9K31 Strela-1

The 9K31 Strela-1 is a mobile, short-range, low altitude infra-red guided surface-to-air missile system. Its NATO reporting name is SA-9 Gaskin. Each unit consists of two pairs of ready-to-fire 9M31 missiles mounted in boxes on either side of a turret on a BRDM-2 amphibious vehicle.Development of the SA-9 Gaskin in the Soviet Union was based on a requirement for a regimental vehicle-mounted SAM to support the ZSU-23-4. The Strela-1 is deployed in the short-range air defence battery of Soviet motor rifle and tank regiments. The battery consists of a gun platoon of four ZSU-23-4 Shilkas, and a SAM platoon four Strela-1 vehicles. It is no longer in service in Russia.

9K31 Strela-1
Class Missile
Type Surface to Air
Manufacturer OKB
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1968
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Algeria View
Angola View
Benin View
Bulgaria View
Croatia View
Cuba View
Egypt View
Ethiopia View
Hungary View
India View
Iraq View
Libya View
Mauritania View
Nicaragua View
Poland View
Romania View
Russia (USSR) 1968 View
Slovenia View
South Africa View
Syria View
Tanzania View
Ukraine View
Vietnam View
Yemen View
Yugoslavia (Serbia) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
OKB 1969 View
Former Soviet state factories 1969 View

The missiles used in this system were developed alongside the ubiquitous Soviet MANPADS 9K32M "Strela-2" (NATO designation SA-7 "Grail") in the 1960s. At first both missiles were intended to be man-portable systems, but as it became obvious that Strela-2 would be far the more compact of the two systems, the development goals of Strela-1 were changed. Instead of a battalion-level man-portable system the new criteria called for a regimental vehicle-mounted SAM to support the ZSU-23-4.

As a result of the change in role and more relaxed weight limits of a vehicle-mounted SAM, the design team made the 9M31 a much heavier missile, which permitted fewer design compromises than in the case of Strela-2 to achieve acceptable kinematic performance. The most notable difference is the much larger diameter of the missile and a blunt seeker head that occupies the full width of the missile body. With all else being equal, the ability of an optical seeker to detect a target is directly proportional to its diameter, but on the other hand aerodynamic drag increases proportionally to the square of the diameter.

The Strela-1 also had a warhead over twice as heavy, a proximity fuze and more effective control surface configuration to provide better maneuverability at the cost of increased drag. The net result was a missile four times the weight of Strela-2, with only slightly longer reach but otherwise of much better performance.

The Strela-1 was deployed in short-range air defense batteries of Soviet motor rifle and tank regiments. The battery consisted of a gun platoon of four ZSU-23-4 Shilkas, and a SAM platoon with four Strela-1 vehicles.

The Strela-1 platoon contains, in addition to a command vehicle, one TEL fitted with a passive radar detection system similar to a Radar Warning Receiver, and several more (usually three) without any radar system. The radar detection system is the 9S16 "Flat Box" and consists of four sensors mounted around the BRDM vehicle giving it 360 degree coverage. This system emits no radar energy but can detect radio waves emitted from aircraft, giving the vehicle warning about incoming aircraft and aiding in the acquisition of the target aircraft with the optical system. Typical tactics call for the launch of two missiles against each target to improve the chance of destroying it.

In Russia, the 9K31 Strela-1 system was superseded by the 9K35 Strela-10.

General Information
Developed by Russia
Deployed by Algeria, Angora, Benin, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Rep., Egypt, Ethiopia, Hungary, India, Iraq, Libya, Mauretania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Syria, Tanzania, Ukraine, Vietnam, Yemen
Development Year unknown
Deployment Year 1968
Platform 9P31 BRDM-2 TEL
Number deployed unknown
Design Nudelman OKB-16 Design Bureau (now Precision Engineering Design Bureau)
Manufacturer former Soviet state factories

Dimensions and Performance
Length 1.803m
Body Diameter 12cm
Wing/Fin span 36cm
Launch Weight 32kg
Range 800-4,200m(9M31), 560-8,000m(9M31M)
Speed Mach 1.8
Altitude 30-3,500m, 10-6,100m

Propulsion solid propellant
Warhead 2.6kg HE fragmentation effect
Guidance uncooled PbS passive IR seeker (1-3 microwaveband) (9M31), cooled PbS passive IR seeker (1-5 micro waveband) (9M31M)

End notes