SA-24 Grinch (Igla-S 9K338) portable air defense missile system

SA-24 Grinch (Igla-S 9K338) portable air defense missile system

The SA-24 Grinch (Russian name Igla-S 9K338) is the latest generation of Russian portable air defense missile system. The SA-24 Grinch Igla-S is a further development of the Igla family systems (SA-18 and SA-16). In 2004 the Russian army adopted the new MANPADS – Igla-S (sometimes called “Igla-Super”) which is much more sophisticated and efficient in countering air threats. Serial production of the “Igla-S” (“Needle-S”) portable antiaircraft missile complex (PAAMC) is conducted at the Degtyarev factory in the city of Kovrov. The “Igla-S” PAAMC by its capabilities is significantly superior to the “Igla” PAAMC, which entered service in 1983.
The Igla-S (SA-24 Grinch) system comprises:
– Combat equipment including the 9M342 missile and the 9P522 launching mechanism
– Maintenance equipment, including the 9V866-2 mobile test station and the 9F719-2 test set
– Training facilities
– Night firing devices
Missile
The launcher unit 9P522 fires the missile 9M342. The effectiveness of the 9M342 missile against air targets is attributed to the increase weight of the explosive in the missile’s warhead and to the impact/proximity fuze enabling the missile to kill the target both in the event of a direct hit and when it passes at a distance of up to 1.5 m from the target. The target engagement has increased to 6 km compared with the 5.2 km of the Igla (SA-16 / SA-18) system.
Operations
When engaging slow or straight-receding targets, the operator tracks the target with the iron sights in the launch tube and applies half-trigger. The shooter then pulls the trigger fully, and immediately applies lead and super elevation. This method is called a manual engagement. An automatic mode, which is used against fast targets, allows the shooter to fully depress the trigger in one pull followed by immediate lead and super elevation of the launch tube.
The 9V866-2 and 9F719-2 maintenance facilities can be used to check the missile and the launching mechanisms of the Igla and Igla-1 MANPADS. The 9P522 launcher can be used to fire the Igla and Igla-S portable SAM system. The 9M342 missile can be mounted on different platforms using control equipment and launching modules of the Strelets (9S846) set.
Combat use
The SA-24 Grinch Igla-S man portable air defence missile (MANPADS) system is designed for use against visible targets as tactical aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicle, cruise missile, head-on or receding, in the presence of natural (background) clutter and countermeasures. The SA-24 Grinch Igla-S features high effectiveness and increased range against small targets, such as cruise missile and remotely piloted vehicles. The SA-24 Grinch Igla-S is able to engage targets at night
The 9K38 Igla (Needle) is a Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) developed by Soviet Union in the 1970s. It succeeded the older Strela-3 with better range and seeker sensitivity. The system uses an 9M39 Surface-to-Air missile (SAM). It was adopted by the Soviet Army in 1981. This air defense system is known in the West as SA-18 Grouse. The Igla MANPADS can engage aircraft, helicopters and UAVs.
   Comparing with the Strela series, the Igla has increased warhead weight. Its infrared guidance system uses proportional convergence logic for target acquisition and movement prediction.
   The 9M39 missile constitutes a seeker head, control system and propulsion system. The 9E410 seeking head contains photo resistor sensor made of Indium cooled down to -200 degree Celsius for better IR source acquisition. The seeker head also contains logical selection unit to enhance system’s acquisition capability during target engagement. The Igla also uses 9S520 night fire equipment package.
   The Igla launcher tube houses the SAM. It can also mount ground power supply sources and coolant gas. The targeting and triggering mechanisms are located on the gripstock assembly.
   Operation of the Igla is similar to other MANPAD Systems (eg. US Stinger). The 9M39 surface-to-air missile is inserted into the launchtube. Firing operation of Igla involves starting the ground power supply, powering the target acquisition unit and the missile. Friend or foe identification is carried out before target engagement by a 1L14 interrogator mounted on the launch tube. Additionally, night sight can also be mounted for day/night interoperability. The launcher sight assembly is used to target aerial vehicles and missile is fired using gripstock assembly. This starts the launch motor which pushes the 9M39 missile out of the launch tube. The seeker identifies the source as the boost phase of propulsion starts. During the sustaining phase control fins are used to maneuver the missile towards the IR Source. On nearing/reaching the target the warhead ignites neutralizing the target.
   The probability of kill of the Igla against an unprotected fighter aircraft is 30-48%. Even with jamming protection the kill probability only reduces to 24-30%, denoting Igla’s high countermeasure avoidance capability.
Variants
   Igla-1 is a simplified early production version. It is known in the West as SA-16 Gimlet. It had a maximum range of 5 000 m and could reach targets at a maximum altitude of 2 500 m.
   Igla-1E is an export version. It has been exported to a number of countries.
   Igla (SA-18 Grouse) is a standard production version. It was adopted in 1983. Currently it is in service with more than 30 countries, including Russia.
   Igla-D, version developed specially for the Soviet airborne troops. Its launch tube can be disassembled and carried in two separate sections in order to reduce dimensions.
   Igla-M is a naval version for the naval boats. Its Western designation is SA-N-10 Grouse.
   Igla-V is an air-to-air version, used on helicopters.
   Igla-N is a version with much larger and more powerful warhead.
   Igla-S, sometimes referred as Igla-Super. It is an improved variant in the Igla, which entered service with Russian Army in 2004. It is known in the West as SA-24 Grinch. It is more efficient weapon with longer range (up to 6 km). The missile was fitted with a new two-channel optical seeker with logic unit. It has higher jamming immunity due to good target selectivity against the background interference. The Igla-S also has increased warhead weight, laser based contact/proximity fuse, algorithm based optimal moment of explosion and high accuracy; all adds to the advantages of the new Igla-S over its predecessor. The warhead also features increased high explosive charge and fragment number. The warhead is made of Indium antimonide which allows lock onto receding target easier. The Igla-S has the same weight and size as the older missile, as well as similar launching/maintenance procedures. With its high combat effectiveness, Igla-S system can be used to engage cruise missiles and drones. This MANPADS has been exported to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Libya, Slovenia, Thailand, Venezuela, Vietnam, and possibly some other countries.
   Verba is the latest version. It was developed as a replacement for the Igla and Igla-S systems. The main improvement is a three-channel optical seeker. It uses three sensors, including ultraviolet, near infrared and mid-infrared. It improved discrimination abilities between real targets and decoys. This air defense system was approved for production in 2011. The Verba was adopted by the Russian Armed Forces in 2014. It has a 1.5 kg warhead and can reach targets at a range of 6 km and maximum altitude of 4.5 km.
   Hwasung-Chong is a North Korean version of the Igla.
   Grom is a Polish version of the Igla. In the early 1990s Polish intelligence services acquired design plans of the Igla missile. This missile entered service with the Polish armed forces in 1995.

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