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Long-range air defense missile system


The Russian S-300V long-range air defense system uses two different missiles

Entered service 1988
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 50 t
Length ~ 12 m
Width ~ 4 m
Height ~ 5 m
Missile length 7.89 m / 9.91 m
Missile diameter 0.91 m / 1.21 m
Missile weight 2 500 kg / 4 600 kg
Warhead weight 150 kg
Warhead type HE-FRAG
Range of fire 100 km
Altitude of fire 0.05 - 30 km
Engine V-84 diesel
Engine power 840 hp
Maximum road speed 53 km/h
Range 250 km
Gradient 40%
Side slope 20%
Vertical step 0.7 m
Trench 2.5 m
Fording 1.2 m


   The S-300V air defense missile system was developed to engage short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, strategic and tactical aircraft, as well as early warning and electronic warfare aircraft. It was designed to counter the threat posed by Lance and Pershing ballistic missiles. The main role of the S-300V is to protect task forces and vital industrial and military installations against massed air attacks. Its reporting name in the West is SA-12 or Gladiator/Giant.

   Some components of the S-300V system were deployed in 1983. All components entered service with the Soviet Army in 1988. Recently it has been reported that production of all S-300 series missiles, including export versions, will be stopped in Russia in favor to the newer S-400.

   The S-300V is a mobile air defense system. All of its elements are mounted on special tracked chassis.

   First production version of the S-300V had a range of 100 km and could reach targets at an  altitude of 30 km. It could engage ballistic missiles at an altitude of 25 km.

   The S-300V uses two different missiles. The missiles are largely common in design. Both of these missiles are intended to engage aerial and ballistic targets. A smaller 9M83 missile is used against aircraft, cruise missiles and smaller ballistic missiles. A single 9M83 missile has a 40-65% chance of defeating ballistic missile, 50-70% defeating cruise missile and 70-90% chance of defeating enemy aircraft. The larger 9M82 is used to engage intermediate-range ballistic missiles, AWACS and jamming aircraft at ranges of up to 100 km. Warheads of 9M82 and 9M83 missiles are packed with 150 kg of explosives. It is worth noting that the S-300V was considered as an all-round system. Soviets also fielded more specialized anti-ballistic missile systems.

   Once equipped with 9M83 missiles is referred in the West as SA-12A or Gladiator. When equipped with 9M82 missiles it is referred as SA-12B or Giant.

   The S-300V is considered as a survivable system. Once all the missiles are launched the launcher vehicles can briefly redeploy. It uses  shoot, scoot and hide tactics in order to avoid being destroyed.

   A battery of the S-300V typically includes up two six launchers in two variants, command post vehicle, surveillance radar, sector surveillance radar, and up to 6 reloading vehicles/launchers in two variants.

   The Gladiator launcher vehicle is operated by a crew of 3. It carries four smaller 9M82 missiles. Vehicle is fitted with engagement radar.

   The Giant launcher vehicle is also operated by a crew of 3. It also has a radar mounted over the cabin. It carries two larger 9M83 missiles.

   Command post vehicle is operated by a crew of 7. It controls radars and up to 4 launcher vehicles. It can track up to 70 air targets simultaneously. It prioritizes which targets should be attacked first and transmits firing data to launcher vehicles.

   Surveillance radar is operated by a crew of four. It has a detection range of up to 330 km. At a range of 240 km aircraft are detected with a chance of 50%. It detects ballistic missiles at a range of about 150 km.

   There is also a sector surveillance radar. It is also operated by a crew of four. It is used to detect high speed targets, such as ballistic missile warheads. This radar has detection range of up to 175 km. It has a brief reaction time.

   There are two variants of reloading vehicles. Reloading vehicles are operated by a crew of three. These are fitted with a crane and carry two larger 9M83 or four smaller 9M82 missiles. Reloading takes about 50-60 minutes. Essentially these vehicles are combination of the TEL and reloading vehicle. A unique capability of these vehicles is that they can launch missiles themselves. Firing data is acquired from the launcher vehicle.

   Special tracked chassis of all S-300V elements is based on that of the 2S7 Pion 203-mm self-propelled gun. It a number of automotive components of the T-72 and T-80 main battle tanks. It is powered by a V-84 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 840 hp. This engine is also used on the Russian T-90 main battle tank. Vehicles are also fitted with auxiliary power unit, that powers all systems when the main engine is turned off.




   S-300V1 early production version;

   S-300V2 upgraded version with improved capability against ballistic missiles;

   S-300VM is an upgraded version of the S-300V. It seems that it is also called S-300V3. Western reporting name for this system is SA-23 Gladiator/Giant. It has new command post vehicle and new radars. It fires improved 9M83M and 9M82M missiles with a longer range. Missiles have a range of 200 km and can reach targets at altitude of 30 km. The S-300VM is in service with Russia;

   Antey 2500 an export version of the S-300VM. It can engage up to 24 aircraft or up to 16 ballistic missiles simultaneously. This system can engage ballistic missiles at a range of 250 km and aircraft at a range of 200 km. Two battalions of these air defense systems were exported to Venezuela. These were delivered in 2013. Estimated export price of this system is 1 billion dollars;

   S-300V4 improved version. It seems that this system is also called S-300VMD. It has a range of 300 km. Russian armed forces issued production order for this air defense system. Deliveries commenced in 2014.


Video of the Agni S-300V air defense system












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