A 9K34 Strela-3 (SA-14) missile and launch tube.
|Type||Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS)|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Weight||10.3 kilograms (23 lb)|
|Length||1.47 metres (4.8 ft)|
|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) man-portable air defence missile system (MANPADS) was 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 and 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 | edit source]
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. Most importantly, 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). Against relatively slow, low-altitude battlefield air threats the overall effectiveness was much improved.
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 | edit source]
Iraq[edit | edit source]
Abkhazia[edit | edit source]
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 July 4, 1993 by SA-14, and several other aircraft on both sides may have been shot down by SA-14s.
Former Yugoslavia[edit | edit source]
One BAE Sea Harrier of the 801 Naval Air Squadron, operating from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, was shot down during its attack two Serbian T-55 tank in Bosnia. The pilot, Lieutenant Nick Richardson, ejected and landed in territory controlled by friendly Bosnian Muslims (16 April 1994).
DRC Congo[edit | edit source]
Afghanistan[edit | edit source]
Angola[edit | edit source]
Comparison chart[edit | edit source]
|System||9K32M Strela-2M (missile: 9M32M)||9K34 Strela-3 (missile: 9M36) ||FIM-43C Redeye|
|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 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|
References[edit | edit source]
- Cooper, Tom. "Georgia and Abkhazia, 1992-1993: the War of Datchas". ACIG.org. http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_282.shtml. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- Cooper, Tom. "Zaire/DR Congo, 1980-2001". ACIG.org. http://www.acig.info/CMS/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=246&Itemid=47. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- Cooper, Tom. "Afghanistan, 1979-2001; Part 2". ACIG.org. http://www.acig.info/CMS/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=158&Itemid=47. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- Istorija sozdanija i razvitija vooruzhenija i vojennoi theniki PVO suhoputnyh voisk Rossii
- General Dynamics FIM-43 Redeye
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- 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. http://web.archive.org/web/20080417220914/http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-43.html. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
See also[edit | edit source]
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