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S-300 air defense missiles (NATO- SA-10 Grumble)
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The S-300PMU [SA-10 land-based, SA-N-6 naval version] surface-to-air missile system is able to engage a number of targets simultaneously, countering intensive aircraft raids at low-to-high altitude. The SA-10 offers significant advantages over older strategic surface-to-air missile systems, including multitarget handling and engagement characteristics, a capability against low altitude targets with small radar cross-sections such as cruise missiles, a capability against tactical ballistic missiles, and possibly a potential to intercept some types of strategic ballistic missiles.
This vertically launched missile uses a single-stage solid propellant rocket motor. It is normally armed with a 100 kg HE-fragmentation warhead with a proximity fuse, though a low yield tactical nuclear type is believed to be an alternative warhead option. The missile's vertical launch trajectory provides fastest available reaction time capability to counter targets approaching from any azimuth. Missile engagement altitude extend from 25 m up to about 30000 m. The maximum engagement range is stated as at least 90000 m, though in practice it is probably greater.
The battery takes only five minutes to deploy once it comes to the halt. The vehicles have electronic inter-vehicle communications and data transmission links with elevatable pole-type antenna, and thus it does not require interconnecting vehicle cables. Each of the MAZ-7910 derivative vehicles has four hydraulic jacks positioned either side between the first/second and third/fourth road wheels which are lowered to the ground to provide a more stable and level environment.
Missile guidance is of the Track-Via-Missile (TVM) type with the FLAP LID guidance radar capable of engaging up to six targets simultaneously, with two missiles assigned per target to ensure a high kill probability. Maximum target velocity is stated as 4200 km/h with the battery capable of firing three missiles per second.
If the battery is employed in rugged terrain or forest then the engagement radar system can be mounted on a special trailer-mounted extendible 24.4 m high tower to improve radar coverage. The use of this extended-range radar for low level engagements increases the system's range to 43,200 m from the original 32,000 m. In its sealed container-launcher cylinder the missile is considered to be a round of ammunition and is said not to require any check-ups or adjustments for a period of 10 years.
The S-300PMU1 is an extended range version of S-300PMU with a limited anti-ballistic missile capability, including capabilities against aerodynamic targets with speeds up to 3 kilometers/second.
The S-300PMU2 Favorit variant is a new missile with larger warhead and better guidance with a range of 200 km, versus the 150 km of previous versions. Unveiled at the MAKS'97 exhibition in August 1997, it represents a thorough modification of the S-300PMU1. The first tests were performed on 10 August 1995 at the Kapustin Yar firing range. One new element is the entirely new 96L6E autonomous mobile radar, which works in conjunction with the 83M6E2 control post and S-300MPU2 launchers. The new 48N6E2 missile, developed by MKB Fakel, weighs 1,800 kg, and is 7.5 m long and 0.5 m in diameter. After a cold start in the upright position with help of a catapult, the 48N6E2 accelerates up to 1,900 m/s in 12 sec time, and then approaches the target from above. The 48N6E2 differs from the older 48N6E in having a new warhead specially designed for destroying ballistic missiles, with a warhead weight of 145 kg versus 70-100 kg.
The S-300PMU2 Favorit can engage targets flying from 10 m to 27 km above the surface at a speed of up to 10,000 km/h. It is claimed that it has a kill ratio ranging from 0.8 to 0.93 against aircraft and from 0.8 to 0.98 against Tomahawk-class cruise missiles.
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