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    Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

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    d_taddei2
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    Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  d_taddei2 on Sun May 12, 2013 10:33 pm

    Hi all,
    As everyone knows that Soviet era anti air defence is probably the most numerous and used equipment on the globe, with many systems as old as they are still in use by many armies today and will be for some time. But even with upgrades do they provide a good anti air defence for the armies using them on todays battle field/threat? in paticular systems like the following:
    SA-2 Guideline
    SA-3 Goa
    SA-4 Ganef
    SA-5 Gammon
    SA-6 Gainful
    SA-8 Gecko
    SA-9 Gaskin
    SA-13 Gopher

    These are still in service with many armies in the world and in vast quantities.
    any views are welcome.

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  Viktor on Mon May 13, 2013 2:32 am

    Mostly depend on the type of opponent you are facing. It would be difficult to try to absorb NATO full blow with these outdated system

    but when faced with moderate one, country vs country and when under command posts such air defense can still be considered force to be

    recon with, more to it because with the exceptions of several countries in the world none can amass huge fighter numbers.

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    Post  d_taddei2 on Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:55 am

    Hi very true, i think against most modern aircraft these systems now struggle, i know SA-2, SA-3, SA-4 have had some upgrades in some way shape or form, but does these upgrades make them any good, or should countries look to replace these older soviet systems, ASAP???

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  Viktor on Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:59 am

    d_taddei2 wrote:Hi very true, i think against most modern aircraft these systems now struggle, i know SA-2, SA-3, SA-4 have had some upgrades in some way shape or form, but does these upgrades make them any good, or should countries look to replace these older soviet systems, ASAP???
    Well that depends. If you want to keep old SAM systems in order to save money than you should go for mobility. Phase off all the systems that are static and modernize the ones that are 

    not in order to provide them with more target guidance channels and better comunications to its command posts. But before you decide what and how many you should first do few things:

    1. Define threats 
    2. Make topographic map of the country
    3. Buy radar systems to get full picture of all airspace
    4. Buy SAMs and airforce accordingly 

    By my opinion highly mobile SAM systems in combination with decoys and ECM - given full radar picture of the country would form conditions to plan effective SAM traps and cause high 

    attrition rate for the attacking force as only several countries in the world (some would say even few) have sufficient equipment to determine SAM positions and make attack plans.  

    SAM system that have good combat value and modernization potential are:

    - SA-3 Goa -> Pechora-2M (Belarus version)

    - SA-6 Gainful -> KUB-M4

    - SA-8 Gecko -> OSA-AKM

    - SA-13 Gopher -> SA-10

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  GarryB on Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:24 am

    The problem to is that for a country like Russia that has an enormous land mass to cover and fairly unfriendly neighbours having thousands of SA-3 systems that are medium to low altitude engagement systems remains useful... the S-300 and later systems are generations ahead in terms of performance but enemy UAVs don't require S-300 level performance... when jamming is heavy a few home on jam or optically guided previous generation SAMs can be rather useful.

    Their main problem was lack of mobility and the size of the electronics and support equipment made most of them relatively fixed systems though there are modern upgraded electronics systems for them that can allow them to operate from the back of a truck if needed.

    The old SAMs are relatively fixed systems, but then a capital city or an airfield is also pretty fixed too.

    With a modern IADS and modern mobile missile systems the older systems can offer cheap support... remember an aircraft turning hard to evade an SA-2 might need to dump ordinance to do so and that manouver could bleed speed or altitude or both making the aircraft more vulnerable to any other missile launched at it.

    In some backwater places where there is nothing worth protecting moving a few old SA-3 batteries makes more sense than building S-400s, but as the old missiles expire and are used for target practise or in exercises then Vityaz will likely replace them giving a huge step up in terms of performance regarding range, number of targets engaged, type of targets that can be engaged etc.

    If the requirement is the ability to bring down a hijacked airliner that is going to be used as a missile then something like SA-3, SA-2, SA-5 would all be very capable systems... and with upgrades even more so... but the original systems were very expensive, and maintainence costs while reduced with upgrades could be an issue... though it will still be cheaper than buying all new state of the art systems.

    The sheer size of the old missiles would allow plenty of space for more modern seekers including ARH and or IIR, while improved control surfaces and increased thrust rocket motors could create far more capable missiles... most of the huge boxes of electronics in the ground control systems could probably be replaced with a modern laptop...

    The thing is that you have to be careful you don't end up changing everything and ending up making a mistake... remember that hammer you had that was the best one you ever bought... it lasted 30 years and only had 3 new heads and 2 new handles....Razz 

    Looking at putting in new Seekers and new fuel and control surfaces and new launch equipment... it might make more sense to just buy older model S-300s, or even look at Vityaz lite.


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    Post  d_taddei2 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:39 am

    hi all, thanks for the posts, some really good info,

    the systems mentioned all have some sort of upgrades which is good, but how does these systems compare with modern aircraft assuming they have had upgrades????

    What would you say a small nation would need to protect its airpace and assets? without going over the top on price? bearing in mind a small nation would have a small budget, with so many systems on the market, and upgrades, theres a big, choice, even the ZSU-23-4 has had upgrades now which seems to make it pretty reasonable air defence and its cheap.
    Alot of the newer systems cost an arm and a leg to buy, so upgrades seem to the cost effective way for armies to make their air defence better, and soviet/russian equipment is in service in huge numbers around the world so plenty of customers. But are the upgrades any good??????

    And another recent upgrade to note was Iran's upgrade of KS-19 100mm anti aircraft gun, called sa'eer or sa'ir, which has an automatic reloading system, automatic motorized positioning system, firing radar. The smart system can track and fire target automatically in the range to 20 to 40 km and the altitude of 15 km.

    http://www.armyrecognition.com/iran_iranian_army_light_heavy_weapons_uk/sa_eer_saeer_ks-19_automatic_100mm_anti-aircraft_gun_technical_data_sheet_specifications_pictures.html

    whats your views in this Iranian upgrade??????

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  GarryB on Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:30 pm

    the systems mentioned all have some sort of upgrades which is good, but how does these systems compare with modern aircraft assuming they have had upgrades????
    There are upgrades and there are generations.

    An older generation system can have upgrades applied to it but most of those upgrades involve trying to add features and capabilities from newer generation systems.

    Suffice to say that S-200 and S-300 are a generation apart and in many ways S-200 upgrades will improve certain aspects of performance but at the end of the day S-300 will be the better performing system.

    Right now Russia is working on Vityaz and I get the feeling that when it is ready it is going to be an excellent export seller because it is smaller and lighter and probably much cheaper than S-400 yet offering performance as good as or better in some areas than S-300.

    If you want a SAM system I would say a mix of Vityaz and Pantsir-S1 would be an excellent combination but it is currently not available... perhaps as a compromise you could talk to South Korea to perhaps negotiate a purchase of their SAM developed from the S-400 as a more politically palatable purchase.

    In a nutshell the upgrades improve performance but don't change the generation of the systems... they get a more effective defence without the cost of replacing existing systems.

    As you don't have existing Soviet systems I suggest buy new.

    Regarding the Iranian gun... well the most effective systems for medium to high altitude have been found to be missiles in the west and in the Soviet Union/Russia... it is interesting but radar support has been applied to such systems before... Vietnam used them I think, but today a good missile makes rather more sense.



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    Post  d_taddei2 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:52 pm

    I agree with all you say, new systems are so much better and also have the scope to be upgraded in the future, theres only so much upgrading an older system can take before it has to be replaced by newer systems, i think Panstir S1 and S300 at the moment would be good, do you know when Vityaz is due for export? Scottish independence if it gets it, has been ear marked for 2016 (roughly 2 yrs after vote).
    On the Iranian system i would day your right the only positive things i can see from this is a good use of making older systems(ks-19) into something better, especially if you have loads of them, and dont have a high budget, also the ammo is cheaper but it all depends how many you have to fire to get a result, and it could be usefull against helicopters and slow and low flying aircraft, but the sheer size, and equipment needed to operate it, and mobility, doesnt make sense, would be better to invest in SA-24's which is way smaller, and easily portable, and more effective.

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  Viktor on Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:37 pm

    d_taddei2 wrote:I agree with all you say, new systems are so much better and also have the scope to be upgraded in the future, theres only so much upgrading an older system can take before it has to be replaced by newer systems, i think Panstir S1 and S300 at the moment would be good, do you know when Vityaz is due for export? Scottish independence if it gets it, has been ear marked for 2016 (roughly 2 yrs after vote).
    Vityaz is set to start entering Russian service in 2016 but when will be cleared for export I dont know. I suspect that could happen momentarily.

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  medo on Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:46 pm

    Only still useful and have sense to modernize to modern level are SA-8 and SA-13, which are systems from late seventies and eighties. All other is simply too old and will be sooner or later retired.

    Maybe poorer states could modernize their SAMs, when they have non USSR build newer systems, like Chinese HQ-2 (SA-2), which last examples are not that old and still have their service life in front of them.

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    older SAM systems any good???

    Post  d_taddei2 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:11 am

    hi all, i was looking to find peoples views on the older SAM systems still in use today, many soviet designs are still in use with various upgrades, but are they any good against modern aircraft particularly against western aircraft.

    systems such as:

    SA-2- Guideline
    SA-3- Goa
    SA-4- Ganef
    SA-5- Gammon
    SA-6- Gainful
    SA-8- Gecko
    SA-9- Gaskin
    SA-13- Gopher

    also any views on ZSU-23-4(upgraded) and 2K22 Tunguska SA-19 Grison.

    any input would be great.

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  Mike E on Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:16 am

    Just so you know, somehow three other duplicate threads were made. They need to be deleted.  Wink

    Generally older SAM's are outdated but can be partially brought back with upgrades. IMO the SA-6 is one such system.

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    Post  d_taddei2 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:18 am

    Mike E wrote:Just so you know, somehow three other duplicate threads were made. They need to be deleted.  Wink

    Generally older SAM's are outdated but can be partially brought back with upgrades. IMO the SA-6 is one such system.


    yeah its now been sorted dont know what happend lol. Yeah many older systems have had upgrades but does the upgrades make them any good agaisnt western aircraft such as F-16's?

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  George1 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:46 am

    d_taddei2 wrote:
    Mike E wrote:Just so you know, somehow three other duplicate threads were made. They need to be deleted.  Wink

    Generally older SAM's are outdated but can be partially brought back with upgrades. IMO the SA-6 is one such system.


    yeah its now been sorted dont know what happend lol. Yeah many older systems have had upgrades but does the upgrades make them any good agaisnt western aircraft such as F-16's?

    look the first post of the similar thread u have opened before. It is the same as today's one


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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  franco on Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:54 am

    d_taddei2 wrote:hi all, i was looking to find peoples views on the older SAM systems still in use today, many soviet designs are still in use with various upgrades, but are they any good against modern aircraft particularly against western aircraft.

    systems such as:

    SA-2- Guideline
    SA-3- Goa
    SA-4- Ganef
    SA-5- Gammon
    SA-6- Gainful
    SA-8- Gecko
    SA-9- Gaskin
    SA-13- Gopher

    also any views on ZSU-23-4(upgraded) and 2K22 Tunguska SA-19 Grison.

    any input would be great.

    There are upgrades going on for the Russian Forces with the SA-8's and SA-13's. Not sure as to the technical details and believe it involves less then 200 of each. Research should turn up something for you. I have seen upgrades offered by the Russians for the SA-3's.

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    Post  d_taddei2 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:42 am

    franco wrote:
    d_taddei2 wrote:hi all, i was looking to find peoples views on the older SAM systems still in use today, many soviet designs are still in use with various upgrades, but are they any good against modern aircraft particularly against western aircraft.

    systems such as:

    SA-2- Guideline
    SA-3- Goa
    SA-4- Ganef
    SA-5- Gammon
    SA-6- Gainful
    SA-8- Gecko
    SA-9- Gaskin
    SA-13- Gopher

    also any views on ZSU-23-4(upgraded) and 2K22 Tunguska SA-19 Grison.

    any input would be great.

    There are upgrades going on for the Russian Forces with the SA-8's and SA-13's. Not sure as to the technical details and believe it involves less then 200 of each. Research should turn up something for you. I have seen upgrades offered by the Russians for the SA-3's.

    i know theirs numerous upgrades i just wasn't sure how effect the upgrades were against western aircraft, i know SA-3 have also been upgraded and mounted on t-55, ive had a hunt on the net but cant find anything on performance after upgrade hence the question

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  victor1985 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:33 am

    point is thatat them you must replace older circuit parts and metal. better buy a entirelly new one. because the total cost of improvements reach the cost of a entirelly new machine. not to metion that the new ones have improvements in shape and ergonomy

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  GarryB on Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:39 pm

    One critical feature of SAMs is numbers... only having a few is a problem, because they can be easily overwhelmed.

    One advantage of old SAMs being upgraded is that a huge number of air threats don't require super dooper high tech SAMs... for instance a high flying low IR signature drone like the Israeli drones used in Georgia represent an interesting problem. Flying a 4km in the air missiles like MANPADs have problems getting a lock due to the tiny IR signature. ZU-23 is also useless for targets at that altitude and with other systems either altitude or low IR signature is a problem... which means either let them look at your troops and force structure, or shoot them down with something ridiculously expensive and over kill like BUK.

    With upgrades an old system like OSA or Strela-10 using optical guidance could be effective yet cheap to use... obviously a modern system like Pantsir-SM would be ideal, but if you have hundreds of SA-3 and lots of incoming cruise missiles then why not use them with thermal night vision optical channel guidance and half a dozen optical directors and save you newer missiles for more modern or more manouverable threats.

    It is a cheap way to greatly improve the performance of old missile stocks and make them still relevant and useful against mass attacks.

    Often older missiles can be used with newer systems... they will have shorter range, but the newer sensors should allow decent performance and their low cost means they can be deployed in huge numbers and actually used without breaking the bank.


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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  victor1985 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:59 pm

    my point is that you never know for real what are the chances for interception. putting some stuff on old sam may improve SOME of the characteristics. but at the rest you lack. here comes the enemy wich with his missiles could make difference. that is why you always better use new ones.
    somethimes the chassis and the frame are ok to old sams but the optics are the real lacks. you cant see a low observable target on screen thus optics may be replaced but chassis and frame still be used.

    but ...not forget that today we are in computer era. wich search for best shapes and models.
    even at chassis frames battery armour speed fuel consume etc etc etc you cant compare a old sam (mobile sams or fixed ) with new ones.

    ofcourse you could make the best and keep what could be kept and thrown what not to be .....

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  victor1985 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:01 pm

    somethimes the spaced cavities in the older sams for electronics dont fit with the new ones (despite the fact new electronics are smaller) so you spend money on modifiy

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  GarryB on Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:35 pm

    my point is that you never know for real what are the chances for interception. putting some stuff on old sam may improve SOME of the characteristics. but at the rest you lack. here comes the enemy wich with his missiles could make difference. that is why you always better use new ones.

    If you are Russia you build more new SAMs than all the other countries combined. The point is that they continue to make new missiles and put them into service, but they also upgrade older systems and keep using them where they have value.

    I should point out that using old SAMs as upgraded SAMs is but one use for them, ex-Soviet are widely used to simulate threats for newer SAMs to practise interception. they can be fitted with jammers and decoy dispensors and even corner reflectors to simulate a wide range of threats and targets... they probably built about 100,000 SA-1 missiles and after using 10,000 in exercises they still have plenty for use as targets.

    They now have newer SAMs for use as targets too... the SA-8 OSA is a popular system to simulate threats and can be guided to fly different flight profiles to simulate a range of targets.

    Even ATGMs are used to simulate threats that are quite challenging.

    somethimes the chassis and the frame are ok to old sams but the optics are the real lacks. you cant see a low observable target on screen thus optics may be replaced but chassis and frame still be used.

    The vast majority of older systems get optical backup guidance added as an upgrade and often only had SARH or command guidance originally. Optical guidance allows operation of the systems in periods of intense jamming and also allows small or stealthy targets to be engaged in the right weather conditions.

    but ...not forget that today we are in computer era. wich search for best shapes and models.
    even at chassis frames battery armour speed fuel consume etc etc etc you cant compare a old sam (mobile sams or fixed ) with new ones.

    Old missiles are already paid for and so with minor upgrades can perform a range of tasks... OSA, for examples is a neat little system perfectly capable of being sent out into the middle of nowhere and when passed data regarding approaching cruise missiles would be ideal for countries like Iran to deal with heavy cruise missile attack... approaches and choke points can be calculated... place a dozen SA-8s there and give them advanced warning that the cruise missiles are coming from US or Israeli naval forces in the Persian Gulf and they can knock out a dozen threat missiles before they get anywhere near their targets... making the job at the target area for say an S-300VM system much easier because it might have to deal with 12 missiles instead of 24.

    ofcourse you could make the best and keep what could be kept and thrown what not to be .....

    Some systems are totally obsolete and huge... use them to simulate targets... ballistic missiles or whatever... the rest can be used in training so your troops can get experience using real SAMs cheaply.

    somethimes the spaced cavities in the older sams for electronics dont fit with the new ones (despite the fact new electronics are smaller) so you spend money on modifiy

    Most old SAMs are huge and have plenty of internal space for new bits and pieces... most of the time however it is the guidance and sensors on the launcher that gets the upgrade...


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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  eehnie on Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:12 am

    d_taddei2 wrote:hi all, i was looking to find peoples views on the older SAM systems still in use today, many soviet designs are still in use with various upgrades, but are they any good against modern aircraft particularly against western aircraft.

    systems such as:

    SA-2- Guideline
    SA-3- Goa
    SA-4- Ganef
    SA-5- Gammon
    SA-6- Gainful
    SA-8- Gecko
    SA-9- Gaskin
    SA-13- Gopher

    also any views on ZSU-23-4(upgraded) and 2K22 Tunguska SA-19 Grison.

    any input would be great.

    I think every system is still useful for most of the countries. Russia retired years ago some ot them, but the rest are still useful even for Russia. If I'm not wrong SA-6, SA-8, SA-13, SA-19 and ZSU-23-4 are still active with SA-4 in the reserve. All are mobile systems that is a very good feature. The way to keep them effective longer time is to improve the ammunition (the missiles included), making them compatible with the older (mobile) launchers. Basically the same that is being done with the artillery ammunition.

    The older launchers are designed for a missile size that is not man-portable. The required size for the new ammunition for them makes easier to have higher ranges of action, and also the new missiles need to be more effective. I even think that these systems would be still attractive to export as cheaper air defense systems having new ammunition tha improves the performance of man-portable systems. Other countries are taking a military profit (with their tactics of air superiority) from the fact of the low export level of modern air defense systems.

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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  victor1985 on Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:06 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    my point is that you never know for real what are the chances for interception. putting some stuff on old sam may improve SOME of the characteristics. but at the rest you lack. here comes the enemy wich with his missiles could make difference. that is why you always better use new ones.

    If you are Russia you build more new SAMs than all the other countries combined. The point is that they continue to make new missiles and put them into service, but they also upgrade older systems and keep using them where they have value.

    I should point out that using old SAMs as upgraded SAMs is but one use for them, ex-Soviet are widely used to simulate threats for newer SAMs to practise interception. they can be fitted with jammers and decoy dispensors and even corner reflectors to simulate a wide range of threats and targets... they probably built about 100,000 SA-1 missiles and after using 10,000 in exercises they still have plenty for use as targets.

    They now have newer SAMs for use as targets too... the SA-8 OSA is a popular system to simulate threats and can be guided to fly different flight profiles to simulate a range of targets.

    Even ATGMs are used to simulate threats that are quite challenging.

    somethimes the chassis and the frame are ok to old sams but the optics are the real lacks. you cant see a low observable target on screen thus optics may be replaced but chassis and frame still be used.

    The vast majority of older systems get optical backup guidance added as an upgrade and often only had SARH or command guidance originally. Optical guidance allows operation of the systems in periods of intense jamming and also allows small or stealthy targets to be engaged in the right weather conditions.

    but ...not forget that today we are in computer era. wich search for best shapes and models.
    even at chassis frames battery armour speed fuel consume etc etc etc you cant compare a old sam (mobile sams or fixed ) with new ones.

    Old missiles are already paid for and so with minor upgrades can perform a range of tasks... OSA, for examples is a neat little system perfectly capable of being sent out into the middle of nowhere and when passed data regarding approaching cruise missiles would be ideal for countries like Iran to deal with heavy cruise missile attack... approaches and choke points can be calculated... place a dozen SA-8s there and give them advanced warning that the cruise missiles are coming from US or Israeli naval forces in the Persian Gulf and they can knock out a dozen threat missiles before they get anywhere near their targets... making the job at the target area for say an S-300VM system much easier because it might have to deal with 12 missiles instead of 24.

    ofcourse you could make the best and keep what could be kept and thrown what not to be .....

    Some systems are totally obsolete and huge... use them to simulate targets... ballistic missiles or whatever... the rest can be used in training so your troops can get experience using real SAMs cheaply.

    somethimes the spaced cavities in the older sams for electronics dont fit with the new ones (despite the fact new electronics are smaller) so you spend money on modifiy

    Most old SAMs are huge and have plenty of internal space for new bits and pieces... most of the time however it is the guidance and sensors on the launcher that gets the upgrade...
    point is how you simulate a threat with older missiles? because those old missiles lack EW ,explosive , speed and so on. maibe by placing them close to target and the reaction time is short thus you can see how fast your sistem performs. maibe you can cool temperature with some freon or something to have low signature. maibe you can simply improve their speed by removing the explosive and keep the tracking sistem and boosters. in this the target will be hit but no explosion.

    GarryB
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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  GarryB on Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:37 pm

    I think every system is still useful for most of the countries.

    Several countries agree with you Eehnie... the SA-2 even got a truck mounted launcher erector for export/upgrade...

    the obvious problem is where do you draw the line... if you upgrade it too much it can sometimes be cheaper to just buy a newer missile system.

    replace old electronics and batteries and just use old missiles as cheaper than new ones till they are all used up.


    point is how you simulate a threat with older missiles? because those old missiles lack EW ,explosive , speed and so on.

    Actually most have rather large warheads so there is plenty of space for decoy dispensors and jammers, and you can choose the missile type for speed... the SA-5 lacks nothing in speed or range.

    Most of them are much faster than any manned aircraft...

    in this the target will be hit but no explosion.

    Not really sure what you mean here... are you suggesting using them to test aircraft against potential SAMs or to test SAMs by having them simulate aircraft?

    If you mean the former even removing the warhead potentially could destroy your test aircraft simply through kinetic energy... some of these SAMS are huge.

    Most common use is the latter... explosive warhead removed and used to simulate the flight path of an incoming threat...


    Last edited by GarryB on Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:39 am; edited 1 time in total


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    franco
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    Re: Soviet SAM systems. What are your thoughts?

    Post  franco on Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:49 pm

    You might find what you are looking for at Air Power Australia or Defense Techs (had a good pdf on Russian Air Defense) including upgrades.

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