Country of origin
0.3 m (?)
Weight with launcher
High explosive blast fragmentation
Range of fire
Altitude of fire
(Russian: Arrow-3) is a Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS), developed
in Soviet Union. Its reporting name in the
West is SA-14 Gremlin. It succeeded the older
Strela-2M, which was a Soviet clone of the US FIM-43 Red Eye.
Development of the Strela-3 commenced in 1968. Prototypes were ready
and testing began in 1972. The Strela-3 was adopted in 1974. It was widely
used by the Soviet armed forces. This MANPADS has been exported to
Warsaw Pact countries, Soviet allies and countries, where Soviet
influence has spread. It was license-produced in Poland. It seems
that the Strela-3
is no longer used by the Russian Army. However it is still used by a
number of countries around the world.
has much in common with the previous Strela-2M. This MANPADS
was designed to engage visual targets such as aircraft and
helicopters. It seems that this old system is not effective against drones.
uses an 9M36 fire-and-forget type missile. This missile had a new
and significantly more sensitive infrared seeker than the previous
Strela-2M. The seeker 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 new seeker of the Strela-3
was no longer sensitive to background interference, including rain,
snow, fog, dust, sun, clouds and horizon. It allowed the missile to be fired against targets from
much broader angles. Furthermore the new seeker could overcome some
countermeasures, such as exhaust shrouds and typical flares. Later
an improved 9M36-1 missile was
of the Strela-3 was much larger than on its predecessors. The
missile explodes on contact. If it misses, the missile
self-destructs. The Strela-3 missile was also fitted with a new
rocket motor. Maximum interception range increased to 4.5 km. The
missile can reach air targets up to an altitude of 3 km.
with a single missile against an
unprotected target is 31-33%. This number is reduced it the target
uses countermeasures, such as infrared decoys.
the Strela-3 is similar to other MANPAD systems such as the Red Eye
Stinger. The missile is inserted into the launcher prior to
launch. The launcher can be
reloaded up to 5 times. After that it is disposed.
The Stela-3 can be used with a
launch time from carrying position to launch is 12 seconds. Once the
launcher is on the shoulder, covers are removed and sights are
extended, time to launch is reduced to 6-8 seconds. It takes around
25 seconds to reload launcher with new missile.
Soviet Army the Strela-3 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 shoulder-launched missiles inside the hull.
SA-N-8 is a
naval launcher with two Strela-3 missiles.
are further development of the Strela-3. Both of these have better
range and seeker sensitivity. The Igla-1 is a simplified early
production version, adopted in 1981. It has a maximum range of 5 000
m and could reach targets at a maximum altitude of 2 500 m. The Igla
is a standard production version, that was adopted in 1983.
HN-5B is a
Chinese clone, based on the Strela-3. Chinese obtained Soviet
Strela-3 missiles captured from Angola governmental forces. The
HN-5B MANPADS has been adopted by the Chinese armed forces in the
mid 1980s. However it was first publicly revealed only in 1990. The
HN-5B has been exported to Pakistan, and, possibly, some other
an Iranian clone, based on the Strela-3.