Air defense / Self-propelled SAM systems / SA-9 Gaskin

SA-9 Gaskin

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-propelled SAM system

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    SA-9 Gaskin (NATO reporting name)

  • DESIGNED
    Mid 1960's

  • DESIGNER
    Nudelman OKB-16 design bureau

  • PRODUCTION
    1968 - ?

  • PRODUCERS
    USSR

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Autonomous system
    Longer range than most AA guns
    Low production and operational costs
    Good mobility
    Limited effective range
    Missiles easily fooled by modern flares

Introduction

The 9K31 Strela-1 is a self-propelled SAM system of Soviet origin. In the West this system is better known by its NATO reporting SA-9 Gaskin. The 9K31 was designed to complement the ZSU-23-4 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun as a regimental asset.

Layout

The 9K31 is based on the BRDM-2 4x4 chassis. The driver and commander are seated in the front and the gunner in the turret. Up to four launch container can be attached to the turret. During travel the missiles are lowered. The 9K31 is a stand alone system, but usually it operates in pairs or groups of four. Target information is relayed by radio by other air defense systems.

Firepower

The turret is fitted with four 9M31 Strela-1 surface to air missiles with infrared guidance. The maximum effective range is 4.2 km and maximum altitude is 3 km. Due to the limitations of the seeker the maximum range can only be achieved under favorable circumstances. Effectiveness during head-on engagements and at night is much reduced.

Protection

The steel armor protects from small arms fire and shell splinters. The 9K31 is operated under full armor protection, except for reloading the missiles. An NBC system is fitted while smoke grenade dischargers are not.

Mobility

The BRDM-2 chassis provides a high road speed and reasonable cross country performance. Since the belly wheels are not fitted the cross country capability is slightly less. A 140 hp petrol engine provides propulsion. The 9K31 is fully amphibious.

Users

The 9K31 Strela-1 was very common during the Cold War. While the 9K31 is cheap and a stand-alone system it was widely exported to nations with close ties to the USSR. In Russia and most Eastern European systems the 9K31 was replaced by the 9K35 Strela-10 (SA-14 Gopher), but the 9K31 remains in widespread use around the world.

Variants

9K31 Strela-1 launch vehicle

The 9K31 Strela-1, with the NATO designation SA-9 Gaskin, is a self-propelled SAM system. It is based on the BRDM-2 chassis, but lacks the belly wheels. There are no variants, except that the battery commander's vehicle is fitted with a radar detection system. Usually one out of four vehicles is fitted with a 9S16 Flat Box-A radar detection antenna, alerting the crew of nearby aircraft. When the launch vehicle is fitted with the 9S16 it is known in the West as the SA-9A and without as the SA-9B.

TypeSelf-propelled SAM system
Crew3 (commander, driver, gunner)
Length5.8 m
Width2.4 m
Height2.3 m (travelling)
Ground clearance0.43 m
Weight7.0 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 4x4, 3.1 m wheelbase, 1.84 m track
Turn radius?
EngineGAZ-41 V8 petrol, 140 hp at 3.400 rpm
Power ratio20.0 hp/t
Transmission?
Speed100 km/h on road, 10 km/h in water
Fuel290 L
Range750 km on road
Wall0.4 m
Trench1.2 m
Gradient60% gradient
FordingAmphibious
ArmorSteel, 5 to 14 mm
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionYes
SmokeNo
Remarks-
ArmamentSA-9 Gaskin missile (4x)
Weapon1SA-9 Gaskin missiles on turret
6 rounds, 4 ready to fire
+20 to +80° elevation, powered
360° traverse, 15 - 20°/s powered
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

9M31 missile

The Strela-1 missile is a larger brother of the shoulder launched Strela-2 (SA-7 Grail) missile. It has a conventional layout with the seeker in the front, followed by the warhead and the rocket engine. Four tail fins provide course correction. The missiles are transported in and launched from the launch container. The original 9M31 missile is fitted with a first generation infra-red seeker. The improved 9M31M missile has a an improved seeker that provides better lock on capability. Compared to the SA-7 Grail the Strela-1 has only a slightly longer effective range, but has a much higher performance due to the larger warhead, better maneuverability and better seeker.

TypeSurface to air missile
Diameter0.12 m body, 0.36 m wingspan
Length1.803 m
Weight30 kg
Guidance9E41 PbS uncooled photocontrast seeker, 1 - 3 um wavelength
WarheadHE-Frag, 2.6 kg, RF proximity fuse
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed500 m/s max
Range1.0 to 4.2 km effective, 6.5 km max
Altitude50 m to 3.0 km
Engagement envelopemax target speed is 310 m/s head on and 220 m/s chase
Remarks0.29 x 0.29 x 1.90 m launch container
TypeSurface to air missile
Diameter0.12 m body, 0.36 m wingspan
Length1.8 m
Weight30.5 kg
Guidanceimproved 9E41 PbS uncooled photocontrast seeker, 1 - 5 um wavelength
WarheadHE-Frag, 2.6 kg, RF proximity fuse
PropulsionSingle-stage solid propellant rocket motor
Speed500 m/s max
Range0.5 to 4.2 km effective, 8 km max
Altitude30 m to 3.5 km
Engagement envelopemax target speed is 310 m/s head on and 220 m/s chase
Remarks0.29 x 0.29 x 1.90 m launch container

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