SURFACE TO AIR MISSILES (SAM)

SA-7

 

SA-7 surface to air missile and launcher

The 9K32 "Strela-2" (arrow), NATO reporting name SA-7 "Grail" is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, with a high explosive warhead and passive infrared homing guidance.

 

 

The SA-7 was the first generation of Soviet man portable SAMs, its first version entered service in 1968.

The SA-7b has a slant range of about 5km, a ceiling of about 2300 metres, and a speed of about 580 metres per second. It can force enemy pilots to fly above its effective ceiling, causing increased chance of detection by radar and vulnerability to other air defence systems. The SA-7 is a tail-chase missile system and its effectiveness depends on its ability to lock onto the heat source of low-flying fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

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 defence systems.

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 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 metres in altitude, with a speed of about 430 metres per second (Mach 1.4). The SA-7b has a slant range of about 4.2 km, a ceiling of about 2300 metres, and a speed of about 500 metres 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.
 

SA-7 Specifications
Type Man portable low altitude surface-to-air missile
Manufacturer Turopov OKB
Weight 4.7kg
Warhead 1.2kg blast fragmentation with a contact fuse
Length 1.4m
Diameter 70mm
Performance Speed 580m/s, range 500m 5,500m, guidance passive infrared