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9K330 Tor

NATO: SA-15 Gauntlet



Tor-M1 self-propelled short range SAM system, known in the West as the SA-15 Gauntlet.
Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin - © GNU Attribution - Share Alike license

Soviet Union
Self-propelled SAM system
Entered service
In service
1975 - 1985
Soviet Union - Antey (system)
Soviet Union - Fakel (missile)
1986 - present
Soviet Union - IEMZ Kupol
Russia - Almaz Antey
GRAU index
SA-15 Gauntlet
NATO reporting name
HQ-17 / Hongqi-17
Chinese designation



The 9K330 Tor is a late Cold War era self-propelled SAM system of Soviet origin. It was developed from 1975 to 1985 by Antei as a replacement for the older 9K33 Osa (SA-8 Gecko). The Tor is also well known under its NATO reporting name SA-15 Gauntlet. Since its introduction it is regarded the most capable short range self-propelled SAM system and continuous upgrades The Tor is one of the few short range SAM systems with a high effectiveness against cruise missiles and precision guided munitions.


Most Tor systems are based on the GM-355 tracked chassis that allows it to keep up with tanks and other armored vehicles through any terrain. A towed version is available which has the advantage of reduced costs. The latest systems are also available on a large MZKT-6922 6x6 truck chassis that is cheaper, offers more internal space, has even better mobility on roads and still provides protection to the crew. None of the Tor systems are amphibious.


The Tor is based on a tracked chassis that protects the crew from small arms fire. The three crew members are seated in the front, an unmanned turret is installed in the middle and the engine and drivetrain are located at the rear. Two boxes with four missiles are installed vertically in the middle of the turret and extend into the hull of the vehicle. The tracking radar is installed at the front of the turret and the optical system is fitted next to it. The search radar is fitted at the rear and is lowered behind the turret when not in use. The search radar rotates when in use and can be used on the move. The medium sized missiles use radio command guidance and are fitted with folding fins. Upon launch the vehicle comes to a halt, the missile is propelled upwards by a gas charge, is rotated in the correct direction and then the rocket ignites.


The primary means of engaging targets is by radar guidance. Each Tor system is fitted with a 25 km 360 degree search radar and 15 km 60 degree tracking radar. The Tor has a good ECM resistance but can also engage targets by TV tracking. The TV tracking system has a maximum range of 20 km and is fitted with a laser range finder. The naval version uses a similar two radar setup but has a more powerful search radar.


The Tor system fires the 9M330 missile that was designed specifically for this system. Besides aircraft and helicopters the Tor may also engage precision guided munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs. The maximum altitude is 6 km and the maximum range is 12 to 15 km depending on missile type. The original Tor system could only engage a single target at a time. The improved Tor-M and M1 may engage two targets simultaneously. The latest Tor-M2 is able to engage 4 targets at a time, also on the move. Targets may fly up to Mach 2 and maneuver at 12 G.


The main user of the Tor is Russia, which has various versions in service. It also has been exported to various nations in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and South America.



Russian army Tor-M1 self-propelled short range SAM system.
Source: Leonid Dzhepko - © GNU Attribution - Share Alike license

The original 9K330 Tor was fielded in the late 1980's and has the NATO designation SA-15A. It is based on the GM-355 tracked chassis and fires the 9M330 missile.

Since 1991 and improved version entered service. The 9K331M Tor-M is known as the SA-15B and the 9K331M1 Tor-M1 is known as the SA-15C. At first it was thought that the Tor-M1 was a further improved version of the Tor-M, but it is now known that the Tor-M1 only has an improved chassis. The Tor-M uses the improved GM-355M chassis while the Tor-M1 uses the GM-5955 chassis, which is longer and has 7 roadwheels instead of 6.


9M330 missile

Inert 9M330 missile outside its transportation and launch cannister.
Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin - © copyright lies with original owner

Missile variants

Original Tor missile that is used with the first generation Tor systems. It is believed that it can also be launched from the Tor-M and Tor-M1 systems.
Naval version of the original 9M330 missile. It has a similar engagement envelope as the 9M330 but is improved with guidance similar to the longer range 9M331, allowing two missiles to be launched simultaneously per target.
Improved version of the 9M330 with improved range and the ability of two missile to be launched at a single target.
The 9M332 is the latest version of the Tor missile which is used by the Tor-M2 systems.
Facts 9M330 9M331
Soviet Union
Surface to air missile
3.5 m
0.235 m
0.35 m
165 kg
Terminal phase
Radio command guidance
Initial phase
Radio command guidance
14.5 kg
Radar proximity fuse
Engagement envelope
Single-stage solid propellant rocket motor plus ejection motor
700 - 800 m/s max
650 m/s average
12 km maximum
2.0 km minimum
6.0 km maximum
10 m minimum
G force
30 G load factor
12 G target maneuvers


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