Infobox Weapon
name=S-300 Family
NATO reporting name:
SA-10 Grumble, SA-12 Giant/Gladiator, SA-20 Gargoyle

caption= A single S-300-PM missile TEL ready to fire. Photo by Naval Expeditionary Warfare Training.
origin=flag|Soviet Union
type= long-range strategic SAM system
service= 1978-present
used_by=See list of operators
designer= NPO Almaz, Antei Concern of Air Defence (for the S-300V), NIIP (radars)
design_date=1967-2005cite web |url=http://www8.janes.com/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/yb/jlad/jlad0108.htm |title=Almaz/Antei Concern of Air Defence S-300P (NATO SA-10 'Grumble') family of low to high-altitude surface-to-air missile systems |accessdate=2008-08-04 |date=2008-01-16 |publisher=Jane's ] Dead link|url=http://www8.janes.com/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/yb/jlad/jlad0108.htm|date=September 2008, Grushin Machine-building Design Bureau (Missiles)
manufacturer=Kalinin Machines Plant [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= Big Russian flotilla led by Admiral Kuznetsov carrier heads for Syrian port |url= http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5526 |work= DEBKAfile |publisher= |date= 21 August 2008 |accessdate=2008-08-22 ]
production_date= 1978-present
variants= SA-10a: S-300PT, S-300PT-1, S-300PT-1A
SA-10b: S-300PS, S-300PMU
SA-10c: S-300PM, S-300PM1, S-300PM-1M (Export: S-300PMU3), S-300PM2, S-300PM3 (see also S-400)
SA-10d or SA-20cite web |url=http://www8.janes.com/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/binder/jsws/jsws0179.htm |title=S-300/Favorit (SA-10 'Grumble'/SA-20 'Gargoyle') |accessdate=2008-08-04 |date=2008-02-08 |publisher=Jane's ] Dead link|url=http://www8.janes.com/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/binder/jsws/jsws0179.htm|date=September 2008: S-300PMU1, S-300PMU2 FAVORIT, FAVORIT-S
SA-12:cite web |url=http://search.janes.com/Search/documentView.do%3FdocId%3D/content1/janesdata/binder/jsws/jsws0181.htm |title=S-300V/Antey 2500 (SA-12 'Gladiator/Giant') |accessdate=2008-08-04 |date=2008-02-13 |publisher=Jane's ] S-300V, S-300VM Antey 2500 (see also S-300VM)
SA-N-6: S-300F, S-300FM

The S-300 is a series of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by the Almaz Scientific Industrial Corporation all based on the initial S-300P version. The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defence Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles.

The S-300 system was first deployed by the USSR in 1979, designed for the air defense of large industrial and administrative facilities, military bases, and control of airspace against enemy strike aircraft.

The project-managing developer of the S-300 is Russian Almaz corporation (government owned, aka "KB-1") which is currently a part of "Almaz-Antei" Air Defense Concern. S-300 uses missiles developed by MKB "Fakel" design bureau (a separate government corporation, aka "OKB-2").

The S-300 is also capable of destroying ballistic missile targets, and is regarded as one of the most potent anti-aircraft missile systems currently fielded [http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubID.93/pub_detail.asp] . Its radars have the ability to simultaneously track up to 100 targets while engaging up to 12. S-300 deployment time is five minutes.cite web|url=http://www.raspletin.ru/eng/lists/favorit.html|title=Almaz Scientific Industrial Corporation - "FAVORIT S-300 PMU2 SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE SYSTEM"|accessdate=2006-06-23] Dead link|url=http://www.raspletin.ru/eng/lists/favorit.html|date=September 2008 The S-300 missiles are sealed rounds and require no maintenance over their lifetime. An evolved version of the S-300 system is the S-400 (NATO reporting name SA-21), entering service in 2004.

Variations and upgrades

Numerous versions have since emerged with different missiles, improved radars, better resistance to countermeasures, longer range and better capability against short-range ballistic missiles or targets flying at very low altitude. There are currently three main variations.


Land-based S-300P (SA-10)

The S-300PT (transliterated from Russian С-300П, NATO reporting name SA-10a "GRUMBLE") is the original version of the S-300 system which became operational in 1978. In 1987 over 80 of these sites were active, mainly in the area around Moscow. The "P" suffix stand for "PVO-Strany" (air defence system). An S-300PT unit consists of a 36D6 (NATO reporting name "TIN SHIELD") surveillance radar, a 30N6 ("FLAP LID") fire control system and 5P85-1 launch vehicles. The 5P85-1 vehicle is a semi-trailer truck. Usually a 76N6 ("CLAM SHELL") low altitude detection radar is also a part of the unit. [cite web|url=http://www.aeronautics.ru/samru.htm|title=Venik's Aviation - "Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (Russia)"|accessdate=2008-09-05] cite web|url=http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/s300.htm|title=Encyclopedia Astronautica - "S-300"|accessdate=2008-09-05]

This system broke substantial new ground, including the use of a phased array radar and multiple engagements on the same FCS. Nevertheless, it had some limitations. It took over 1 hour to set up this semi-mobile system for firing and the hot vertical launch method employed scorched the TEL. _de. http://www.dtig.org/docs/sa-10.pdf]

It was originally intended to fit the Track Via Missile (TVM) guidance system onto this model. However, the TVM system had problems tracking targets below 500 m. Rather than accept the limitation, the Soviets decided that the tracking of low altitude targets was a must and decided to use a pure command-guidance system until the TVM head was ready. This allowed the minimum engagement altitude to be set at 25 m.

Improvements to the S-300P have resulted in several major subversions for both the internal and the export market. The S-300PT-1 and S-300PT-1A (SA-10b/c) are incremental upgrades of the original S300PT system. They introduce the 5V55KD missile and the cold launch method thereafter employed. Time to readiness was reduced to 30 minutes (broadly comparable to Patriot) and trajectory optimizations allowed the 5V55KD to reach a range of 75 km.

The S-300PS/S-300PM (Russian C-300ПC/C-300ПМ, NATO reporting name SA-10d/e) was introduced in 1985 and is the only version thought to have been fitted with a nuclear warhead. This model saw the introduction of the modern TEL and mobile radar and command-post vehicles that were all based on the MAZ-7910 8x8 truck. This model also featured the new 5V55R missiles which increased maximum engagement range to 90 km (56 mi) and introduced a terminal semi-active radar homing (SARH) guidance mode. The surveillance radar of these systems was designated 30N6. Also introduced with this version was the distinction between self propelled and towed TELs. The towed TEL is designated 5P85T. Mobile TELs were the 5P85S and 5P85D. The 5P85D was a "slave" TEL, being controlled by a 5P85S "master" TEL. The "master" TEL is identifiable thanks to the large equipment container behind the cabin; in the "slave" TEL this area is not enclosed and is used for cable or spare tyre storage.

The next modernisation, called the S-300PMU (Russian C-300ПМУ, US DoD designation SA-10f) was introduced in 1992 for the export market and featured the upgraded 5V55U missile which still utilised the intermediate SARH terminal guidance method and smaller warhead of the 5V55R but increased the engagement envelope to give this missile roughly the same range and altitude capabilities as the newer 48N6 missile (max. range 150 km/93 mi). The radars were also upgraded, with the surveillance radar for the S-300PMU being designated 64N6 (BIG BIRD) and the illumination and guidance radar being designated 30N6-1 in the GRAU index.cite journal|author=Miroslav Gyürösi|date=11 March 2005|title=Slovak SA-10 radar set to participate in NATO exercise|journal=Jane's Missiles and Rockets|url=http://www.janes.com/press/articles/pc050317_1.shtml|accessdate=2006-07-19|id=ISSN|1365-4187|format=Dead link|date=July 2008 – [http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=intitle%3ASlovak+SA-10+radar+set+to+participate+in+NATO+exercise&as_publication=Jane%27s+Missiles+and+Rockets&as_ylo=&as_yhi=&btnG=Search Scholar search] ]

ea-based S-300F (SA-N-6)

The S-300F "Fort" (Russian C-300Ф "Форт", DoD designation SA-N-6, "F" suffix for "Flot", Russian for "fleet") was introduced in 1984 as the original ship-based (naval) version of the S-300P system with the new 5V55RM missile with range extended to 7-90 km (4-56 mi) and maximum target speed up to Mach 4 while engagement altitude was reduced to 25-25,000 m (100-82,000 ft). The naval version utilises the TOP SAIL or TOP STEER, TOP PAIR and 3R41 Volna (TOP DOME) radar and utilises command guidance with a terminal semi-active radar homing (SARH) mode. Its first installation and sea trials were on a Kara class cruiser and it is also installed on Slava class cruisers and Kirov class battlecruisers. It is stored in eight (Slava) or twelve (Kirov) 8-missile rotary launchers below decks. The export version of this system is known as "Rif" (Russian "Риф" — "reef"). Two Rif systems were purchased by China in 2002 and installed on the Type 051C Luzhou class air-defence guided missile destroyers.

The S-300FM "Fort-M (Russian C-300ФМ, DoD designation SA-N-20") is another naval version of the system, installed only on the Kirov class cruiser RFS Pyotr Velikiy, and introduced the new 48N6 missile. It was introduced in 1990 and increased missile speed to approximately Mach 6 for a maximum target engagement speed of up to Mach 8.5, increased the warhead size to 150 kg (330 lb) and increased the maximum engagement range yet again to 5-150 km (3-93 mi) as well as opening the altitude envelope to 10m-27 km (33-88500 ft). The new missiles also introduced the ultimate track-via-missile guidance method and brought with it the ability to intercept short-range ballistic missiles. This system makes use of the TOMB STONE MOD rather than TOP DOME radar. The export version is called the "Rif-M".

Both naval versions are believed to include a secondary infrared terminal seeker, similar to the newer US Standard missile system, probably to reduce the system's vulnerability to saturation. This also allows the missile to engage contacts over the radar horizon, such as warships or sea-skimming anti-ship missiles.

-300V (SA-12)

The 9K81 S-300V "Antey-300" (Russian 9К81 С-300В "Антей-300" - named after "Antaeus", NATO reporting name SA-12 "Gladiator/Giant") is a bit different from the other versions. It was built by Antey as opposed to Almaz. The "V" suffix stands for "Voyska" (ground forces). It was designed to act as the top tier army air defence system, providing a defence against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft, replacing the SA-4 'Ganef'. The "GLADIATOR" missiles have a maximum engagement range of around 75 km (47 miles) while the "GIANT" missiles can engage targets out to 100 km (62 miles) and up to altitudes of around 32 km (100,000 ft). In both cases the warhead is around 150 kg (331 lb).

While it was created from the same project (hence the common S-300 designation) different priorities resulted in a design quite different from the other versions. The S-300V system is carried on tracked MT-T transporters, which gives it better cross-country mobility than even the S-300Ps on 8x8 wheeled transporters. It is also somewhat more distributed than the S-300P's. For example, while both have mechanically-scanned radar for target acquisition (9S15 "BILL BOARD A"), the battery level 9S32 "GRILL PAN" has autonomous search ability and SARH delegated to illumination radar on TELARs. The early 30N6 "FLAP LID" on the S-300P handles tracking and illumination, but is not equipped with autonomous search (later upgraded).

The S-300V places a greater emphasis on ABM, with the dedicated 9M83 (SA-12B "Giant"). This missile is larger and only two can be held on each TELAR. It also has a dedicated ABM radar - the 9S19 "HIGH SCREEN" phased array radar at battalion level. A typical S-300V battalion is made up out of a target detection and designation unit, a guidance radar and up to 6 TELARs. The detection and designation unit consists of the 9S457-1 command post, a 9S15MV or 9S15MT "BILL BOARD" all-round surveillance radar and 9S19M2 "HIGH SCREEN" sector surveillance radar. [cite web|url=http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/airdef/s-300v.htm|title=Federation of American Scientists - "S-300V SA-12A Gladiator and SA-12B Giant - Russia/Soviet Nuclear Forces"|accessdate=2008-09-05] The S-300V uses the 9S32-1 "GRILL PAN" multi-channel guidance radar. Four types of TELARs can be used with the system. The 9A83-1 which holds 4 9M83 "GLADIATOR" missiles and the 9A82 which holds 2 9M82 "GIANT" missiles are pure launchers, while the 9A84 (4× 9M83 GLADIATOR missile) and 9A85 (2× 9M82 GIANT missile) are loaders/launchers.

S-300V system may be controlled by a upper level command post system 9S52 Polyana-D4 integrating it with Buk missile system into a brigade.

-300PMU-1/2 (SA-20)

The S-300PMU-1 (Russian C-300ПМУ-1,US DoD designation SA-20A, NATO reporting name SA-20 "GARGOYLE") was also introduced in 1992 with the new and larger 48N6 missiles for the first time in a land-based system and introduced all the same performance improvements from the S300FM version including the increased speed, range, TVM guidance and ABM capability. The warhead is slightly smaller than the naval version at 143 kg (315 lb). This version also saw the introduction of the new and more capable 30N6E TOMB STONE radar.

The S-300PMU-1 was introduced in 1999 and for the first time introduces several different kinds of missiles in a single system. In addition to the 5V55R, 48N6E and 48N6E2 missiles the S-300PMU-1 can utilise two new missiles, the 9M96E1 and 9M96E2. Both are significantly smaller than the previous missiles at 330 and 420 kg (728 and 926 lb respectively) and carry smaller 24 kg (53 lb) warhead. The 9M96E1 has an engagement range of 1-40 km (1-25 mi) and the 9M96E2 of 1-120 km (1-75 mi). They are still carried 4 per TEL. Rather than just relying on aerodynamic fins for manoeuvring, they use a gas-dynamic system which allows them to have an excellent probability of kill (Pk) despite the much smaller warhead. The Pk is estimated at 0.7 against a tactical ballistic missile for either missile. The S-300PMU-1 typically uses the 83M6E command and control system, although it is also compatible with the older Baikal-1E and Senezh-M1E CCS command and control systems. The 83M6E system incorporates the 64N6E (BIG BIRD) surveillance/detection radar. The fire control/illumination and guidance radar used is the 30N6E(1), optionally matched with a 76N6 low altitude detection radar and a 96L6E all altitude detection radar. The 83M6E command and control system can control up to 12 TELs, both the self propelled 5P85SE vehicle and the 5P85TE towed launchers. Generally support vehicles are also included, such as the 40V6M tow vehicle, intended for lifting of the antenna post. [cite web|url=http://www.rusarm.ru/p_prod/tmp_proba/airdef_cataloque.html|title=Rosoboronexport's customer information catalogue for air defence equipment. Click S-300 at the top of the list on the second page.|format=PDF|accessdate=2006-06-25Dead link|url=http://www.rusarm.ru/p_prod/tmp_proba/airdef_cataloque.html|date=September 2008 ]

The S-300PMU-2 "Favorite" (Russian C-300ПМУ-2 "Фаворит" – "Favourite", DoD designation SA-20B), introduced in 1997, is an upgrade to the S-300PMU-1 with range extended once again to 195 km (121 mi) with the introduction of the 48N6E2 missile. This system is apparently capable against not just short range ballistic missiles, but now also medium range tactical ballistic missiles. It uses the 83M6E2 command and control system, consisting of the 54K6E2 command post vehicle and the 64N6E2 surveillance/detection radar. It employs the 30N6E2 fire control/illumination and guidance radar. Like the S-300PMU-1, 12 TELs can be controlled, with any mix of 5P85SE2 self propelled and 5P85TE2 trailer launchers. Optionally it can make use of the 96L6E all altitude detection radar and 76N6 low altitude detection radar, just like the S-300PMU-1.

-400 (SA-21)

The S-400 "Triumf" (Russian С-400 "«Триумф»", formerly known as the S-300PMU-3/C-300ПМУ-3) was introduced in 1999 and features a new, much larger missile with 2 per TEL. The project has been encountering delays since its original announcement and deployment has only begun on a small scale in 2006. With an engagement range of 400 km (250 mi) and claimed to be able to detect stealth targets it is by far the most advanced version. [cite web|url=http://www.janes.com/press/pc000308.shtml|title=New family of Russian missiles will create major problems for air-strike planning in years to come, says leading defence expert|publisher=Jane's|date=2000-03-08|accessdate=2006-07-25] Dead link|url=http://www.janes.com/press/pc000308.shtml|date=September 2008 Little else is known about this version.

-300VM (SA-23)

The S-300VM (Antey 2500) is an upgrade to the S-300V. It consists of a new command post vehicle, the 9S457ME and a selection of new radars. As all-round surveillance radar the 9S15M2, 9S15MT2E or 9S15MV2E are possible, and the sector surveillance radar was upgraded to 9S19ME. The upgraded guidance radar has Grau index 9S32ME. The system can still employ up to 6 TELARs, the 9A84ME launchers (up to 4 × 9M83ME missile) and up to 6 launcher/loader vehicles assigned to each launcher (2 × 9M83ME missile each).

Operators and other versions

The S-300 is mainly used in Eastern Europe and Asia although sources are inconsistent about the exact countries possessing the system.cite web|url=http://cns.miis.edu/research/cyprus/s300tdms.htm|title=Center for Nonproliferation Studies - "The Russian S-300PMU-1 TMD System"|accessdate=2008-09-05]

*BLR - 350 SA-8, SA-11, SA-12 and SA-13 [ [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/belarus/army-equipment.htm Belarus Army Equipment ] ]
*BUL has two S-300 units.
*PRC: China has bought the S-300PMU-1 and are licensed to manufacture it under the name Hongqi-10 (HQ-10). China is also the first customer of S-300PMU-2 and may be using the S-300V under the name Hongqi HQ-18. [cite web|url=http://www.missilethreat.com/systems/hq-10_china.html|title=MissileThreat - "Hongqi-10 (HQ-10)"|accessdate=2008-09-05] China also built an upgraded version of the HQ-10 labelled the HQ-15 with the maximum range upgraded from 150 km (93 mi) to 200 km (124 mi). There are unconfirmed reports that claim this version is the Chinese manufactured S-300PMU-2. [cite web|url=http://www.missilethreat.com/systems/hq-15_china.html|title=MissileThreat - "Hongqi-15 (HQ-15)"|accessdate=2008-09-05] cite web|url=http://www.sinodefence.com/army/surfacetoairmissile/s300.asp|title=Sino Defence Today - "S-300 (SA-10) Surface-to-Air Missile"|accessdate=2008-09-05] The total number of the S-300PMU/1/2 and HQ-15/18 batteries in PLA are approximately 40 and 60 respectively, in the year 2008. The total number of the missiles is well above 1600, with about 300 launcher platforms. 5 of such SAM battalions are deployed and in active duty around Beijing region, 6 battalions in Taiwan strait region and rest battalions in other major cities like Shanghai, Chengdu and Dalian. Two Rif (SA-N-6) systems were purchased in 2002 for the Chinese Navy for the Type 051C Destroyers.
*CYP/GRE: Cyprus signed an agreement to buy S-300 systems in 1996. Eventually bought the S-300PMU-1 version, but due to political tension between Cyprus and Turkey and intense Anglo-American pressure, the system was transferred to the Greek Island of Crete. Later, Cyprus acquired the Tor-M1 system and the Buk-M1 sytem. Finally, on 19/12/07 the missiles passed officially to Greek government in return for more Tor-M1 sytems and Buk-M1 sytems.cite web|url=http://www.balkanalysis.com/?p=612|title=Balkananalysis.com - "Balkan Defense Overview: Developments and Prospects "|accessdate=2008-09-05]
*CZS - one battalion created in 1990 later passed on Slovakia
*IND has bought six S-300 batteries in August 1995 for $1 billion, probably the S-300PMU-2 version, believed to consist of 48 missiles per system. These will most likely be used in the short-range ballistic-missile defence (BMD) role against Pakistan's M-11 missiles. [cite web|url=http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/airdef/s-300pmu.htm|title=Federation of American Scientists - "S-300PMU SA-10 Grumble"|accessdate=2008-09-05]
*IRN's status regarding the S-300 system remains controversial. They seem to have acquired an unknown number of S-300PMU-1 missiles in 1993, maybe even recently from Belarus.cite web|url=http://www.missilethreat.com/missiledefensesystems/id.50/system_detail.asp|title=MissileThreat - "S-300P (SA-10 Grumble)"|accessdate=2008-09-05] Iran claimed to have signed a contract with Russia on 25 December 2007 on the sales of the S-300PMU-2 missile system. [Fars News [http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8610050354 Russia to Deliver S-300 Missile System to Iran] 26 December 2007] Russian officials have denied this. [CNN.com [http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/12/28/iran.russia.ap/index.html] 28 December 2007] According to senior Israeli defence sources Iran is to receive S-300s by 2009, deliveries will take place from September until begin 2009. [Reuters [http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL21512727 Iran to get new Russian air defences by '09 -Israel] 23 July 2008] [Presstv [http://www.presstv.ir/Detail.aspx?id=64599&sectionid=351020101 'Iran to be equipped with S-300 by 09'] 23 July 2008] [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7486971.stm|title=BBC News- "Iran and Washington's Israeli option"|accessdate=2008-07-03] It has also been claimed that Croatia sold their S-300s to Iran. [http://www.kommersant.com/p-13187/Iran_Croatia_/]
*SVK - inherited from Czechoslovakia
*SYR announced an intention to buy the S-300P in 1991 and now seems to possess the system.
*USSR/RUS: Has used all of the S-300 variations. The Russian Air Defense Forces, which are part of the Air Force, currently deploy more than 30 regiments equipped with S-300 missile complexes, which are gradually being replaced with S-400 systems. [ [http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070612/67093682.html S-400 system deployment postponed - Russian AF commander -1] ] More than 20 Russian battalions will be equipped with S-400 anti-missile systems by 2015 said General of the Army Yury Baluyevsky, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. [ [http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070807/70535832.html Russia to equip 20 battalions with S-400 air defense systems -1] ]
*UKR - S-300PS, S-300PMU, S-300V and others. [ [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/ukraine/vps-equipment.htm Ukraine - Air Force Equipment ] ]
*USA has bought an S-300V system for evaluation and to help upgrade Patriots with superior technology that could be (or was) taken upon evaluation of S-300V [cite web|url=http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20061003/54490651.html|title=Yefremov: the weapons designer who outwitted the Pentagon|accessdate=2008-09-05]
*VNM has bought two S-300PMU-1 batteries (12 launchers) for nearly $300 million.cite web|url=http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/EI05Ag02.html|title=Asia Times - "Russian missiles to guard sky over Vietnam"|accessdate=2008-09-05]

Former operators

*CRO: Croatia no longer maintains an S-300 system. It was acquired from Ukraine or Belarus in 1995 and was never in operational state, but served the role of a psychological weapon. After much controversy, as of 2004 the system is no longer in Croatia and was presumably sold to Iran. [cite web|url=http://www.kommersant.com/p-13187/Iran_Croatia_/|title=Croatia Suspected of Selling S-300 Antiaircraft Missiles to Iran|accessdate=2008-09-10]

Possible future operators

* Venezuela Venezuelan government has shown interest of acquiring several S-300PMU-2 systems.
*LBY - 4 S-300PMU-2 systems will be ordered
*IDN - Indonesian air force has shown interest of acquiring several S-300PMU-2 systems
*DZA 8 S-300PMU2 was ordered in 2006.
*SYR & IRN - speculation that Russia plans to sell the S-300PMU-2 system to Iran and Syria surfaced in 2008, despite a denial from Russian sources. [cite web|url=http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1027041.html|title=Olmert unlikely to persuade Russia not to arm Iran, Syria |accessdate=2008-10-07]

Combat history

Although none of the S-300 versions have ever fired a missile in a real conflict, it is considered a very capable SAM system. In April 2005, NATO had a combat exercise in France and Germany called "Trial Hammer 05" to practice SEAD missions. Participating countries were pleased that the Slovak Air Force brought a S-300PMU along, providing a unique opportunity for NATO to get familiar with the system.


Missiles are guided by the 30N6 FLAP LID or naval 3R41 Volna (TOP DOME) radar using command guidance with terminal semi-active radar homing. Later versions use the 30N6 FLAP LID B or TOMB STONE radar to guide the missiles via command guidance/seeker-aided ground guidance (SAGG). SAGG is similar to the Patriot's TVM guidance scheme. The earlier 30N6 FLAP LID A can guide up to 4 missiles at a time to up to 4 targets, and can track up to 24 targets at once. The 30N6E FLAP LID B can guide up to 2 missiles per target to up to 6 targets simultaneously. Targets flying at up to Mach 2.5 can be successfully engaged or around Mach 8.5 for later models. One missile can be launched every three seconds. The mobile control centre is able to manage up to 12 TELs simultaneously.

The original warhead weighed 100 kg (220 lb), intermediate warheads weighed 133 kg (293 lb) and the latest warhead weighs 143 kg (315 lb). All are equipped with a proximity fuze and contact fuze. The missiles themselves weigh between 1450 kg (3200 lb) and 1800 kg (3970 lb). Missiles are catapulted clear of the launching tubes before their rocket motor fires, which can accelerate at up to 100 "g" (1 km/s²). They launch straight upwards and then tip over towards their target, removing the need to aim the missiles before launch. The missiles are steered with a combination of control fins and through thrust vectoring vanes. The sections below give exact specifications of the radar and missiles in the different S-300 versions. It should be noted that since the S-300PM most vehicles are interchangeable across variations.


The 30N6 FLAP LID A is mounted on a small trailer. The 64N6 BIG BIRD is mounted on a large trailer along with a generator and typically towed with the now familiar 8-wheeled truck. The 76N6 CLAM SHELL is mounted on a large trailer with a mast which is between 24 and 39 m (79 and 128 ft) tall.

The original S-300P utilises a combination of the 76N6 CLAM SHELL continuous-wave doppler radar for target acquisition and the 30N6 FLAP LID A I/J-band phased array digitally steered tracking and engagement radar. Both are mounted on trailers. In addition there is a trailer-mounted command centre and up to twelve trailer-mounted erector/launchers with 4 missiles each. The S-300PS/PM is similar but uses an upgraded 30N6 tracking and engagement radar with the command post integrated and has truck-mounted TELs.

If employed in an anti-ballistic missile or anti-cruise missile role, the 64N6 BIG BIRD E/F-band radar would also be included with the battery. It is capable of detecting ballistic missile class targets up to 1000 km (620 mi) away travelling at up to 10000 km/h (6200 mph) and cruise missile class targets up to 300 km (185 mi) away. It also employs electronic beam steering and performs a scan once every twelve seconds.

The 36D6 TIN SHIELD radar can also be used to augment the S-300 system to provide earlier target detection than the FLAP LID radar allows. It can detect a missile-sized target flying at an altitude of 60 meters (200 ft) at least 20 km (12.5 mi) away, at an altitude of 100 meters (330 ft) at least 30 km (19 mi) away, and at high altitude up to 175 km (108 mi) away. In addition a 64N6 BIG BIRD E/F band target acquisition radar can be used which has a maximum detection range of 300 km (186 mi).


External links

* http://www.almaz-antey.ru/ in Russian
* [http://www.ausairpower.net/TE-Asia-Sams-Pt1.pdf] and [http://www.ausairpower.net/TE-Asia-Sams-Pt2.pdf] , a two-part piece from Australian Air Power.
* [http://www.dtig.org/docs/S-300_Familie.pdf www.dtig.org] detailed overview of the S-300P & S-300V family.
* [http://home.nycap.rr.com/mismedia/PRCROCmissile/prcrocbasepages/grumble.htm SA-10 Grumble] PRC-ROC Air Power Monitor
* [http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubID.93/pub_detail.asp Almaz S-300 – China's "Offensive" Air Defense]
* [http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/sovietmissiledes.html Soviet/Russian Missile Designations]
* [http://www.enemyforces.com/missiles/s300pmu2.htm S-300PMU2 Favorit] EnemyForces.com
* [http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Grumble-Gargoyle.html Almaz S-300P/PT/PS/PMU/PMU-1/PMU-2]
* [http://www.ausairpower.net/clamshell.html 76N6 Clam Shell Acquisition Radar]
* [http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Giant-Gladiator.html Antey 9K81 S-300V - SA-12A/B Gladiator/Giant]

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