identified it is turned over to an TELAR via a data link for tracking and attack. The H/I-band FIRE DOME monopulse guidance and tracking engagement radar has an effective guidance range of 3-32 km and an altitude envelope 15 meters to 22 km, and can engage approaching targets moving at a maximum of 3000 km/h (1860 mph). The radar guides as many as three missiles against a single target.

The SA-11 GADFLY system also can be fitted with a supplementary electro-optical sighting system for use in a severe jamming environment, which would overwhelm the normal semi-active radar homing system -- in which case the missile uses radio-command guidance.

The TELAR, based on the GM-569 tracked chassis, carries four ready to fire missiles on a turntable that can traverse a full 360º and FIRE DOME radar. The tracked Surveillance Radar vehicle uses the same chassis and carries the SNOW DRIFT radar. The Command and Control vehicle works in conjunction with the SNOW DRIFT radar. The Loader/Launcher vehicle (LLV) resembles the normal TELAR, but replaces the FIRE DOME fire control radar with a hydraulic crane for reloading 9M38 missiles. The LLV can load itself in rear areas from the 9T229 transporter in 15 minutes, and take those missiles to reload the TELAR in about 13 minutes. The LLV can also launch missiles, though it requires radar guidance from a nearby TELAR.

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