Monday, September 20, 2010

SA-2 Guideline


The SA-2 was a potent air defense weapon in its prime, downing a USAF U-2 Spy Plane.

Designation: SA-2 Guideline
Classification Type: High-Altitude Surface-to-Air Missile System (SAM)
Contractor: State Factories - USSR
Country of Origin: Soviet Union
Initial Year of Service: 1957

The V-75 SA-2 GUIDELINE is a medium to high altitude surface-to-air missile system. This two-stage missile has a large solid propellant booster stage fitted with four very large delta fins. The core stage consists of a storable liquid propellant sustainer rocket motor using inhibited red fuming nitric acid oxidizer and kerosene fuel. A set of four cropped delta-shaped wings are located near the mid-section, with a second in-line set of smaller fixed fins at the nose, and a third in-line set of slightly larger powered control fins at the tail.

The original SA-2 Guideline design was engineered to track down and destroy the less-maneuverable high-altitude American bombers, more precisely - the Air Force's stalwart, the B-52 Stratofortress.

The guidance system at an SA-2 site can handle only one target at a time, but can direct three missiles against a target simultaneously. Additional missiles could be fired against the same target after one or more missiles of the first salvo had completed their run. The Soviets apparently believed they must program three or four missiles against each target in order to achieve acceptable kill probabilities.

The 295 kg nuclear warhead used only on the SA-2E variant is believed to have a yield of 15 kT. The other V-75 variants have an internally grooved fragmentation warhead weighs 195 kg (130 kg of which is high explosive) with proximity, contact and command fusing available. This conventional warhead is fitted forward of the main fins and behind the nose-mounted guidance assembly. At medium and low altitudes the kill radius is about 65 meters and the blast radius for severe damage is 100-120 meters. The maximum blast radius against a high altitude target is approximately 250 meters, due to the rarefied atmosphere. The weapon has a accuracy of 75 meters with the large blast radius compensating for system inaccuracies.

The first confirmed downing of an aircraft by the SA-2 system was of a Taiwanese reconnaissance aircraft of the RB-57 type, destroyed in 1959 over China. Successes continued to follow the system including the notable downing of Gary Power's U-2 Spy plane that reached the global headlines (more than one missile was actually launched and the aircraft was hit several times before going down). This single act resulted in a re-thinking of military and reconnaissance planning when dealing with high-altitude Soviet air defense systems.

During the Vietnam conflict with America, Soviet-supplied SA-2's to the North Vietnamese were responsible for aggressively targeting and destroying US Navy, Air Force and Marine aircraft. As a direct response, the United States was forced to develop counter-weapons systems to help combat the very serious SA-2 threat.

Despite advancements in Electronic CounterMeasure (ECM) systems and tactics, the SA-2 system still enjoyed relative success throughout the conflict and afterwards (some running through modernization programs to help extend the service life of the system). Never the less, the SA-2 Guideline would eventually begin giving way to the more advanced SA-10 series of surface-to-air missile systems.

Although there are a variety of arrangement patterns, all sites consist of six launching positions -- usually revetted - deployed around a guidance radar and linked by service roads to facilitate loading. While the sites were permanent installations, all operating components of the system are mounted on wheeled vehicles and are capable of movement by road or rail.

The capabilities of the Guideline system were highly valued, so much so that all other primary air defense systems (with the exception of those marking Moscow), were replaced by the newer SA-2's. By 1965, no fewer than 1,000 SA-2 Guideline launch sites had been established throughout the Soviet Empire and its satellite locations with a large contingent residing in the Soviet-controlled East Germany.

The V-75 was the basic missile defense system for critical urban-industrial areas in the USSR, other than Moscow. The V-75 deployment began on a wide scale since early 1958, with sites located throughout the western part of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries. Deployment patterns and levels of concentration varied according to the geography, size, and shape of the target area, and the Soviet estimate of the worth of individual targets. Between mid-1958 and 1964 more than 600 SA-2 sites were identified by US intelligence in the USSR, mostly in defense of population centers, industrial complexes, and government control centers.

Most SA-2 sites defended major centers of population and industry. SA-2 defenses were also deployed for the special protection of nuclear materials production and storage facilities. In addition, some key Soviet field forces and long range bomber bases were included in the SA-2 deployment pattern. The construction of sites and the training and activation of firing units was seasonal, with activity at a minimum during the winter months.

The sites in the Moscow area, located within the inner ring of SA-1 sites, were intended to supplement the existing defenses. Deployment of SA-2 installations around Moscow included seven sites as of 1964 as part of a program to supplement the SA-1 system.

SA-2 - NATO Reporting Designation
SA-2A - Featured with Fan Song-A radar system and utilizes either V-750 or V-750V missiles.
S-75 Dvina - Russian designation of the SA-2A model.
SA-N-2A - Naval Version
S-75M-2 Volkhov-M - Russian designation of the SA-N-2A model.
SA-2B - Features Fan Song-B radar system and utilizes V-750VK or V-750VN missiles.
S-75 Desna - Russian designation of the SA-2B model.
SA-2C - Features Fan Song-C radar system and utilizes V-750m missiles.
S-75M Volkhov - Russian designation of the SA-2C model.
SA-2D - Featured with Fan Song-E radar system and utilizes V-750SM missiles.
SA-2E - Featured with Fan Song-E radar system and utilizes V-750AK missiles.
SA-2F - Featured with Fan-Song-F radar system and utilizes V-750SM missiles.
C-75 - Russian Reporting Designation
HQ-1 - Chinese-produced Variant
HQ-2 - Chinese-produced Variant
HY-2 - Chinese-produced Variant of upgraded SA-2 base model.

Length: 34.78ft (10.60m)
Width:1.64ft (0.50m)
Height: 0.00ft (0.00m)
Speed: 1,864mph (3000km/h)
Range: 19miles (30km)

Accommodation: Not Available
Weight: 2.5 US Short Tons (2,287kg)
NBC Protection: None
Nightvision: None
Engine(s): 1 x two-stage solid-fuel booster with upper-stage liquid fuel.

Armament & Ammunition:

1 x 35ft, 5,041lb surface-to-air missile (various available warheads).

Targeting by radar system.

1 x 35ft, 5,041lb surface-to-air missile (various available warheads).



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