0.3 m (?)
Weight with launcher
High explosive blast fragmentation
Range of fire
Altitude of fire
Igla is a Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) developed by
Soviet Union in the 1970s. It succeeded the older
better range and seeker sensitivity. The system uses 9M39
Surface-to-Air missile (SAM). It was adopted in 1981. This air
defense system is known in the West as SA-18 Grouse. The Igla MANPADS
can engage aircraft, helicopters and UAVs.
with the Strela series, the Igla has increased warhead weight. Its
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
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.
the Igla is similar to other MANPAD Systems (eg. US
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.
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.
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.
an export version. It has been exported to a number of countries.
Grouse) is a standard production version. It was adopted in 1983.
Currently it is in service with more than 30 countries, including
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
Igla-V is an
air-to-air version, used on helicopters.
Igla-N is a
version with much larger and more powerful warhead.
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.
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.
Article by RAKESH NAIR
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