Air defense / MANPADS / 9K34 Strela-3

9K34 Strela-3

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Man portable SAM system


    SA-14 Gremlin (NATO reporting name)
    SA-N-8 (NATO reporting name)

    1972 - 1974

    KBM Kolomna

    1974 - ?




    Much improved seeker over Strela-2
    Limited production costs
    Can only engage approaching or receding targets
    Limited missile speed and agility


The 9K34 Strela-3 is a late Cold War era man portable SAM system of Soviet origin. In the West it is better known by its NATO designation SA-14 Gremlin. When used aboard ships it is also known as the SA-N-8. The Strela-3 is an improvement over the widely produced 9K32 Strela-2 (SA-7 Grail).


The Strela-3 essentially is a Strela-2 with improved infrared seeker and warhead. As such the overall layout is similar with the seeker in the nose of the missile, followed by the warhead and the rocket motor making up the rear half of the missile. The all new seeker and warhead provide and increased performance but the increased weight reduced the target envelope and agility of the missile. The Strela-3 is fired from a grip stock launcher.


The Igla-1 is a supersonic missile with an average maximum speed of about 410 m/s. It can engage near supersonic targets out to 4.1 km or to altitudes of 3 km. The blast fragmentation warhead features a secondary charge to set off any remaining fuel. The new infrared seeker has an increased performance against low altitude targets over land and water and is less easily fooled by flares.


The Strela-3 is a very mobile system as the missile and its gripstock launcher are man portable, even over longer ranges. The system is operated by a single person. On a quadruple launcher it can also be found as short range air defense on several types of Soviet naval ships.


The main use of the Strela-3 was in the USSR and Warsaw Pact nations. Additionally large quantities have been exported to nations in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Due to the advent of the more capable 9K310 Igla-1 and large numbers of Strela-2 already in service the production and export never reached to the quantities of the Strela-2. The Strela-3 remains in service today and has been used in a variety of conflicts.


9K34 Strela-3

9K34 Strela-3: The Strela-3 is produced only in a single version. The 9K34 system comprises the 9M36 missile, the 9P59 reusable grip stock launcher and a 9P51 battery pack. Late production models are the 9M36-1 missile and 9P59M gripstock launcher. The Strela-3 can be distinguished from the Strela-2 by the ball shaped battery pack.

  • Specifications:
  • 9M36
TypeSurface to air missile
Diameter72 mm body
Length1.42 m
Weight10.3 kg
GuidanceSingle channel passive infra-red homing seeker
WarheadHE-Frag, 1.15 kg, contact fuze
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor plus ejection motor
Speed470 m/s average
Range0.5 km to 4.5 km approaching and receding
Altitude30 m to 1.8 km vs jets and 3.0 km vs slow targets
Engagement envelopemax target speed is 310 m/s receding, 260 m/s approaching
Remarks9P59 gripstock weighs 5 kg
14 to 17 second self-destruct time


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