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ZRK-SD Kub 3M9 / SA-6 Gainful - Components

The SA-6 GAINFUL missiles are used for low altitude air defense. The SA-6A missile has a length of 5.7 meters, body diameter of 0.335 meters, a wing span of 1.245 meters, a tail span of 1.524 meters and has a launch weight of 599 kilograms with a 56 kilogram HE-fragmentation warhead. The proximity and contact fuses are armed after some 50 meters of flight. Missiles can detonate on impact or be set with a proximity fuze and hold an effective range of 15 miles against targets over 45,000 feet in altitude.

The first stage of the missile is a solid rocket motor in the tail of main body. When this motor expends its fuel, it is ejected out of the tail and the cavity created by its absence becomes the combustion chamber for a ramjet sustainer. Ramjets are technically simple and relatively fuel efficient, allowing good performance and range. The rocket booster is needed to get the missile up to a speed that allows sufficient airflow to sustain combustion in the ramjet.

The missile can reach speeds of up to Mach 2.8, which places any modern aircraft at risk. The basic SA-6A has a minimum effective range of 3,000m. The minimum engagement height is 100m when using the 1S91 STRAIGHT FLUSH fire control radar and 80m when in the optical tracking mode, the maximum effective altitude is about 11,000m. The SA-6B GAINFUL surface-to-air guided missile has a ceiling of 66,000 feet and a range of about 37 kilometers.

The STRAIGHT FLUSH fire control radar has a maximum range of 55-75km and a 10,000m altitude capability depending upon the conditions and target size, and performs limited search, low altitude detection and/or acquisition, pulse Doppler IFF interrogation, target tracking & illumination, missile radar command guidance and secondary radar missile tracking functions. Some modified STRAIGHT FLUSH fire control radars use a TV camera with a 30km range to enable the battery to remain in action even if the vehicle's radar is jammed or forced to shut down due to threats from anti-radiation missiles. This radar can also be linked to the launch vehicles by either a radio data link or a 10m long cable for direct data input to the launcher's systems. The data link antenna is carried on the right forward hull corner of the TEL. It also carries the fire control computers for the SA-6 Gainful missile battery.

Using essentially same chassis as the SA-6 TEL, the 12ft long search reflector with 7 ft diameter fire control parabolic dish is on top. Radars mounted on heavy turntable. Radars can rotate independently of one another. Assembly folds flat in transit. The foldable 28km range dish antenna is of the conical scanning type and is used for low altitude H-band sector search scans, target tracking and target illumination. The lower parabolic antenna is the G-band medium altitude target acquisition and early warning radar with a 55-75km range, with the lower feed for medium to high altitude coverage and the upper feed for low altitude coverage.

The STRAIGHT FLUSH fire control radar can begin target acquisition at its maximum range of 75km, and begin tracking & illumination at 28km. The STRAIGHT FLUSH radar can only illuminate a single target and control three missiles at any one time, so normal practice when a target track has been initiated is to normally order the launch of two and sometimes three weapons from one or more TELs.

The LONG TRACK target acquisition radar is also associated with the SA-6 system. After target data has been acquired by the SA-6 regiment's LONG TRACK surveillance radar, target acquistion and fire control are taken over by the STRAIGHT FLUSH missile site radars. Besides being vulnerable to suppresive fires and ECM, the system is slaved to the long-range LONG TRACK radar. Without it the SA-6 is "blind" at high altitudes.

The missile was initially deployed as part of a battery containing one STRAIGHT FLUSH fire control radar vehicle, one loader vehicle, and three launcher vehicles, each with three launch rails [said to be called "three fingers of death" among NATO pilots ]. Like all the vehicles in the battery, the launcher vehicles are tracked, but use components of the ZSU-23-4 chassis. It can be traversed 360 degrees, and estimated time for emplacement prior to firing is 15 to 30 minutes.

The 3M9M1 variant in 1977 was given an all-new tracked chassis, recognized by NATO as the "SA-6B". The SA-6B Gainful, was mounted on an SPU medium-tracked transporter. The SPU carried three SA-6B missiles and also an associated FIRE DOME H/I-band missile guidance illuminator radar is fitted on the front end of the launcher assembly. Reload missiles are carried on modified 6x6 trucks and are loaded manually onto the launcher by a crane carried on the rear of the loader vehicle. Reloading an TEL takes approximately 10 minutes.

The TELAR vehicle is of all-welded construction with the crew compartment at the front, missiles on the turntable immediately behind the crew compartment and the engine at the rear. The transmission is at the rear of the hull. The torsion bar suspension system consists of six rubber tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the rear and the idler at the front. There are no track return rollers. The vehicle has an air filtration and over pressure NBC system and infra-red night vision equipment fitted as standard but the vehicle has no amphibious capability. Three SA-6 Gainful missiles are carried on a turntable which can be traversed through a full 360 with the missiles elevated on their launchers to a maximum of 85. When traveling the turntable is normally traversed to the rear and the missiles are horizontal to reduce the overall height of the vehicle.

With radar up, reaction time from a dormant condition through the target acquisition, IFF interrogation and lock-on phases to missile launch is about three minutes. If the radar vehicle is already active then the time taken for the sequence is reduced to between 15 to 30 seconds. A battery is able to become mobile and relocate to an alternate firing position in 15 minutes from systems being shutdown. A battery is able to relocate to an alternate firing position in approximately 15 minutes from systems being shutdown.

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Page last modified: 27-07-2014 19:31:36 ZULU