9K34 Strela-3

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9K34 Strela-3
SA-14 missile and launch tube.jpg
A 9K34 Strela-3 (SA-14) missile and launch tube.
Type Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS)
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1974–present
Used by See Operators
Wars Iran-Iraq War, War in Abkhazia (1992-1993), Bosnian War, Second Congo War, Afghan Civil War, Iraq War
Production history
Manufacturer KBM, Kolomna
Specifications
Weight 10.3 kilograms (23 lb)
Length 1.47 metres (4.8 ft)

Operational
range
4100 m
Flight altitude 2,300 metres (7,500 ft)
Speed 410 metres per second (1,500 km/h)

The 9K34 Strela-3 (Russian: 9К34 «Стрела-3»; English: arrow) is a man-portable air defence missile system (MANPADS) developed in the Soviet Union as a response to the poor performance of the earlier 9K32 Strela 2 (SA-7 Grail) system. "9K34" is its GRAU designation, while its NATO reporting name is SA-14 Gremlin. The missile was largely based on the earlier Strela 2, and thus development proceeded rapidly. The new weapon was accepted to service in the Soviet Army in January 1974.

Description[edit]

The most significant change over the Strela 2 was the introduction of an all-new infra-red homing seeker head. The new seeker worked on FM modulation (con-scan) principle, which is less vulnerable to jamming and decoy flares than the earlier AM (spin-scan) seekers, which were easily fooled by flares and even the most primitive infrared jammers. The new seeker also introduced detector element cooling in the form of a pressurized nitrogen bottle attached to the launcher.

The effect of cooling was to expand the seeker's lead sulphide detector element's sensitivity range to longer wavelengths (slightly over 4 µm as opposed to 2.8 µm of uncooled PbS elements). In practice this made possible the tracking of cooler targets over longer ranges, and enabled forward-hemisphere engagement of jets under favourable circumstances.The seeker also had better tracking rate, enabling the missile to track maneuvering of fast and approaching targets.

A negative side effect from the aforementioned improvements was increased missile weight, which caused a slight decrease in the kinematic performance of the original Strela-2 (SA-7).[citation needed] Against relatively slow, low-altitude battlefield air threats the overall effectiveness was much improved.[citation needed]

Strela-3 missiles have been exported to over 30 countries.

The original Strela-3 missile was the 9M36. The follow-on to the Strela-3 was Igla.

The naval version of this missile has the NATO reporting name of SA-N-8.

Operational history[edit]

Iraq[edit]

On 22 November 2003 an Airbus A300 cargo plane was hit by a Strela-3 missile after takeoff from Baghdad International Airport, but managed to land safely despite losing hydraulic power.

On 6 May 2006, a British Westland Lynx AH.7 of the Royal Navy from 847 Squadron was shot down with a Strela-3 over Basra, killing five crewmen and crashing into a house.[1]

Abkhazia[edit]

During the War in Abkhazia (1992-1993), a Russian Mi-8 helicopter was shot down by a Georgian Army SA-14 on December 14, 1992, resulting in the death of 3 crew and 58 passengers, most of them Russian refugees. A Georgian Air Force Su-25 was shot down over Nizhnaya Eshera on 4 July 1993 by SA-14,[2] and several other aircraft on both sides may have been shot down by SA-14s.[3]

Former Yugoslavia[edit]

A British BAE Sea Harrier of 801 Naval Air Squadron, operating from aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, was shot down during its attack on two Serbian T-55 tanks in Bosnia. The pilot, Lieutenant Nick Richardson, ejected and landed in territory controlled by friendly Bosniaks (16 April 1994).

DRC Congo[edit]

A Zimbabwe Air Force Il-76 was shot down by Congolese rebels using an SA-14 on 11 October 1998 during the Second Congo War, resulting in the death of 40 troops and crew.[4]

Afghanistan[edit]

SA-14s used by the Northern Alliance are credited with having shot down 8 Taliban MiG-21 and Su-22 fighters during the Taliban's 2000 offensive against Taloqan.[5]

Operators[edit]

Map with 9K34 operators in blue with former operators in red

Current operators[edit]

Former operators[edit]

  •  Czechoslovakia - never inducted in military service[7]
  •  East Germany - never acquired to military service[7]
  •  Hungary - never acquired to military service[7]
  •  Iraq - some of them were looted after the Iraq War in 2003, being used in the post war insurgency and subsequent regional wars and finding their way in the black market.
  •  Poland - 100 bought in 80's, but never acquired to military service.[7]
  •  Soviet Union
  •  Yugoslavia

Comparison chart[edit]

System 9K32M Strela-2M (missile: 9M32M) 9K34 Strela-3 (missile: 9M36) [8] FIM-43C Redeye[9]
Service entry 1968 1974 1968
Mass, full system, ready to shoot 15 kg 16 kg 13.3 kg
Weight, missile 9.8 kg 10.3 kg 8.3 kg
Length 1.44 m 1.47 m 1.40 m
Warhead 1.15 kg (0.37 kg HMX) directed-energy blast fragmentation 1.17 kg (0.39 kg HMX) directed-energy blast fragmentation, including a 20g secondary charge to set off remaining rocket propellant 1.06 kg M222 (0.36 kg HTA-3) blast fragmentation
Seeker type AM-modulated (spin scan), uncooled PbS detector element (1–2.8 µm sensitivity range). Tail-chase only. FM-modulated (con scan), nitrogen-cooled PbS detector element (2–4.3 µm sensitivity range). Limited forward hemisphere (all-aspect) capability AM-modulated, uncooled PbS detector element. Tail-chase only.
Maximum range 4200 m 4100 m 4500 m
Speed 430 m/s 410 m/s 580 m/s
Target's maximum speed, approaching/receding 150/260 m/s 310/260 m/s –/225 m/s
Engagement altitude 0.05-2.3 km 0.03-2.3 km 0.05-2.7 km

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.aviationnewsreleases.com/2009/04/raf-pursues-common-das-demonstrator.html
  2. ^ http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/PROJECT/YEAR_Pages/1993.htm
  3. ^ Cooper, Tom. "Georgia and Abkhazia, 1992-1993: the War of Datchas". ACIG.org. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Cooper, Tom. "Zaire/DR Congo, 1980-2001". ACIG.org. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Cooper, Tom. "Afghanistan, 1979-2001; Part 2". ACIG.org. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Cooper, Tom. "Georgia and Abkhazia, 1992-1993: the War of Datchas". ACIG.org. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d [1]
  8. ^ Istorija sozdanija i razvitija vooruzhenija i vojennoi theniki PVO suhoputnyh voisk Rossii
  9. ^ General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye

Bibliography[edit]

  • Petukhov, Sergei I.; Shestov I.V. (1998). History of design and development of missile systems and military systems of AAW of Russian Land Forces / Istorija sozdanija i razvitija vooruzhenija i vojennoi tehniki PVO suhoputnyh voisk Rossii, 1.-2. VPK Publishing. 
  • "Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, FIM-43". Archived from the original on 17 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 

External links[edit]