Igla missile and launch tube.
|Type||Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS)|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Used by||See Operators|
|Manufacturer||KBM - developer of the system|
|Unit cost||US$60,000–80,000 (as of 2003)|
|Weight||10.8 kg (24 lb)|
|Length||1.574 m (5.16 ft)|
|Warhead||1.17 kg (2.6 lb) with 390 g (14 oz) explosive|
|contact and grazing fuzes|
|Engine||solid fuel rocket motor|
|5.2 km (3.2 mi)|
|Flight ceiling||3.5 km (11,000 ft)|
|Speed||570 m/s (peak), about Mach 1.9|
|dual waveband infra-red (S-version)|
The 9K38 Igla (Russian: Игла́, "needle") is a Russian/Soviet man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM). "9K38" is the Russian GRAU designation of the system. Its US DoD designation is SA-18 and its NATO reporting name is Grouse; a simplified, earlier version is known as the 9K310 Igla-1, or SA-16 Gimlet. The latest variant is the 9K338 Igla-S NATO reporting name SA-24 Grinch. It has been fielded by the Russian Army since 2004.
There is also a two-barrel 9K38 missile launcher called Djigit.
- 1 History
- 2 Operational history
- 3 Other variants
- 4 Comparison chart to other MANPADS
- 5 Use in plot against Air Force One
- 6 Operators
- 7 Other uses
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The development of the Igla short-range man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) began in the Kolomna OKB in 1972. Contrary to what is commonly reported, the Igla is not an improved version of the earlier Strela family (Strela-2 and Strela-3), but an all new project. The main goals were to create a missile with better resistance to countermeasures and wider engagement envelope than the earlier Strela series MANPADS systems.
Technical difficulties in the development quickly made it obvious that the development would take far longer than anticipated however, and in 1978 the program split in two: while the development of the full-capability Igla would continue, a simplified version (Igla-1) with a simpler IR seeker based on that of the earlier Strela-3 would be developed to enter service earlier than the full-capability version could be finished.
The 9K310 Igla-1 system and its 9M313 missile were accepted into service in the Soviet army on 11 March 1981. The main differences from the Strela-3 included an optional Identification Friend or Foe system to prevent firing on friendly aircraft, an automatic lead and super elevation to simplify shooting and reduce minimum firing range, a slightly larger rocket, reduced drag and better guidance system extend maximum range and improve performance against fast and maneuverable targets, an improved lethality on target achieved by a combination of delayed impact fuzing, terminal maneuver to hit the fuselage rather than jet nozzle, an additional charge to set off the remaining rocket fuel (if any) on impact, an improved resistance to infrared countermeasures (both decoy flares and ALQ-144 series jamming emitters), and slightly improved seeker sensitivity.
According to the manufacturer, South African tests have shown the Igla's superiority over the contemporary (1982 service entry) but smaller and lighter American FIM-92A Stinger missile. However, other tests in Croatia did not support any clear superiority, but effectively equal seeker performance and only marginally shorter time of flight and longer range for the Igla.
According to Kolomna OKB, the Igla-1 has a Pk (probability of kill) of 0.30 to 0.48 against unprotected targets which is reduced to 0.24 in the presence of decoy flares and jamming. In another report the manufacturer claimed a Pk of 0.59 against an approaching and 0.44 against receding F-4 Phantom II fighter not employing infrared countermeasures or evasive maneuvers.
The full-capability 9K38 Igla with its 9M39 missile was finally accepted into service in the Soviet Army in 1983. The main improvements over the Igla-1 included much improved resistance against flares and jamming, a more sensitive seeker, expanding forward-hemisphere engagement capability to include straight-approaching fighters (all-aspect capability) under favourable circumstances, a slightly longer range, a higher-impulse, shorter-burning rocket with higher peak velocity (but approximately same time of flight to maximum range).
The naval variant of 9K38 Igla has the NATO reporting name SA-N-10 Grouse.
The Igla – 1M missile consists of a Ground Power Supply Source (GPSS), Launching Tube, Launching Mechanism & Missile (9M 313-1).
The Igla is being replaced in Russian service by the 9K333 Verba (Willow) MANPADS. The Verba's primary feature is its multispectral optical seeker, using three sensors as opposed to the Igla-S' two. Cross-checking sensors against one another better discriminates between relevant targets and decoys, and decreases the chance of disruption from countermeasures, including lasers that attempt to blind missiles.
The first combat use of the Igla-1E was during the Gulf War. On January 17, 1991, a Panavia Tornado bomber of the Royal Air Force was shot down by an Iraqi MANPADS that may have been an Igla-1E (or Strela-3) after an unsuccessful bombing mission.
Private intelligence company Stratfor asserts that Igla-1E missiles were used in the 1994 shoot down of a Rwandan government flight, killing the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi and sparking the Rwandan Genocide.
A Peruvian Air Force Mi-25 attack helicopter was shot down on February 7, 1995 around Base del Sur, killing the 3 crewmen, while an Ecuadorian Air Force A-37 Dragonfly was hit but managed to land on February 11. Hits on additional Ecuadorian aircraft were claimed but could not be confirmed.
During Operation Deliberate Force, on August 30, 1995; a French Mirage 2000D was shot down over Pale with an Igla fired by air defence units of the Army of Republika Srpska. The pilots, Lt. Jose-Manuel Souvignet (pilot) and Capt. Frederic Chiffot (back-seater), were captured and freed in December 1995.
The 2002 Khankala Mi-26 crash occurred on August 19, 2002 when a team of Chechen separatists with an Igla brought down a Russian Mil Mi-26 helicopter in a minefield and resulted in the death of 127 Russian soldiers in the greatest loss of life in the history of helicopter aviation. It was also the most deadly aviation disaster ever suffered by the Russian armed forces, as well as their worst loss of life in a single day since 1999.
Syrian Civil War
Video has surfaced showing rebels using an Igla-1E on a Syrian government helicopter. Such weapons were believed to have been looted from a Syrian army base in Aleppo in February 2013. Alternatively these missiles could have been supplied by Turkey or Qatar via Croatia. In 2014, a member of the rebel group Harakat Hazm was filmed aiming an Igla-1E into the air on the same day that the group was filmed operating BGM-71 TOW missiles. Whether these weapons were raided from regime stockpiles or supplied via overseas is unknown.
On January 25, 2014, the militant group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis shot down an Egyptian Mi-17 over the northern Sinai peninsula using a suspected Igla-1E or Igla. How the group came to obtain the weapon is currently unknown.
On June 14, 2014,rebel forces near Luhansk International Airport in Eastern Ukraine shot down an IL-76 of the Ukrainian Airforce probably using an Igla MANPADS, killing all 49 Ukrainian service personnel on board.
Nagorno Karabakh (2014)
On 12 November 2014, Azerbaijani forces shot down an Armenian Army Mi-24 of a formation of two which were flying near the Azerbaijani border. All three onboard died when the helicopter crashed while flying at low altitude and was hit by an Igla-S MANPADS fired by Azerbaijani soldiers.
Several variants of the Igla were developed for specific applications:
- Export version.
- Improved version of 9K38 Igla. Entered service in Soviet Military during the late 1980s.
- A version for paratroopers and special forces.
- Air-launched version, mainly for combat helicopters.
- A version with heavier warhead at the cost of a slight reduction in range and speed.
- Export version?
- Igla-S (SA-24 Grinch)
- The newest variant, which is a substantially improved variant with longer range, more sensitive seeker, improved resistance to latest countermeasures, and a heavier warhead. Manufacturer reports hit probability of 0.8-0.9 State tests were completed in December 2001 and the system entered service in 2002. Series produced by the Degtryaev plant since December 1, 2004.
- Strelets Igla-S / Igla
- The Strelets is designed for remote automated firing of the Igla and Igla-S surface-to-air missile by single shot, ripple or in salvo.
Comparison chart to other MANPADS
|9K34 Strela-3 /SA-14||9K38 Igla /SA-18||9K310 Igla-1 /SA-16||9K338 Igla-S /SA-24||FIM-92C Stinger||Grom||Starstreak|
ready to shoot
|35.3 lb (16.0 kg)||39 lb (17.9 kg)||39 lb (17.9 kg)||42 lb (19 kg)||32 lb (14.3 kg)||36 lb (16.5 kg)||44.09 lb (20.00 kg)|
|Weight, missile||23 lb (10.3 kg)||24 lb (10.8 kg)||24 lb (10.8 kg)||26 lb (11.7 kg)||22 lb (10.1 kg)||23 lb (10.5 kg)||30.86 lb (14.00 kg)|
|Weight, warhead||2.6 lb (1.17 kg),
14 oz (390 g) HMX
|2.6 lb (1.17 kg),
14 oz (390 g) HMX
|2.6 lb (1.17 kg),
14 oz (390 g) HMX
|5.5 lb (2.5 kg),
20.6 oz (585 g) HMX
|6.6 lb (3 kg) HE||2.8 lb (1.27 kg)||3x2.0 lb (0.90 kg) tungsten alloy darts,
3x16 oz (450 g) PBX-98
|Annular blast fragmentation||Directed-energy||Directed-energy|
|Fuze type||Impact and grazing fuze.||Delayed impact,
magnetic and grazing.
magnetic and grazing.
magnetic and grazing.
|Delayed impact.||Impact.||Delayed impact, armour-piercing.|
|Flight speed, average / peak||1,100 mph (470 m/s) sustained||1,300 mph (600 m/s)
/ 1,800 mph (800 m/s)
|1,300 mph (570 m/s) sustained
(in + temperature)
|?||1,600 mph (700 m/s)
/ 1,700 mph (750 m/s)
|1,300 mph (580 m/s)
/ 1,500 mph (650 m/s)
|2,700 mph (1,190 m/s)
/ 3,000 mph (1,360 m/s)
|Maximum range||13,500 ft (4,100 m)||17,100 ft (5,200 m)||16,000 ft (5,000 m)||20,000 ft (6,000 m)||14,800 ft (4,500 m)||18,000 ft (5,500 m)||23,000 ft (7,000 m)+|
|Maximum target speed, receding||580 mph (260 m/s)||810 mph (360 m/s)||810 mph (360 m/s)||890 mph (400 m/s)||?||720 mph (320 m/s)||?|
|Maximum target speed, approaching||690 mph (310 m/s)||720 mph (320 m/s)||720 mph (320 m/s)||720 mph (320 m/s)||?||810 mph (360 m/s)||?|
|Seeker head type||Nitrogen-cooled,
lead sulfide (PbS)
Indium antimonide (InSb)
uncooled lead sulfide (PbS)
Indium antimonide (InSb)
Indium antimonide (InSb)
|?||SACLOS and SALH|
|Seeker scanning||FM-modulated||FM-modulated||FM-modulated||FM-modulated||FM-modulated||FM-modulated||Low intensity modulated-laser-homing darts|
|Seeker notes||Aerospike to reduce
supersonic wave drag
to reduce supersonic wave drag
|Low laser beam energy levels ensuring no
warning to target
Use in plot against Air Force One
On August 12, 2003, as a result of a sting operation arranged as a result of cooperation between the American, British and Russian intelligence agencies, Hemant Lakhani, a British national, was intercepted attempting to bring what he had thought was an older-generation Igla into the USA. He is said to have intended the missile to be used in an attack on Air Force One, the American presidential plane, or on a commercial US airliner, and is understood to have planned to buy 50 more of these weapons.
After the Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti (FSB) detected the dealer in Russia, he was approached by US undercover agents posing as terrorists wanting to shoot down a commercial plane. He was then provided with an inert Igla by undercover Russian agents, and arrested in Newark, New Jersey, when making the delivery to the undercover US agent. An Indian citizen residing in Malaysia, Moinuddeen Ahmed Hameed and an American Yehuda Abraham who allegedly provided money to buy the missile were also arrested. Yehuda Abraham is President and CEO of Ambuy Gem Corp. Lakhani was convicted by jury in April 2005, and was sentenced to 47 years in prison.
Igla and Igla-1 SAMs have been exported from the former Soviet Union to over 30 countries, including Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria (former producer), Croatia, Cuba, East Germany, Egypt, Ecuador, Eritrea, Finland, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, the Republic of Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, North Korea, Peru, Poland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. Several guerrilla and terrorist organizations are also known to have Iglas. Alleged Operatives of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam a rebel organization fighting for a homeland for Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka were arrested in August 2006 by undercover agents of the FBI posing as arms dealers, while trying to purchase the Igla. In 2003 the unit cost was approximately US$60,000–80,000.
- Finland: known as ItO 86; former operator
- North Korea: Locally produced
- Poland: Not military used – only bought licence
- Soviet Union: Former operator
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: 20 pieces
- United Arab Emirates
- Finland: Known as ItO-86M; former operator
- Sri Lanka
- South Korea
- Soviet Union: Passed on to successor states
- Syria: Syrian Arab Republic
- Armenia: 200 missiles.
- Azerbaijan: 300 launchers with 1500 missiles.
- Libya: Photo evidence of the truck mounted twin version in service with the Libyan Army emerged during the 2011 Libyan Revolution starting from March 2011. 482 Igla-S missiles were imported from Russia in 2004. Some of them were unaccounted at the end of the war and they could have ended up in Iranian inventory. Israeli officials say that Igla-S were looted from Libyan warehouses in 2011 and transported by Iranians through Sudan and turned over to militants in Gaza and Lebanon.
- Syria: Photo evidence of SA-24 MANPADS (man-portable) in the possession of Syrian rebels was first reported on November 13, 2012. "As far as I know, this is the first SA-24 Manpads ever photographed outside of state control," said one expert.
- "9К338 Игла-С - SA-24 GRINCH". Retrieved 14 November 2014.
- 9K338 9M342 Igla-S / SA-24 Grinch
- DJIGIT (SA-18) | Russian Military Analysis
- New-generation man-portable air defence system Verba revealed to public at Army 2015 exhibition - Armyrecognition.com, 19 June 2015
- Lawrence, Richard R.. Mammoth Book Of How It Happened: Battles, Constable & Robinson Ltd, 2002.
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- The Continuing Threat of Libyan Missiles | Stratfor
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- Stockholm International Peace Research Institute - Trade Register, entries for Armenia 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2015
- APA - List of weapons and military vehicles sold by Russia to Azerbaijan last year publicized
- SA-24 Grinch 9K338 Igla-s portable air defense missile system technical data sheet specifications UK - Army Recognition - Army Recognition
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- จรวดต่อสู้อากาศยาน SA-24 Grinch Igla-S
- Venezuela compra en Rusia sistemas portátiles de defensa antiaérea. Vedomosti | Noticias | RIA Novosti
- ’Kẻ hủy diệt’ trực thăng của Phòng không Việt Nam - ’Ke huy diet’ truc thang cua Phong khong Viet Nam - DVO - Báo Đất Việt
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