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Long-range air defense missile system


The S-300PMU is the second generation of the famous S-300 air defense system

Entered service Mid 1980s
Maximum range of fire 150 km
Maximum altitude 27 km
Number of targets engaged simultaneously 6


   The second generation of the S-300P system was the S-300PMU. It is a deep modernization of the first generation S-300 systems. It is referred in the West as SA-20 Gargoyle. This air defense system entered service with the Soviet Armed Forces in the mid 1980s.

   Further development of the S-300PMU became the S-300PMU-1. It is a downgraded export version. It appeared in 1993.

   The S-300PMU and S-300PMU-1 use the 30N6/30N6-1 (30N6E-1 export version) engagement radar. It has a 300 km range, can detect 100 targets and engage 6 of them. The systems also use the 76N6 (76N6E export version) low-level early warning/acquisition radar with more than 120 km range.

  One of the most important improvements of the PMU versions is the third radar. The 5N64S (Western designation Big Bird)  (64N6E export version) is a 360 S-Band 3D long-range surveillance/battle management radar with maximum range of 300 km. This radar has two huge faces, where each side has 2 700 elements (making a total of 5 400 elements). It can detect 200 targets and track 12 of them for engagement. For better intercepting of very fast moving targets the radar stops its rotation. The radar searches with higher processing speed, more resolution and accuracy. Also the radar has the ability of partitioning sectors into smaller zones for specific searches. This feature increases the search and track capabilities.

   The S-300PMU and S-300PMU-1 systems use the 5P85S and 5P85T (export version 5P85SE/TE) TELs. Both of them are equipped with 4 missiles. The battery is also supported by a 54K6E command post vehicle and 1T12 site survey vehicle. Radars and TELs use the MAZ-543M 8x8 chassis or are towed by the KrAZ-260B trucks.

   The S-300 PMU/PMU-1 systems use the 48N6 missile with a 150 km range, speed of about Mach 6, and a 70-100 kg HE warhead. The missile can engage targets with a maximum speed of Mach 8, at an altitude ranging from as low as 10 m to up to 27 km. The S-300PMU-1 for the first time introduced several different kinds of missiles in a single system.

   The S-300PMU is in service with Russia and Ukraine. The improved S-300PMU-1 has been exported to China, Greece, Slovakia and Vietnam.

   Further development of the S-300PMU-1 became the S-300PMU-2, also referred as Favorit. This air defense system was intended for export customers. It is referred in the West as SA-20B Gargoyle. This air defense system entered service in 1997.

   Recently it has been reported that production of all S-300 series systems will be stopped by 2016 in favor to the new generation S-400 system.


Missile Year Range Altitude Length Diameter Weight Warhead weight Guidance
48N6 1993 150 km 27 km 7.5 m 0.5 m 1 780 kg 70-100 kg Track-via-missile
5V55RUD ? 90 km 27 km 7 m 0.5 m ? 133 kg ?
5V55R 1982 75 km 25 km 7 m 0.45 m 1 450 kg 100 kg Track-via-missile
5V55K 1978 47 km 25 km 7 m 0.45 m 1 450 kg 100 kg Track-via-missile
5V55PM ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?


Enshan Ostadrahimi


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