Country of origin
Weight (with launcher)
High explosive blast fragmentation
Range of fire
Altitude of fire
(Russian: "Arrow-2") was the first generation of Soviet
shoulder-launcher air defense missiles. It is a clone of the US FIM-43 Red Eye. The shoulder-launcher Strela-2 has
nothing in common with the previous vehicle-mounted Strela-1. The Strela-2
was officially adopted in 1968. Its Western reporting name is SA-7
or Grail. Full-rate production commenced in
1970. The Strela-2 was widely used by the Soviet armed forces. It
has been exported to Warsaw Pact countries, Soviet allies and
countries, where Soviet influence has spread. This shoulder-launcher
produced in Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Poland,
Romania and Yugoslavia. China, Egypt and Yugoslavia even developed their own
improved versions of this missile.
Strela-2 air defense missile is no longer used by the Russian Army.
However it is still used by a number of countries.
Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) was designed to engage
aircraft and helicopters. However this old system can not engage
drones. Maximum range of fire is 3.6 km. Maximum altitude is 2 km.
Performance of the Strela-2 is broadly similar to that of the FIM-43
missile has an infrared seeker. It was designed to see infrared
energy and guide itself on very hot surfaces, such as aircraft's
heat signature, and particularly inside of a jet engine. The missile
explodes on contact. If it misses, the missile self-destructs. When
launched at an aircraft, the Strela-2 is most effective in
probability with a single missile against an unprotected target is
only around 10-20%. This number is reduced it the target uses
countermeasures, such as chaffs and flares. The Strela-2 is not
protected against these countermeasures. Also in some cases the
missile proved to be vulnerable to background interference, sun,
clouds and horizon. So by modern standards its
performance is poor. However at the time of its introduction in the
late 1960s such hit ratio was acceptable.
the Strela-2 is similar to other MANPAD systems such as the Red Eye
The missile is inserted into the launcher prior to launch. The launcher can be
reloaded up to 5 times. After that it is disposed.
launch time from carrying position to launch is 13 seconds. Once the
launcher is on the shoulder, covers are removed and sights are
extended, time to launch is reduced to 6-10 seconds. It takes around
25 seconds to reload the launcher.
Soviet Army the Strela-2 was used by separate 3-man teams. Each team
member had its launcher and 2 spare missiles. This missile can
be launched from a hatch of an armored vehicle, moving at a speed of
up to 20 km/h. It is worth noting that in the Soviet armed forces
most armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles
carried these air defense missiles inside the hull.
saw action during numerous wars and military conflicts. It was first
used in Egypt in 1968 during the war with Israel. Between 1968 and
1970 a total of 99 missiles were launched. These hit or downed 36
Israeli aircraft. In 1973 Egyptians hit another 31 Israeli aircraft
with these shoulder-launched missiles. In 1974 Syrians destroyed 11
Israeli air targets with these missiles. During the Vietnam War the
Strela-2 systems were supplied to Vietnam. Between 1972 and 1975 a
total of 589 Strela-2 and Strela-2M missiles were launched, mainly
against American helicopters. A total of 204 air targets were
destroyed or damaged. The Strela-2 missiles were also used during a
number of other military conflicts. The type remains in active
experience revealed that the Strela-2 was not efficient enough. It
appeared that missiles used to hit tail parts of the planes, that
had little vital systems. Also the missiles could not inflict
sufficient damage due to small warheads. A number of damaged planes
managed to return to their bases and after brief repairs were flying
again. Sometimes it took only a couple of hours to repair damaged
planes. So development of the Strela-2 continued.
an improved version. It was developed soon after the introduction of
the Strela-2. The improved version was officially adopted in 1970.
Its reporting name in the West is SA-7B. It uses an improved 9M32M missile. The seeker is more sensitive,
however it still lacked protection against countermeasures. Maximum
range of fire is 4.2 km, while maximum altitude is 2.3 km. Hit
probability against an unprotected target is 11-24%. The Strela-2M
missile is slightly heavier.
a further improved version, adopted in 1974. This missile had a new
and significantly more sensitive seeker. It was no longer sensitive
to background interference, such as rain, fog, sun and cloudy environment. Hit probability against an
unprotected target is 31-33%. Its maximum range is 4.5 km and
maximum altitude is 3 km. The Stela-3 can be used with a
CA-94 is a
Romanian license-produced version of the Strela-2. The CA-94M is
equivalent to Strela-2M.
HN-5 is a
Chinese reverse-engineered version of the Strela-2. A sample was
obtained during the Vietnam War from North Vietnam.
Ayn al Saqr
(Hawk Eye) is an Egyptian version of the Strela-2.
is a version produced in Yugoslavia.