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Kub

Short-range air-defense missile system

Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system

The Kub air defense system was produced between 1967 and 1983

 
 
Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1967
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight (launcher vehicle)
Weight 19.5 t
Length ?
Hull length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Missile
Missile length 5.8 m
Missile diameter 0.33 m
Fin span 1.25 m
Missile weight 599 kg
Warhead weight 57 kg
Warhead type HE-FRAG
Range of fire 22 km
Altitude of fire 7 km
Number of missiles 3
Mobility
Engine diesel
Engine power ?
Maximum road speed ~ 65 km/h
Range ~ 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 1 m
Trench ~ 1.5 m
Fording ~ 1 m

 

   The Kub is a Soviet short-range air defense missile system. Its industrial designation is 2K12. Its reporting name in the West is SA-6 or Gainful. Its development commenced in 1958. It was adopted in 1967 and was first publicly revealed during the same year. Since its introduction the Kub system, as well as its missiles, were constantly improved. Production ceased in 1983. Over 500 of these air defense systems were produced, alongside with several tens of thousands missiles. A downgraded export version of the Kub, the Kvadrat, was widely exported to Soviet allies.

   The baseline Kub can engage aircraft and helicopters at an altitude from 100-200 meters up to 5-7 kilometers and out to a range of 20 km with a first missile shot-down probability of at least 70%. However the Kub is not that efficient against targets flying close to the ground and maneuvering aircraft. The baseline version was not efficient against hovering helicopters. Also it can not engage ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, anti-radiation missiles, smart bombs and unmanned aerial vehicles. Furthermore  by modern standards the Kub has a number of limitations and is rather vulnerable to jamming and hostile countermeasures.

   The Kub system includes a radar vehicle (Western designation Straight Flush), which searches for targets, tracks them and guides missiles. The radar vehicle also performs friend-or-foe identification. It is based on a GM-578 special tracked chassis and has a crew of 4. This vehicle detects air targets at a range of up to 70 km and out to an altitude of 7 km. It could track a contemporary Western F4 Phantom interceptor and attack aircraft at a range of 50 km with a success probability of 90%. Though detection range is reduced when targets are flying close to the ground. It seems that the Kub radar was rather vulnerable to jamming, even though it had some countermeasures against it. Also the baseline version was extremely vulnerable to anti-radiation missiles, such as a US Shrike.

   The system also includes launcher vehicles, that carry 3 missiles each. The launcher vehicle is based on the same GM-578 special tracked chassis and is operated by a crew of 3.

   The baseline Kub system used 3M9 missiles. The missile is 5.8 m long and has a 599 kg launch weight. It can achieve maximum speed of Mach 2.8. The missile has a semi-active radar guidance. If the enemy uses countermeasures and tries to jam the missile, it self-guides on the emitter of jamming signals. A High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) warhead weights 57 kg. The missile has a 40-75% probability of hitting a target. However this figure drops to 20-55% if the target maneuvers with an overload of up to 8g. Later improved 3M9M1, 3M9M2, 3M9M3, 3M9M3A, and 3M9MA missiles were introduced.

   Once the Kub air defense system is in position it takes 3 minutes for the crew to turn on the radar, find a target, track it, identify weather it is friend or foe, launch missiles and destroy the target at a maximum range. It takes 15 minutes for the system to leave its position.

   The GM-578 special tracked chassis, was developed from the PT-76 amphibious light tank. It is used by both radar vehicle and launcher vehicles. The chassis is lightly armored. Its armor provides some degree of protection for the crew and internal systems against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Also it seems that the vehicle is fitted with NBC protection system. The GM-578 is fitted with auxiliary power unit, a small gas turbine, which generates electricity and powers all systems when the main engine is turned off.

   A typical battery of the Kub includes radar vehicle, a couple of launcher vehicles, command post vehicle and some other associated vehicles. Also there are reloading vehicles. These are based on a ZiL-131 6x6 military truck chassis, fitted with a crane and carry reload missiles.

 

Variants

 

   Kvadrat is a downgraded export version of the Kub. It has been exported to a number of Soviet allies. There were 25 operators of this system, including Algeria, Angola, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hungary, India, Kuwait, Libya, Poland, Romania, Syria, Somalia, Tanzania, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, and some other. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s this air defense system was widely used in the Middle East during various military conflicts. In 1995 this system saw action in Bosnia and in 1999 in Serbia.

   Kub-M1 is an improved version, adopted in 1973. The missiles could reach their targets at a range of up to 23 km and an altitude of 8 km. Missile's seeker was less vulnerable to hostile countermeasures. Hit probability of non-maneuvering aircraft was 80-95%. The radar of the Kub-M1 system could operate with short intervals. This feature reduced the chance of being hit by anti-radiation missiles, such as Shrike.

   Kub-M2 is an an improved version. Maximum range of the missile is 25 km.

   Kub-M3 was a significantly improved version, that used 9M9M3 missiles. It had a range of 24 km and altitude of 14 km. The missile could engage static targets, such as hovering helicopters, at altitudes over 1 000 m. It could also engage aircraft that are maneuvering with an overload of up to 8g. Probability of hitting such maneuvering aircraft is around 30-70%. Missile's seeker became even more resistant to jamming and countermeasures.

   Kub-M4, also referred as Buk-1, was an early production version and forerunner of the Buk medium-range air defense system. At the time only Transporter Erector Launcher and Radar (TELAR) and missile of the Buk were developed. This TELAR with missiles was incorporated into Kub-M3 batteries as force multiplier. The system could engage targets at a maximum range of 35 km and at an altitude of 22 km. Furthermore it could engage some cruise and ballistic missiles with a hit probability of 25-50%. This air defense system entered service in 1978.

   Kvadrat-M is a recent Belarusian upgrade of the Kvadrat. The launcher is based on a new MZKT-6922 special wheeled chassis. This system is used by Myanmar.

   Raad-1 (Thunder-1) is an Iranian short-range air defense system, which uses missiles similar to those of the Kub and Kvadrat. The launcher vehicle with 3 missiles is based on a 6x6 truck chassis.

 

 

Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system

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Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system

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Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system

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Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system

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Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system

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Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system

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Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system

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Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system

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Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system

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