Find a Security Clearance Job!


SA-7 GRAIL 9K32M Strela-2
HN-5 (Hongying 5) China
Anza MKI - Pakistan
Ayn as Saqr - Egypt

The SA-7 GRAIL (Strela-2) man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude SAM system is similar to the US Army REDEYE, with a high explosive warhead and passive infrared homing guidance. The SA-7 was the first generation of Soviet man portable surface-to-air missiles. Although classed as "fire and forget" types, the missiles were easily overcome by solar heat and, when used in hilly terrain, by heat from the ground.

The 9M32 STRELA-2 is a first-generation man-portable, shoulder-fired short-range anti-aircraft missile system, intended for destruction of both subsonic and supersonic air targets (fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, UAV) in ground and low altitudes. Development of this relatively simple system (STRELA-2, or SA-7A) started in 1959 and its basic version was introduced after 1966.

The SA-7 seeker is fitted with a filter to reduce the effectiveness of decoying flares and to block IR emissions. The system consists of the missile (9K32 & 9K32M), a reloadable gripstock (9P54 & 9P54M), and a thermal battery (9B17). An identification friend or foe (IFF) system can be fitted to the operators helmet. Further, a supplementary early warning system consisting of a passive RF antenna and headphones can be used to provide early cue about the approach and rough direction of an enemy aircraft. Although the SA-7 is limited in range, speed, and altitude, it forces enemy pilots to fly above minimum radar limitations which results in detection and vulnerability to regimental and divisional air defense systems.

The missile is launched from a portable cylindrical launcher. It has two rectangular movable control ailerons in the front section, and four tilting rectangular stabilisation ailerons in the rear. The initial series of the STRELA-2 missiles were fitted with a non-cooled IR detector with a limited possibility of homing from the aft hemisphere and they had no protection against IR decoys and modulated jammers. The starting (booster) engine burns for about 0.5 second, driving engine for another 2 sec. The STRELA-2 is considerably widespread; it is in service with many armies throughout the world and was produced in many countries based on a licence. The total number of missiles that have been manufactured is estimated at 50,000 pieces.

The SA-7a (9K32 Strela-2) was introduced for service in 1968, but was soon replaced by the SA-7b (9K32M Strela-2M) which became the most common production model. The later improved version STRELA-2M (SA-7B) also uses a non-cooled detector but it is fitted with a special filter to eliminate external effects. The SA-7b, differs from the SA-7a primarily by using a boosted propellant charge to increase range and speed. The SA-7a had a slant range of 3.6 km and a kill zone between 15 and 1500 meters in altitude, with a speed of about 430 meters per second (Mach 1.4). The SA-7b has a slant range of about 4.2 km, a ceiling of about 2300 meters, and a speed of about 500 meters per second (Mach 1.75). Both the SA-7a and SA-7b are tail-chase missile systems, and its effectiveness depends on its ability to lock onto the heat source of low-flying fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft targets.

Its improved version STRELA-2M (SA-7B) with an improved IR homing system, a more effective warhead, higher engine performance and a new identification device had been in service since 1971. Major improvements carried out in mid-70s consisted in the applications of a new-generation homing system which is not only more sensitive but also more resistant against IR jamming, or IR decoys, and has a substantially shorter reaction time. STRELA-2M can cooperate with a miniature elint seeker which can be fitted to the operators helmet and can locate sources of active radiation in an aircraft, like a radar, radar altimeter etc. Since late 70s, an adapted version was mounted on Mil Mi-24 (HIND E) combat helicopters particularly to combat helicopters. To date, STRELA-2 has been considered a very efficient weapon to destroy air targets. Its advantages include particularly the simplicity of construction and the way of rapid and easy employment. Due to its small dimensions and low weight it is easily portable.

The missile is fitted with a passive infrared homing system and a contact fuse and it is guided to contrast heat sources, usually the outlet pipe of an aircraft engine. It is powered by a two-stage solid fuel engine. The target is detected visually by the operator; an additional IFF system can be used to identify its nationality. Activation of the homing system and electronic circuits takes 4 to 6 seconds, the engine is ignited 0.8 second after that. For stabilisation reasons, the missile rotates about its longitudinal axis (20 rps). The target is destroyed by a pressure wave and splinters upon the initiation of the HE warhead. After launching, the operator can reload the device up to 5 times. The system includes a 9M32M missile in a 9P54M container, 9P58 launcher, 9B17 electric battery, 9V810M mobile testing and support assets, 9F620, 9F622 and 9F626 training and simulation installations.

In 1997, the Russian manufacturing and export company Kolomna NPO came with an offer to modernise the missile. The upgrade consists in installation of a two-regime IR homing system (9E46M) with a non-cooled detector, which is part of a new generation missile IGLA (SA-18 GROUSE) and has a sophisticated system of protection against all sorts of IR jamming.

The HN-5 ( Hong Nu = Red Cherry ) is an improved Chinese version with upgraded capabilities.

The Anza anti-aircraft missiles give Pakistan a response to India's superiority in modern aircraft -- India has a numerical superiority in modern fighter aircraft of more than 3 to 1 over Pakistan. The Anza MK-1, Anza MK-2, and Anza MK-3 surface to air anti-aircraft missiles have ranges of 4, 6 and 15 km, respectively. The missiles are manufactured by the laboratory named after Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear program.

The Anza MKI missiles, which have a range of 4.2 km, were manufactured and handed over to the military forces in 1990. It has been reported that the missile was used during the Kargil incidents between Pakistan and India. Pakistan downed two of India's military planes, a MIG-21 and a MIG-27, with the Anza MKI missiles for violating its airspace on 26 May 1999.

Egyptian technicians have reverse engineered and modified two Soviet SAMs -- the Ayn as Saqr (a version of the SA-7) and the Tayir as Sabah (a version of the SA-2). The Ayn as Saqr [Falcon Eye] anti-Aircraft missile system is designed to counter air-ground attack by all types of aircraft flying at low and very low altitudes due to its simplicity of operation, accuracy, light weight, mobility & versatility (either by one man or to be integrated into other overall A/D systems). Also it can be mounted on any combat vehicle, light or armored. Moreover the basic equipment can be fitted with IFF & night vision units.

Join the mailing list

Unconventional Threat podcast - Threats Foreign and Domestic: 'In Episode One of Unconventional Threat, we identify and examine a range of threats, both foreign and domestic, that are endangering the integrity of our democracy'

Page last modified: 19-10-2014 19:26:31 ZULU