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S-125 SA-3 GOA

The S-125 NEVA-M (SA-3 GOA) is a surface-to-air anti-aircraft short-range system designed for destruction of aircraft, cruise missiles, assault helicopters and other air targets at ground, low and medium altitudes. The development of air weapon systems and the need for the protection of the most important objects in the territory of the country required the development of the mobile systems of rocket weapon, capable of resisting massed attacks of aviation and cruise missiles, including at the maximally low altitudes of their combat employment. Solution of the problems indicated was achieved/reached during the creation of zenith rocket systems S-75 and S-125, which were developed between 1957 and 1961 under design project leader A.A. Raspletin's management.

The S-125 NEVA-M system was developed by Lavochkin and Grushkin OKB and produced by Fakel MKB. It was first introduced into operational service in 1961. Its type and combat capabilities make it comparable with the American MIM-23 HAWK. The last and most modern version is designated as S-125 NEVA-M. The system is characterised by a very good manageability and high speed of the missiles which achieves up to M = 3.5, permitting destruction of even highly manoeuvring air targets. The system includes P-15M (SQUAT EYE) search radars, PRV-11 radar altimeter and LOW BLOW guidance radar. The system is capable of tracking 6 targets at a time and guiding two missiles at the same time. A built-in TV camera with 25 km range increases its EW resistance.

The S-125 SA-3 GOA medium altitude surface-to-air missile system uses a two-stage, solid-fuel missile built by the Isayev OKB. The S-125 missile includes a large 2.6 second burn-time solid propellant booster with rectangular fins that rotate through 90 at launch. The smaller main stage has an 18.7 second burn-time solid propellant sustainer motor, and has four aft fixed fins and four forward movable control. Following booster jettison the missile is tracked by the system's radar with guidance signals sent to an antenna on the rear fins.

US intelligence imagery at Kapustin Yar in late 1959 revealed two probable R&D sites, each of which consisted of four launch pads. A possible launcher on one of the pads held two missile-like objects about 20 feet long. US intelligence subsequntly identified more than 35 sites of this type in the USSR between late 1961 and 1964, usually near SA-1 or SA-2 sites. The initial SA-3A GOA Mod 0, deployed in 1961, includes command guidance throughout the missile's flight. The subsequent SA-3B GOA Mod 1, first deployed in 1964, incorporated an improved guidance system. The missile's ability to dive allows it to be used against surface targets and naval vessels.

The S-125 is fired from trainable launchers which are normally fixed, but can be relocated. The crew loads the missiles with the aid of a conveyor onto the ground-mounted, trainable launcher for firing, with both twin and quadruple launchers in use. A pair of missiles are carried in tandem on a modified truck or tracked vehicle. The S-125 is normally transported from battalion storage areas on modified ZIL-131 (6 x 6) or ZIL-157 (6 x 6) trucks and loaded onto the launchers. Approximately one minute is required to load the missiles onto the launch rails, but nearly an hour is required between missile launches due to missile preparation, truck transit and other reloading procedures.


The modernised surface-to-air missile system "Pechora-2M" is an effective weapon against low-flying and small-size targets. Noise-protection equipment newly introduced will provide detection, tracing, and hitting targets in conditions of intensive influence of all kinds of radio noise and counter-measures. New teleoptical drift indicator provides targeting in conditions of radio-silence in day and night time. Doubling the number of launching pads enlarges fire capability of the system. Substitution of main equipment for modem digital and solid-state one allows to prolong the system life and lower costs {or its repair. Self-testing system introduced simplifies and reduces maintenance time 8-10 otime decrease in the spare parts nomenclature streamlines the order of supplying and lowers expenditures for the system operation. Introduction of telccodc communication equipment, navigation system, and interface applied provide for possibility of receiving radar information from any sources by the missile system. The possibility of mounting the system means upon self-propelled chassis drastically increases the system mobility. Recession of the control cab at large distance from the site centre saves the detachment's life. On the base of modernised technics already available, after moderate expenditures, customers get a modem weapon.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:49:30 ZULU