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9K32 Strela-2

NATO: SA-7 Grail


9K32M Strela-2M

East German soldier with 9K32M Strela-2M man portable SAM system.
Source: Unknown author - © copyright lies with original owner

Soviet Union
Man portable SAM system
Entered service
In service
Soviet Union - KBM Kolomna
1968 - present
Soviet Union
Bulgaria - VMZ
North Korea
Romania - Arsenalul Armatei
Serbia - Yugoimport-SDPR
SA-7 Grail (NATO reporting name)
SA-N-5 Grail (NATO reporting name)
CA-94 (Romanian production)
Hwasung-Chong (North Korean production)
ITO 78 (Finnish service)



The 9K32 Strela-2 is a Cold War era man portable SAM system of Soviet origin. 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.


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.


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 propeller aircraft.


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.


The Strela-2 was adopted in large quantity by Soviet forces. Even with improved models such as Strela-3 and Igla in service, 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.

9K32 gripstock launcher

9K32M Strela-2M

Czechoslovak troops with Strela-2 during a Cold War era exersize.
Source: - © copyright lies with original owner

The original Strela-2 uses 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.

9M32 missile

9K32M Strela-2M

9M32M missile top with 9P58 gripstock bottom.
Source: - © copyright lies with original owner

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 automated 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.


Facts 9M32 9M32M Strela-2M/A
Soviet Union
Surface to air missile
72 mm body
1.420 m
9.15 kg
Gripstock weight
9P53 weighs 4.17 kg
Guidance mode
Single channel passive infra-red homing seeker
Receding targets only
Max target speed
220 m/s
1.17 kg
Impact fuze
Self-destruct time
12 to 15 seconds after launch
Engagement envelope
Single-stage solid propellant rocket motor, plus ejection motor
430 m/s average
600 m/s maximum
0.8 km minimum
3.4 km maximum
50 m to 1.5 km


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FIM-43 Redeye

The FIM-43 Redeye was the US counterpart to the Strela-2M in era and performance.

9K34 Strela-3

The Strela-3 is an improved design based on the Strela-2.