SA-18 Grouse (9K38 Igla)

The 9K38 Igla (NATO reporting name SA-18 Grouse) is a Soviet/Russian man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM). The naval variant of 9K38 Igla has the NATO reporting name SA-N-10 Grouse.The 9K38 Igla with its 9M39 missile was finally accepted into service in the Soviet Army in 1983. It has greater resistance against flares and jamming, a more sensitive seeker, expanding forward-hemisphere engagement capability to include straight-approaching fighters (all-aspect capability) under favourable circumstances, a slightly longer range, and a higher-impulse, shorter-burning rocket with higher peak velocity (but approximately same time of flight to maximum range), and a propellant that performs as high explosive on impact.

SA-18 Grouse (9K38 Igla)
Class Missile
Type Surface to Air
Manufacturer V.A.Degtyarev Plant
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1983
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Afghanistan View
Angola View
Armenia View
Bosnia-Herzegovina View
Bulgaria View
Croatia View
Cuba View
Ecuador View
Finland View
Georgia View
Hungary View
India View
Iraq View
Kazakhstan View
Kyrgyzstan View
Moldova View
Nicaragua View
North Korea View
Peru View
Russia (USSR) View
Rwanda View
Saudi Arabia View
Singapore View
Syria View
Tajikistan View
Turkmenistan View
Ukraine View
United Arab Emirates View
Yugoslavia (Serbia) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
V.A.Degtyarev Plant View
Shchit Machinery Plant View


The first combat use of the Igla-1E was during the Gulf War. On January 17, 1991, a Panavia Tornado bomber of the Royal Air Force was shot down by an Iraqi MANPADS that may have been an Igla-1E (or Strela-3) after an unsuccessful bombing mission.

In addition, an Igla-1E shot down an American F-16 on 27 February 1991. The pilot was captured.


Private intelligence company Stratfor asserts that Igla-1E missiles were used in the 1994 shoot down of a Rwandan government flight, killing the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi and sparking the Rwandan Genocide.

Cenepa War

During the Cenepa War between Ecuador and Peru, both the Ecuadorian Army and the Peruvian Army (which had 90 functioning firing units) utilized Igla-1E missiles against aircraft and helicopters.

A Peruvian Air Force Mi-25 attack helicopter was shot down on February 7, 1995 around Base del Sur, killing the 3 crewmen, while an Ecuadorian Air Force A-37 Dragonfly was hit but managed to land on February 11. Hits on additional Ecuadorian aircraft were claimed but could not be confirmed.


During Operation Deliberate Force, on August 30, 1995; a French Mirage 2000D was shot down over Pale with an Igla fired by air defence units of the Army of Republika Srpska. The pilots, Lt. Jose-Manuel Souvignet (pilot) and Capt. Frederic Chiffot (back-seater), were captured and freed in December 1995.


The 2002 Khankala Mi-26 crash occurred on August 19, 2002 when a team of Chechen seperatists with an Igla brought down a Russian Mil Mi-26 helicopter in a minefield and resulted in the death of 127 Russian soldiers in the greatest loss of life in the history of helicopter aviation. It was also the most deadly aviation disaster ever suffered by the Russian armed forces, as well as their worst loss of life in a single day since 1999.


On January 25, 2014, the militant group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis shot down an Egyptian Mi-17 over the northern Sinai peninsula using a suspected Igla-1E or Igla. How the group came to obtain the weapon is currently unknown.


On 23 March 2015, a Libya Dawn-operated MiG-23UB was shot down with an Igla-S (reportedly a truck-mounted Strelets variant) while bombing Al Watiya airbase (near Zintan), controlled by forces from the internationally-recognized Council of Deputies. Both pilots were killed.


Video has surfaced showing rebels using an Igla-1E on a Syrian government helicopter. Such weapons were believed to have been looted from a Syrian army base in Aleppo in February 2013. Alternatively these missiles could have been supplied by Turkey or Qatar via Croatia. In 2014, a member of the rebel group Harakat Hazm was filmed aiming an Igla-1E into the air on the same day that the group was filmed operating BGM-71 TOW missiles. Whether these weapons were raided from regime stockpiles or supplied via overseas is unknown.


On June 14, 2014,rebel forces near Luhansk International Airport in Eastern Ukraine shot down an IL-76 of the Ukrainian Airforce probably using an Igla MANPADS, killing all 49 Ukrainian service personnel on board.

Nagorno Karabakh

On 12 November 2014, Azerbaijani forces shot down an Armenian Army Mi-24 of a formation of two which were flying near the Azerbaijani border. All three onboard died when the helicopter crashed while flying at low altitude and was hit by an Igla-S MANPADS fired by Azerbaijani soldiers.

General Information
Developed by Russia
Deployed by Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Botswana, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Rep., Ecuador, Finland, Georgia, Hungary, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Nicaragua, North Korea, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, UAE, Ukraine
Development Year unknown
Deployment Year 1983
Platform men
Number deployed unknown
Design The Machine Construction Design Bureau, Kolomna
Manufacturer The Shchit Machinery Plant, Iztrievsk; The V.A. Degtaryev Machinery Plant, Kovrov

Dimensions and Performance
Length 1.7m
Body Diameter 7.2cm
Launch Weight 11kg(missile), 18.4kg(total launch assembly)
Range 4,500-5,200m
Altitude 3,000-3,500m

Propulsion solid propellant
Warhead 1kg HE chemical energy fragmentation effect
Guidance passive IR homing (2 channel 3.5-5.0 micron wave length)

End notes