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The V-75 (SA-2) surface-to-air missile system was designed for the defense of both fixed targets and field forces. The V-75 was designed to cope with the threat posed by small groups of aircraft rather than massed raids. Flexibility and mobility are its chief advantages over the SA-1. In contrast to the massive SA-1 sites, each of which is capable of defending only a limited sector around the target area, each SA-2 site is capable of 360 coverage. This flexibility is obtained at the expense of target handling capacity and rate of fire relative to the SA-1. It is intended for defeat of manned and pilotless air attack weapons at the heights from 100 m to 30 km, which fly with speeds of up to 3000 km/h, at the distances to 58 km.

The system S-75 participated in the combat operations in Vietnam. On 01 May 1960, near Sverdlovsk, the invulnerable, high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft U-2 which was being piloted by Gary Powers was shot down by an SA-2.

Although there are a variety of arrangement patterns, all sites consist of six launching positions -- usually revetted - deployed around a guidance radar and linked by service roads to facilitate loading. While the sites were permanent installations, all operating components of the system are mounted on wheeled vehicles and are capable of movement by road or raiL

The V-75 was the basic missile defense system for critical urban-industrial areas in the USSR, other than Moscow. The V-75 deployment began on a wide scale since early 1958, with sites located throughout the western part of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries. Deployment patterns and levels of concentration varied according to the geography, size, and shape of the target area, and the Soviet estimate of the worth of individual targets. Between mid-1958 and 1964 more than 600 SA-2 sites were identified by US intelligence in the USSR, mostly in defense of population centers, industrial complexes, and government control centers.

Most SA-2 sites defended major centers of population and industry. SA-2 defenses were also deployed for the special protection of nuclear materials production and storage facilities. In addition, some key Soviet field forces and long range bomber bases were included in the SA-2 deployment pattern. The construction of sites and the training and activation of firing units was seasonal, with activity at a minimum during the winter months.

The sites in the Moscow area, located within the inner ring of SA-1 sites, were intended to supplement the existing defenses. Deployment of SA-2 installations around Moscow included seven sites as of 1964 as part of a program to supplement the SA-1 system.

Missile defenses were provided for most of the Soviet cities with populations greater than 200,000. SA-2 sites were emplaced at some smaller urban areas which contained government control centers or other installations of critical importance. They were also deployed for defense of naval and port facilities, nuclear production and weapon storage Installations, missile test ranges, and Industrial facilities. Other major military installations, such as long-range missile sites and alrfields of the long-range air force, are also defended by SA-2. A number of sites in border areas, which were unrelated to specific targets, were part of the deployment of peripheral defenses which eventually extended from the Kola Peninsula along the western and southern borders of the USSR into central Asia. Deployment in the Baltic coastal area was particularly dense. In mid-1962 about 750 sites were operational in defense of more than 200 target areas in the USSR. The Soviets eventually deployed roughly a thousand SA-2 sites in the USSR, with the major portion of the deployment completed by the mid-1960s.

Some SA-2 units were deployed in support of Soviet field forces in East Germany and in the USSR. Although SA-2 units assigned to Soviet field forces were normally emplaced at fixed installations, the system is transportable by road and SA-2 units were observed in field exercises. However, SA-2 units have a limited ability to follow a fast moving front because of the requirement for good roads and the time required to displace to new positions. SA-2 missile defenses for field forces were primarily assigned to such targets as major headquarters, logistic centers, and airfields.

Deployment of SA-2 sites for defense of Warsaw Pact targets began in 1960. The heaviest deployment has occurred in East Germany. About half of the sites were manned by East German troops, and the remainder by units of the Soviet field forces. The East German sites were located in the vicinity of Berlin and in the northern portion of East Germany. The Soviet sites were deployed to defend important Soviet military installations such as major headquarters and airfields.

V-75 Missile System

The V-75 SA-2 GUIDELINE is a medium to high altitude surface-to-air missile system. This two-stage missile has a large solid propellant booster stage fitted with four very large delta fins. The core stage consists of a storable liquid propellant sustainer rocket motor using inhibited red fuming nitric acid oxidizer and kerosene fuel. A set of four cropped delta-shaped wings are located near the mid-section, with a second in-line set of smaller fixed fins at the nose, and a third in-line set of slightly larger powered control fins at the tail.

The guidance system at an SA-2 site can handle only one target at a time, but can direct three missiles against a target simultaneously. Additional missiles could be fired against the same target after one or more missiles of the first salvo had completed their run. The Soviets apparently believed they must program three or four missiles against each target in order to achieve acceptable kill probabilities.

The 295 kg nuclear warhead used only on the SA-2E variant is believed to have a yield of 15 kT. The other V-75 variants have an internally grooved fragmentation warhead weighs 195 kg (130 kg of which is high explosive) with proximity, contact and command fusing available. This conventional warhead is fitted forward of the main fins and behind the nose-mounted guidance assembly. At medium and low altitudes the kill radius is about 65 meters and the blast radius for severe damage is 100-120 meters. The maximum blast radius against a high altitude target is approximately 250 meters, due to the rarefied atmosphere. The weapon has a accuracy of 75 meters with the large blast radius compensating for system inaccuracies.

The V-75 system is designed to be simple and easy to operate with the minimum of specialized training. The standard deployment pattern of a battalion site consists of six semi-fixed trainable single rail launchers are deployed in the familiar hexagon arrangement about 60-100 meters apart. The launchers may be dug into pits, left at ground level or hardened in concrete revetments. The battery command post fire control team and its computer, the Fan Song missile control radar, the P-12 Spoon Rest early warning radar, and typically six reload rounds on their articulated trailers are all located in the center of the launchers array.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:50:34 ZULU