The 9K35M STRELA-10M (S-10M) surface-to-air missile system is intended to defend troops from enemy air attacks in all sorts of combat activities. Its NATO code name is SA-13 GOPHER.
The combat assets of the system consist of the 9A34 and 9A35 combat vehicles and 9M37 anti-aircraft missiles. Technological assets include a test station, technological maintenance equipment, operator´s simulator, a dummy missile (a weight equivalent of the real missile), a training missile, and an operator´s checking device. The MT-LB light armoured tracked vehicle provides the entire system with excellent cross-country capabilities.
The combat vehicles have been gradually modernised; the upgrade consists in installation of a new command workplace (PVK-10M). The PVK-10M provides for reception and processing of data files and information on air situation. It enables turning of the launcher against the selected target according to data sent from a command post or directly from the radar. The PVK-10M software also provides for the control of individual devices of the combat vehicle; moreover, it enables to use the system in a simulator regime and it provides for the operation of the 9F75 control device which, as a result, doesn´t have to be awkwardly connected to the vehicle during combat fire. To ensure a credible identification of air targets, the original transponder system KREMNYJ-2 used in S-10M vehicles is being substituted by the MARK XII.
The 9M37 missile with an infrared guidance unit and a solid propellant engine enables maximum speed of Mach 2 and it is capable of hitting a target flying at up to Mach 1.25. The missile uses a 6 kg HE-fragmentation core warhead. A container is used for safe storage and transportation of the missile, its connection to the launcher, aiming and launching. Some combat vehicles are fitted with a 9S16 radio direction finder for air target acquisition. The range of detection provides for a sufficient set-up time for turning the combat vehicle´s turret and launcher towards the target.
The SA-13 GOPHER [ZRK-BD Strela-10] is a short-range, low altitude SAM system. The SA-13 missile (9M37) is 2.2 m long, 0.12 m in diameter with a 0.4 m wingspan and has a maximum speed of Mach 2. It carries a 5 kg HE warhead and is fitted with either an improved passive lead sulfide all-aspect infra-red seeker unit, or a cryogenically cooled passive all-aspect infra-red seeker unit. The estimated minimum range of the SA-13 is 500 meters and the maximum effective range of 5000 meters with altitude engagement limits of 10 to 3500 meters.
The SA-13 Strela-10M3 variant is designed to defend troops on the march from low level aircraft and helicopters, precision-guided munitions and reconnaissance RPVs. The major change is the adoption of a dual mode guidance system for the missile seeker - optical 'photo-contrast' and dual band passive IR. The 9M333 missile weighs 42 kg at launch and when in its container-launcher the box-like canister has a total mass of 74 kg. Target acquisition range using the optical 'photo-contrast' channel is between 2000-8000 meters while for the IR channel it is between 2300-5300 meters. Altitude engagement limits are from 10 meter up to 3500 meters at a maximum range of 5000 meters. Average missile speed is 550 m/s. The HE-fragmentation rod warhead weighs 5 kg in total (including 2.6 kg of HE) and uses both contact and active laser proximity fusing systems. The actuation radius of the proximity fuse is up to 4 meters. The dual mode passive optical 'photo-contrast/IR seeker ensures good IR decoy counter-countermeasures discrimination capability and optimum use of the system against extremely low altitude targets and in adverse weather conditions.
The SA-13 incorporates the range-only HAT BOX radar which provides the operator the targets range to the system to prevent wastage of missiles outside the effective range of the system. The HAT BOX circular parabolic radar antenna is located between the two pairs of missile canisters.
There are two versions of the SA-13 transporter erector launcher and radar (TELAR). The TELAR-1 carries four FLAT BOX B passive radar detection antenna units, one on either corner of the vehicle's rear deck, one facing aft and one between the driver's vision ports at the front, whereas the TELAR-2, which is used by the SA-13 battery commander, has none. The SA-13 TELAR is a modified MT-LB amphibious armored tracked vehicle with the machine-gun turret removed. The launcher pedestal mounted to the rear of center of the vehicle is 360º traversable. It incorporates the operators position behind a large, rectangular window at its base.
Normally the TELAR carries four ready to fire SA-13 missile container-launchers and eight reloads in the cargo compartment but it can also carry either SA-9 GASKIN container-launcher boxes in their place or a mixture of the two. This enables the the cheaper SA-9 (Strela-1) to be used against the easier targets and the more expensive and sophisticated SA-13 (Strela-10) against the difficult targets. The missile mix also allows a choice of infra-red (IR) seeker types on the missiles for use against extremely low altitude targets and in adverse weather.
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