Air defense / MANPADS / 9K32 Strela -2 (SA-7 Grail)

9K32 Strela -2 (SA-7 Grail)

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Man portable SAM system

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    SA-7 Grail (NATO reporting name)
    SA-N-5 Grail (NATO reporting name)
    SAM-7
    CA-94 (Romanian production)
    Hwasung-Chong (North Korean production)

  • DESIGNED
    1960's

  • DESIGNER
    KBM Kolomna

  • PRODUCTION
    1968 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    USSR - KBM Kolomna

    Licensed production:
    Bulgaria - VMZ
    North Korea - state arsenals
    Romania - Arsenalul Armatei
    Serbia - Yugoimport-SDPR
    Yugoslavia

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Low production cost
    Easy to use
    Seeker easily fooled by flares
    Limited lethality warhead
    Can only engage approaching or receding targets
    Limited missile speed and agility

Introduction

The 9K32 Strela-2 is a Cold War era man portable SAM system. In the West it is known by the NATO reporting name SA-7 Grail. The 9K32 was developed as a more capable alternative to anti-aircraft guns for engaging fighter jets. The Strela-2 was the first Soviet MANPADS and became the most widely used system in the world.

Layout

The Strela-2 has a conventional design. It is an infrared guided missile with the seeker in the nose. This is followed by the warhead section and the rocket engine. A booster launches the missile from the gripstock launcher and provides initial velocity. The missile has four small wings at the front for steering and larger folding wings near the nozzle for stability. The gripstock launcher consists of a launch tube, sight unit, battery unit and trigger group.

Firepower

The Strela-2 uses an infrared seeker that proved rather easy to mislead with flares. The warhead is also rather small. Only receding fighter jets can be engaged. The original Strela-2 has a maximum range of 3.4 km and ceiling of 1.5 km. The improved Strela-2M uses a higher thrust propellant to reach a range of 4.2 km and ceiling of 2.3 km. The improved seeker in the Strela-2M allows all aspect engagement of helicopters and propellor aircraft.

Mobility

The Strela-2 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. A four round launcher is used on ships of various sizes.

Users

The Strela-2 was adopted in large quantity by Soviet forces. Even with improved models such as Strela-3 and Igla the Strela-2 remained in use for a long time. The Strela-2 was exported in large quantities and has been produced in numerous nations with or without license. This makes the Strela-2 the most ubiquitous MANPADS in the world. It has been used in various conflicts from the 1970's to present day with mixed success. The Strela-2 is commonly encountered in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America.

Variants

9K32 launcher

The original Strela-2uses the 9P53 gripstock. The Strela-2M uses the more automated 9P58 gripstock, making operating the weapon simpler. Both use the same type of battery.

Besides the gripstock launcher the Strela-2M was also adopted for naval use on a four round launcher. The missile itself remains unchanged. The four round naval setup has the NATO reporting name SA-N-5 Grail.

9K32 missile

9K32 Strela-2: The 9K32 is the original missile introduced in 1968. It has the NATO reporting name SA-7A. It was soon replaced in production by the more capable 9K32M. The 9K32 uses the 9P53 gripstock.
9K32M Strela-2M: The 9K32M is an improvement over the 9K32 introduced in 1970. It has the NATO reporting name SA-7B. Compared to the 9K32 the 9K32M has a longer range, improved speed, all aspect engagement of helicopter and propellor aircraft and faster engagement with more auotmated 9P58 gripstock.
9K32M Strela-2M/A: An improved version of the 9K32M produced in Yugoslavia. Using newer electronics the guidance section has been reduced in size and weight. This allowed the warhead to increase in size accordingly.

TypeSurface to air missile
Diameter72 mm body
Length1.420 m
Weight9.15 kg
GuidanceSingle channel passive infra-red homing seeker
WarheadHE-Frag, 1.17 kg, impact fuze
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor plus ejection motor
Speed430 m/s average, 600 m/s maximum
Range0.8 to 3.4 km
Altitude50 m to 1.5 km
Engagement envelopemax target speed is 220 m/s receding
Remarks9P53 gripstock weighs 4.17 kg
12 to 15 second self-destruct time
TypeSurface to air missile
Diameter72 mm body
Length1.438 m
Weight9.6 kg
GuidanceSingle channel passive infra-red homing seeker
WarheadHE-Frag, 1.17 kg, impact fuze
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor plus ejection motor
Speed430 m/s average, 630 m/s maximum
Range0.8 to 4.2 km
Altitude30 m to 2.3 km
Engagement envelopemax target speed is 260 m/s receding, 150 m/s approaching
Remarks9P58 gripstock weighs 4.95 kg
15 to 19 second self-destruct time
TypeSurface to air missile
Diameter72 mm body
Length1.44m
Weight9.85 kg
GuidanceSingle channel passive infra-red homing seeker
WarheadHE-Frag, 1.32 kg, contact and grazing fuze
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor plus ejection motor
Speed500 m/s average
Range4.2 km approaching and 2.8 km receding
Altitude30 m to 2.3 km
Engagement envelopemax target speed is 260 m/s receding, 150 m/s approaching
Remarks9P58 gripstock weighs 4.95 kg

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