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SA-8 GECKO / 9K33 Osa

The self-propelled anti-aircraft integrated system 9K33 "Osa" was designed for air defense of combat formation of mechanized infantry division during different kinds of combat and on the march. The main characteristic feature of the integrated system is that all its components - target direction radar, communication means, navigation means and means of tie up on the terrain, computers, control systems and power supply souse are accommodated in one or the same transporter, which allows to detect airborne targets on moving and destroy then at short time stops. The targets can suddenly appear from any direction.

The integrated system 9K33 "Osa" consists of combat vehicle and transporter-loader with missiles, control and servicing means, deployed on trucks BM. 9K33B is deployed on amphibious transporter BAZ-5937. Its components are target detection radar, target following radar, missile guiding racks with four 9M33 and other aforementioned system. The transporter-loader is deployed on the alike transporter and can transport and put into position eight anti-aircraft missile systems.

The SA-8 GECKO is a single-stage, solid-fuel, short-range, low-altitude, all-weather SAM system. The first production version of this system was identified as SA-8a, which only had 4 launcher rails and exposed missiles. The SA-8b typically has two BAZ-5937 resupply/transloader vehicles, carrying 18 missiles each (boxed in sets of three) that supports a battery of four TELARs. A target can be brought under fire both with one missile as well as a volley of two missiles. This system is also air transportable.

The SA-8a (GECKO Mod 0) high acceleration missile (Factory Index number 9M33) has a launch weight of about 130 kg. Maximum speed is Mach 2.4, minimum altitude is 25 meters, maximum effective altitude 5000 meters. The minimum range is 1500 meters and the maximum range 12000 meters.

The SA-8b or GECKO Mod 1, introduced in 1980, is mounted in a rectangular launch box and incorporates improved guidance and higher speed providing an increased maximum range of 15000 meters. The warhead of both missiles is fitted with proximity and contact fuses, and the 19 kilogram warhead's lethal radius at low altitude is about 5 meters. The system reload time is five minutes, and combat deployment time is four minutes with system reaction 26 seconds.

The combat system consists of a combat vehicle and anti-aircraft guided missiles. The combat vehicle includes electronic devices mounted on a rotational construction and inside a BAZ 5937 vehicle. The missiles are installed in containers for safe storage and transportation. The combat vehicle is an independent mobile unit with a high cross-country capability. It enables the crew to conduct combat activities and engage targets both from a stationary firing position and on the move or during short breaks. The vehicle is amphibious; water obstacles can be crossed by swimming.

Technological assets of the 9K33M3 Osa-AKM anti-aircraft system consist of a missile transloader, an automatic test station for the missiles, technological maintenance equipment, rectification station and other installations to provide for the activities, repairs and technological maintenance of the combat vehicles chassis and superstructures.

The LAND ROLL conical-scan fire control radar operates in the H-band with a 360 travers, with a maximum range of 35 kilometers and an effective range of around 30 kilometers against a typical target. LAND ROLL also has a short-range target acquisition capability. The radar, at the rear of a one-man gunner-radar operator position, folds back 90 to reduce the overall height of the vehicle for air transport and high speed road travel. The pulsed-mode tracking radar operates in the J band with a range of 20 to 25 kilometers. The two I-band guidance radars make it possible to launch two missiles at the same target, each one responding to a different frequency to frustrate ECM.

Mounted on top of each missile guidance radar is an low light level TV optical assist system for target tracking in low visibility and heavy ECM.

The SA-8 transporter erector launcher and radar (TELAR) vehicle is a six-wheeled design designated BAZ-5937. Four command-guided missiles are carried ready to launch, two either side. The driver's compartment at the front of the vehicle has accommodation for two, the driver and commander, with access via a hatch in the roof. The engine is at the very rear, and the vehicle is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by two water jets at the rear of the hull. The vehicle is fitted with an air filtration and overpressure NBC system together with IR systems for the commander and driver.

There are at least three major families of SA-8 launch vehicles. The first, a pre-series prototype, had a very blunt nose. The standard production model has a sharper nose, and variants of this vehicle with feature minor changes in the detail of hull fittings. The SA-8b vehicle is basically similar to the SA-8a vehicle aside from the launcher which accommodates six missile canisters. Variants of the SA-8b launcher feature a reconfigured rear end, while some SA-8b TELs include an additional small radar antenna fitted above the surveillance radar associated with a newIFF system.

Each battery has two missile transloaders based on the same chassis with a long tarp-covered structure covering the cargo space and crane which slides to the rear when operating. A total of 18 reloads in boxed sets of three are transferred to the TELARs by the centrally-mounted hydraulic crane.

Regimental maintenance batteries include a single radar collimation vehicle using the same chassis. The collimation antenna lies on both sides of the vehicle and overhangs the rear during transit. In operation it is raised and mounted on each side of the hull directly behind the cab.



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