LY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2910 times:
The SA-11/17 is deffinetely one of the best (if not the best) systems of its class (not that it has too many competitors). It comes from a very succesful family of medium-range/altitude SAMs. The first member being the good old SA-6. The SA-6 (NATO: Gainful, Russia: Kub/Kvadtrat) entered service in the late 60's and has been setting the standard for medium-range, low to medium altitude, highly mobile, semi-active homing SAMs in the world for many years. It has proven its abilities in the Middle East in the early 70's. But the war of 1982 ("Lebanon War") has proven that the classic Russian SAM defense doctrine (SA-2/SA-3/SA-6) can be beaten. By that time, though, the SA-11 (NATO: Gadfly, Russia: Buk-1M) has entered service with the Soviet armed forces. Unlike the SA-6, an SA-11 launcher can carry up to 4 missiles (3 for SA-6). Significant imporvements in the SA-11 included much imporved performances against cruise missiles, the ability to track and shoot at 6 targets at the same time (vs. 1 in the SA-6), being even more mobile, being able to resist electronic warfare better, and the ability to guide the missiles mannually. Countries that operate the SA-11 include Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Finland, Syria, Iran, Serbia, and India.
The SA-17 / SA-N-12 (NATO: Grizzly, Russia: BUK M1-2/Yezh [Naval] China: HQ-16) is a further development of the SA-17, in fact, the SA-11 can be upgraded to become the SA-17. The HQ-16 is a Russian-Chinese project that is apparently based on the SA-17, but has been improved to fit Chinese requirements.
A typical SA-11/17 battery would include a command post, a target acquisition radar, up to 6 mobile launchers (each equipped with guidance radar), and a similar number of missile transporters/loaders (can be used to launch missiles, but do not have own guidance radar).