S-200 missile system

Summary

The NPO Almaz S-200 Angara/Vega/Dubna (Russian: С-200 Ангара/Вега/Дубна), NATO reporting name SA-5 Gammon (initially Tallinn),[3] is a long-range, high-altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed by the Soviet Union in the 1960s to defend large areas from high-altitude bombers or other targets. In Soviet service, these systems were deployed primarily on the battalion level, with six launchers and a fire control radar.

S-200 Angara/Vega/Dubna
SA-5 Gammon
S-200V missile on its launcher
TypeStrategic SAM system
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1967–present
Used bySee list of present and former operators
WarsFirst Libyan Civil War
Syrian civil war
Russo-Ukrainian War[1]
Production history
DesignerKB-1 design bureau (system), GSKB Spetsmash (launcher)[2]
Designed1964
VariantsS-200A, S-200V, S-200M, S-200VE, S-200D, S-200C
Specifications

Guidance
system
Semi-active radar homing

The S-200 can be linked to other longer-range radar systems.

Background

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Two-stage V-400 (5V11) Angara missile of the Dal SAM system in Saint-Petersburg Artillery museum.

After trials of the S-25 Berkut in 1955, the Soviet Union started development of the RS-25 Dal long-range missile system with the V-400/5V11 missile. It was initially assigned the "SA-5" designation in the West[4] and codenamed "Griffon", but the project was abandoned in 1964.[5] The SA-5 designation was then assigned to the S-200.

Description

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The S-200 surface-to-air missile system was designed for the defense of the most important administrative, industrial and military installations from all types of air attack. The S-200 is an all-weather system that can be operated in various climatic conditions.[6]

The first S-200 operational regiments were deployed in 1966 with 18 sites and 342 launchers in service by the end of the year. By 1968 there were 40 sites, and by 1969 there were 60 sites. The growth in numbers then gradually increased throughout the 1970s (1,100 launchers)[7] and early 1980s until the peak of 130[2] sites and 2,030 launchers was reached in 1980–1990.[7]

Variants

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  • S-200A "Angara" (Russian: С-200А, NATO reporting name SA-5a), with the V-860/5V21 or V-860P/5V21A missile, introduced in 1967, range 160 km (99 mi), ceiling 20.1 km (12.5 mi).[8]
  • S-200V "Vega"[a] (Russian: С-200В, NATO reporting name SA-5b), with the V-860PV/5V21P or 5V28V missiles,[citation needed] introduced in 1970, range 250 km (160 mi), ceiling 29.2 km (18.1 mi).[8] With the V-870 missile, range increased to 280 km (170 mi) and ceiling to 40 km (25 mi).[8]
  • S-200M "Vega-M"[a] (Russian: С-200М, NATO reporting name SA-5b), with the V-880/5V28 or V-880N/5V28N missiles, introduced 1970,[8] range 300 km (190 mi), ceiling 29 km (18 mi).[citation needed] The V-880N/5V28N was the first missile for the S-200 which could be equipped with a nuclear warhead, with the "N" in the designation standing for "nuclear".[8]
  • S-200VE "Vega-E"[a][b] (Russian: С-200ВЭ, NATO reporting name SA-5b), with the V-880E/5V28E missile, export version with high-explosive warhead only, introduced 1973, range 240 km (150 mi), ceiling 40.8 km (25.4 mi).[10]
  • S-200D "Dubna" (Russian: С-200Д, NATO reporting name SA-5c), with the 5V25V, V-880M/5V28M, and V-880MN/5V28MN missiles, introduced in 1976, range 300 km (190 mi),[10] ceiling 40 km (25 mi).[11] The V-880MN/5V28MN were equipped with a 5 kiloton nuclear warhead.[10]
  • S-200C "Vega",[a] a Polish evolution of the S-200VE, resulting from a refit undertaken between 1999 and 2002.[12]

The Iranian air defense force has implemented several improvements on their S-200 systems such as using solid state parts and removing restrictions on working time. They reportedly destroyed a UAV target beyond 100 km range in a military drill in recent years.[13] They use two new solid propellant missiles named Sayyad-2 and Sayyad-3, via interface systems Talash-2 and Talash-3 in cooperation with S-200 system. These missiles can cover medium and long ranges at high altitudes.[14][15] Iran claims to have developed a mobile launcher for the system.[16]

While the S-200 features vastly superior range than other air defense systems such as the S-400, it does not have the same mobility that those systems have. This means that while it still has the ability to switch off its radar to avoid detection and turn incoming ARMs dumb, it cannot move out of the way of incoming INS guided munitions such as JDAMs, a primary tactic of mobile air defense systems such as the S-400. The components of an S-200 system are transported by modified trucks during installation, but cannot easily move. This requires the site to be defended by AAA, SPAAA, MANPADS, other shorter range air defense systems, and other means of protection from adversary SEAD platforms.[17]

The command post of the S-300 system (SA-20/SA-20A/SA-20B) can manage the elements of the S-200 and S-300 in any combination.[18][19] The S-200 Dubna missile complex can be controlled by the S-300's command post,[19] and the S-300 missile complex can be controlled[20] by the S-400 command post[21] or through a higher-level command post (Organize Use PVO 73N6 "Baikal-1").[22]

Radar

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A 5N62 "Square Pair" fire control radar in a Hungarian museum

The fire control radar of the S-200 system is the 5N62 (NATO reporting name: Square Pair) H band[23] continuous wave radar, and is used for both the tracking of targets and their illumination. The 5N62V variant could track larger targets like strategic bombers at 450 km (280 mi), smaller aircraft like fighter-bombers at 300 km (190 mi), and cruise missiles at c. 170 km (110 mi).[24] The 5N62 had two main components, the K-1 and K-2 "cabins", with the former containing the antenna. The K-1 could rotate around its own axis at 15 degrees per second, completing a full turn in 24 seconds and would make elevation adjustments at 5.5 degrees per second.[25] A K-1 in assembled state weighed 30 tonnes (66,000 lb).[25] The K-2 cabin contained the command post and weighed about 25 tonnes (55,000 lb).[26]

Initial detection of targets was conducted by a P-14/5N84A (NATO: Tall King C) A band early warning radar, operating in the 150–170 MHz range at 3–6 RPM,[27] with a PRV-17 (NATO: Odd Group) height finding radar assisting in determining the target's altitude.[28]

The P-35 (NATO: Bar Lock) E/F band radar could also be associated with the S-200.[23]

Missiles

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5V21
TypeSurface-to-air missile
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1967–present
Used bySee list of operators
Production history
DesignerOKB-2 design bureau (missile), SKB-35 bureau (avionics), NII-125 research institute (solid rocket fuel)
Variants5V21, 5V28, 5V28V
Specifications (5V28V[2])
Mass7,100 kg (15,700 lb)
Length10,800 mm (35.4 ft)
WarheadFrag-HE
Warhead weight217 kg (478 lb)
Detonation
mechanism
proximity and command fusing[23]

Propellantdual-thrust liquid-fueled rocket motor
Operational
range
300 kilometres (190 mi)[23]
Flight altitude40,000 metres (130,000 ft)
Boost time4 solid-fueled strap-on rocket boosters
Maximum speed Mach 4 (4,900 km/h; 3,000 mph)[23]
Guidance
system
semi-active radar homing seeker head

Each missile is launched by 4 solid-fueled strap-on rocket boosters.[29] After they burn out and drop away (between 3 and 5.1 seconds from launch) it fires a 5D67 liquid fueled sustainer rocket engine (for 51–150 seconds) which burns a fuel called TG-02 Samin (50% xylidine and 50% triethylamine), oxidized by an agent called AK-27P (red fuming nitric acid enriched with nitrogen oxides, phosphoric acid and hydrofluoric acid).[30] Maximum range is between 150 km (81 nmi) and 300 km (160 nmi), depending on the model.[31] The missile uses radio illumination mid-course correction to fly towards the target with a terminal semi-active radar homing phase. Maximum missile speed is 2500 m/s and maximum target speed is around Mach 6 for new model and Mach 4 for earlier model. Effective altitude is 300 m (980 ft) to 20,000 m (66,000 ft) for early models and up to 35,000 m (115,000 ft) for later models. The warhead is either 217 kg (478 lb) high-explosive fragmentation (16,000 × 2 g fragmentation pellets and 21,000 × 3.5 g pellets) triggered by radar proximity fuse or command signal, or a 25 kt nuclear warhead triggered by command signal only. Each missile weighs around 7,108 kg (15,670 lb) at takeoff.[31]

Operational history

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Layout of a typical SA-5 complex with three launch sites (consisting of six launchers each)

Libya

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Starting in 1985, Libya received a number of S-200 missile systems.[32] In the following months, Libyan forces fired a number of S-200 missiles on different occasions at US fighter-bombers, missing them.[33] In the USSR, three organizations (CDB Almaz, a test site and a research institute of the Ministry of Defense) conducted computer simulation of the battle, which gave the probability of hitting each of the air targets (3) in the range from 96 to 99%.[34][35]

Syria

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Starting in January 1983, Syria received supplies of S-200 missiles from the Soviet Union.[36][37] They were organized into two long range surface to air missile regiments, each composed of two battalions of two batteries each for a total of at least 24 launchers. Later in the 1980s, the Soviet Union agreed to supply a third regiment increasing the number of launchers to 40–50. Initially the missiles were manned by Soviet crews.[38] In April 1984, a U.S. intelligence report cited a Soviet official claiming that training of Syrian personnel was nearly complete and that the transfer of the system to Syrian control was to occur in the near future.[39]

During the initial years of the Syrian civil war, parts of the S-200 systems were occasionally spotted when Syrian Air Defense Force sites were overrun by rebel forces. Most notably radars, missiles and other equipment from S-200 systems was pictured in a state of disrepair when rebels overtook the air defense site in Eastern Ghouta in October 2012.[40][self-published source?][41] On 2 January 2017, the Syrian Army recaptured this air defense base.[42]

Starting with the Russian intervention in the civil war in late 2015, there were new efforts to restore some Syrian S-200 systems. Indeed, on 15 November 2016, the Russian defence minister confirmed that Russian forces repaired Syrian S-200s to operational status.[43] For example, in July 2016, the Syrian Army, with Russian assistance, rebuilt an S-200 site at Kweires airport, near Aleppo.[44] On September 12, 2016, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that two Syrian S-200 missiles were fired at Israeli aircraft while they were on a mission inside Syrian airspace. The Syrian Defense Ministry claimed that an Israeli jet and a drone were shot down.[45] According to the IDF spokesman's office, the claims are "total lies," and "at no point was the safety of IDF aircraft compromised."[46]

On March 17, 2017, the Israeli Air Force attacked a number of Syrian armed forces targets near Palmyria in Syria.[citation needed] Four Israeli aircraft flew through Lebanese territory and launched Popeye stand off missiles with a range of 78 km[citation needed] toward Syrian territory. Syrian Air defence force (SyADF) after some time alerted one S-200V (SA-5) missile battery and tried to retaliate, 2 out of 4 attacking jets were illuminated with two 5N62 Fire Control Radars and missiles were fired on 2 targets, which then were over southern Lebanon.[47] During the action a number of Syrian S-200 missiles were fired at the Israeli aircraft.[48] One of the Syrian missiles, going ballistic after losing its target, was inbound to a populated area in Israel. The Israeli missile defense fired at least one Arrow missile which intercepted the incoming missile.[49] Two other S-200 missiles landed in other parts of Israel, having lost their target. According to ANNA News, Syria claimed that they had shot down one IAF F-16 aircraft and damaged another.[48] While the Syrian Defense Ministry claimed that an Israeli fighter jet was shot down, which was denied by Israel, Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to destroy Syrian air defence systems after they fired ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes.[50] The Jordanian armed forces reported that parts of a missile fell in its territory. There were no casualties in Jordan.[51]

On October 16, 2017, a Syrian S-200 battery located around 50 kilometers east of Damascus fired a missile at an Israeli Air Force surveillance mission over Lebanon. The IAF responded by attacking the battery and destroying the fire control radar with four bombs.[52][53][54] Despite this, the Syrian Defense Ministry said in its statement that the air-defense forces "directly hit one of the jets, forcing [Israeli aircraft] to retreat." Israel said that no plane was hit.

On February 10, 2018, Israel launched an airstrike against targets in Syria with eight fighter aircraft as retaliation for a UAV incursion into Israeli airspace earlier in the day. Syrian air defenses succeeded in shooting down one of the Israeli jets, an F-16I Sufa, with an S-200 missile - this was the first Israeli jet to be shot down in combat since 1982.[55][56] The jet crashed in the Jezreel Valley, near Harduf.[57] Both the pilot and the navigator managed to eject; one was injured lightly, the other more seriously, but both survived and walked out of the hospital one week later.[55][58]

On 10 May 2018, Israeli Air Force launched Operation House of Cards against a number of Iranian and Syrian targets, claiming the destruction of a S-200 radar among different other targets.[59]

On September 17, 2018, a Russian Il-20M ELINT plane was shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile killing all the 15 servicemen onboard. Four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria's Latakia with standoff missiles, after approaching from the Mediterranean Sea, a statement by the Russian defense ministry said on 18 September. “The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces. As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile,” the statement said. The Russian ministry stressed that the Israelis must have known that the Russian plane was present in the area, which didn't stop them from “the provocation”. Israel also failed to warn Russia about the planned operation in advance. The warning came a minute before the attack started, which “did not leave time to move the Russian plane to a safe area,” the statement said.[60] On 21 September, an Israeli delegation visiting Moscow stated that the Israeli attack formation did not use the Russian Il-20 as a shield during the attacks, while blaming the incident on the Syrian Air Defense Force which fired missiles for forty minutes while the Israeli attack formation had already left the area.[61][62] Russian President Vladimir Putin downplayed the incident saying that "it looks accidental, like a chain of tragic circumstances".[63]

On 1 July 2019, a stray S-200 missile fired from Syria, presumably during bombing raids there, hit Northern Cyprus. The missile hit the ground around 1:00 a.m. near the village of Taşkent, also known as Vouno, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Nicosia. [64]

On 22 April 2021, a stray S-200 missile exploded in the air some 30 kilometers from the Dimona nuclear reactor over Israel. The missile was fired from Dumayr, part of a salvo in response to Israeli jets conducting strikes on targets in the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights. Israeli air defenses tried to intercept the errant missile, but missed. Around an hour later, IDF said Israeli fighter jets struck the air defense battery which launched the missile.[65][66] On 19 August 2021, in response to an Israeli air raid, the Syrian Air Defense fired several Surface to Air missiles at attacking Israeli jets and missiles. One of the S-200 fired missed and exploded above the Dead Sea.[67] On 3 September 2021, a missle fired by the Syrian army exploded over Tel Aviv. In response to the Syrian missile attack, the Israeli Air Force claim destroyed a battery of the Russian-made S-200 missile system of Syrian Army.[68][69]

Ukraine

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A Ukrainian S-200 operated by the Ukrainian military during a Ukrainian training exercise fired on a Tupolev Tu-154 passenger aircraft flying from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk, Siberia Airlines Flight 1812. The airliner was destroyed over the Black Sea on 4 October 2001, killing all 78 people onboard.[70]

Ukrainian armed forces possibly used S-200 missiles in 2023, during the Russian invasion, to attack Russian positions in Bryansk Oblast and Crimea.[71][72] It was reported that the missiles were used in an attack on the Crimean Bridge.[73]

Ukrainian armed forces claim to have used an S-200 to shoot down a Beriev A-50 in the evening of 23 February 2024 over the Sea of Azov.[74]

On 19 April 2024, Ukraine claimed to have shot down a Russian Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bomber over Stavropol Krai. Ukraine claimed that the bomber was trying to return to base but crashed near Stavropol. Russian authorities claimed the aircraft crashed due to a technical malfunction, killing one crew member, with another missing. A second aircraft was reported to have turned around after the destruction of the first. Ukraine's HUR claimed that a S-200 missile was used, as the same type of missile that shot down an Beriev A-50 earlier in 2024. At a range of some 300 km, it could have been the first time that Ukraine has shot down a Tu-22 in the air, having "highly likely destroyed" one Tu-22 at an airbase in Novgorod, in August 2023, using drones.[75][76][77][78] On 19 April 2024, Ukraine claimed to have shot it down, at a range of 308 kms, using an S-200 missile, according to an interview with Lt. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, head of the HUR.[79][80][81]

Operators

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Map of S-200 operators in blue with former operators in red

Current operators

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Former operators

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  •   Azerbaijan – 1 battalion.[citation needed]
  •   Belarus – Approximately 4 battalions.[citation needed]
  •   Czechoslovakia – 5 battalions, passed to Czech Republic.[citation needed]
  •   Czech Republic – Inherited all Czechoslovak S-200 SAM systems, out of service since mid-1990s.[2]
  •   East Germany – 4 battalions S-200VE,[95] passed to unified Germany in 1990.[96]
  •   Georgia[2]
  •   Germany – 4 battalions S-200VE from East Germany received during German reunification in 1990,[96] last site out of service in 1993[97]
  •   Hungary – 1 battalion.[2]
  •   India - 2 battalions, retired in 2015.[98]
  •   Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – 8 battalions.[2]
  •   Moldova[2] – 1 battalion.[citation needed]
  •   Mongolia – The Mongolian People's Army operated 4 battalions as of 1985, but it is unlikely there are any operational as of 2011.[99]
  •   Myanmar[29] – No longer in service as of 2023.[100]
  •   Poland - [101]
  •   Russia – No longer in service as of 2014.[citation needed]
  •   Soviet Union – Originally deployed with the ZA-PVO in the strategic air defense role. It was phased out starting in the 1980s and passed on to the successor states before the phasing out process could be completed.[2]
  •   Uzbekistan[2] – No longer in service as of 2023.[102]

See also

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Notes

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  1. ^ a b c d The Cyrillic character В is most commonly romanized as a Latin V, but some transliterations (such as the German Duden transliteration) use the Latin W.[9] To keep a consistent style, this article uses the common "V" romanization.
  2. ^ Some German sources romanize the Cyrillic Э as Ä. The more common romanization as a Latin E is used in this article for consistency.

References

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  1. ^ "Russian air defenses intercept five Ukrainian S-200 missiles". Mehr News Agency. 10 July 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Almaz/Antei Concern of Air Defence S-200 Angara/Vega (SA-5 'Gammon') low to high-altitude surface-to-air missile system". Jane's Information Group. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2008.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Statement of Dr. John S. Foster, Director, Department of Research and Engineering, U.S. Department of Defense, April 15, 1970, p. 611.
  4. ^ "Dal". Astronautix. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  5. ^ Werrell, Kenneth P. (2000). Hitting a Bullet with a Bullet: A History of Ballistic Missile Defense (PDF) (Report). Air University. p. 11 – via Defense Technical Information Center.
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  8. ^ a b c d e Kraus 2019, p. 17.
  9. ^ Die Deutsche Rechtschreibung. Duden (in German). Vol. 1 (22nd ed.). Mannheim: Bibliographisches Institut. 2000. p. 118. ISBN 3411040122.
  10. ^ a b c Kraus 2019, p. 18.
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  25. ^ a b Kraus 2019, p. 52.
  26. ^ Kraus 2019, p. 54.
  27. ^ Kraus 2019, p. 45.
  28. ^ Kraus 2019, p. 47.
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  44. ^ "Russia's military presence mounts in Kuweires airport: sources". Archived from the original on 25 November 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
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Sources

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  • Federation of American Scientists page
  • Astronautix.com
  • S-200 walkaround photos on airforce.ru