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S-2 Sopka

NATO: SS-C-2a Salish | SS-C-2b Samlet


S-2 Sopka

Left side view of S-2 Sopka missile and launch rail on display.
Source: AdamoKrzys - © GNU Attribution - Share Alike license

Soviet Union
Coastal defense system
Entered service
1957 for Strela
1958 for Sopka
Out of service
1955 - 1958
Soviet Union - OKB-155
1957 - 1960's
Soviet Union
Number produced
At least 100 launcher and 500 missiles produced.
SS-C-2a Salish (NATO designation for fixed site variant)
SS-C-2b Samlet (NATO designation for mobile variant)
4K87 (GRAU designation)
Notable users
Soviet Union



The S-2 Sopka is an early Cold War era coastal defense system of Soviet origin. It was developed in the late 1950's. The anti-ship missile used in the S-2 Sopka system is derived from the KS-1 Komet (NATO: AS-1 Kennel) air launched anti-ship missile. Early production models were fixed site models known as Strela, Russian for Arrow, and known by NATO as the SS-C-2a Salish. The main production model is the S-2 Sopka, which is a mobile version and known by NATO as the SS-C-2b Samlet.


The S-2 Sopka is a land based coastal defense system built around the S-2 missile, a land based version of KS-1 Komet air launched anti-ship missile. The KS-1 missile was developed only a few years earlier and was in turn derived from the MiG-15 fighter jet airframe. The S-2 missile is launched from a large fixed site launcher or trailer mounted launch rail. In addition to the command post and launchers the system consists of search radar, ranging radars and fire control radars.

Fire control

The S-2 missile uses semi-active radar homing. Upgraded missiles added an infrared seeker alongside the radar homing system. At launch the S-2 uses a pre-planned inertial flight profile at high altitude. The flight profile can be updated mid course. In the terminal phases the S-2 uses semi-active radar homing system, either with or without infrared augmentation. The trailer mounted S-1M fire control radar illuminates the target vessel. One or two fire control radars are used per battery.


The S-2 Sopka system has a reported practical minimum range of 15 km and maximum range of 90 km. Maximum range depends on the selected flight profile and radar horizon. In theory the maximum range is 115 km. The S-2 missile flies at subsonic speed and carries a heavy 600 kg high explosive warhead. Test launches indicate a 70 to 80% hit rate. The dimensions, low speed and high altitude flight profile make the S-2 missile vulnerable to interception by aircraft, surface to air missiles and close in weapon systems.


The S-2 Sopka is a mobile coastal defense system, but is not suited for shoot-and-scoot operations. Set up time is at least 30 minutes, and probably much longer in practice. All components of the S-2 Sopka are towed KrAZ-214 and ZiL-157 tactical trucks. The earlier Strela system uses fixed site launchers and is not considered mobile.


The S-2 Sopka was initially adopted by the USSR in the late 1950's and was widely exported to Soviet allies in the early 1960's. The S-2 Sopka was transfered to Cuba alongside the similar looking FKR-1 tactical missile during the Cuban missile crisis. The S-2 Sopka was used operationally during the 1973 Yom Kippur war by Egyptian forces. The S-2 Sopka was supplemented by the more capable 4K44 Redut (NATO: SS-C-1 Sepal) and later by the more mobile 4K571Rubezh (NATO SS-C-3 Styx).


S-2 Sopka

Right side view of S-2 Sopka missile and launch rail in a Bulgarian museum.
Source: Pibwl - © GNU Attribution - Share Alike license

List of variants

Early production model, developed as fixed site system. Introduced in 1957, but tested as early as 1956. NATO reporting name for the fixed site model is SS-C-2a Salish. Soviet state trials proved that it was easy to develop a road mobile trailer mounted version of this system. The fixed site model was not exported.
S-2 Sopka
Standard production model with trailer mounted launch rails and radar systems. Introduced in 1958. NATO reporting name is SS-C-2b Samlet. The Soviet Union exported this more mobile version to several allies.


Facts S-2
Soviet Union
Anti-ship missile
8.3 m
1.2 m body
4.8 m
3.419 kg at launch
Initial phase
Inertial first phase with mid course corrections
Terminal phase
Dual mode seeker:
Semi-active radar homing
Infrared seeker with 10 km daytime range and 5 km at night
High explosive
600 kg
Engagement envelope
RD-500K turbojet engine
Solid propellant booster rocket
1.050 km/h max
15 km practical minimum
95 km practical maximum
115 km theoretical maximum
400 to 1.200 m above sea level, no low level flight in terminal phase

System composition

S-2 Sopka system composition

The S-2 Sopka coastal defense system consists of many individual components that are used in conjunction to form a functional system. Three types of radar are used to find and engage targets.
In addition to the list there probably is a battery command post, communications equipment, generator trailers and maintenance equipment.
The composition of the earlier fixed site Strela system is believed to be similar to the S-2 Sopka.

4x B-163
Trailer mounted launch rails. The trailer has two axles with double wheels, two jacks and two outriggers. The launch rail holds a single S-2 missile and can be rotated -85 to +85 degrees.
8x PR-15
Single axle semi-trailers used to transport and reload S-2 missiles.
1x Mys
Trailer mounted target detection radar. Mys is Russian for "cape".
1 or 2x Burun
Trailer mounted target ranging radar.
1 or 2x S-1M
Trailer mounted fire control radar.


Related articles

4K51 Rubezh

The 4K51 Rubezh (NATO: SS-C-3 Styx) is a Soviet coastal defense system that was also widely exported. Although Rubezh doesn't have the range of the Sopka, it is a more mobile system with fire control integrated into the launch vehicle.