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SA-12 (Gladiator / Giant) / S-300V

Long-Range, High-Altitude Self-Propelled Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) System

The SA-12 Gladiator SAM system was developed by Soviet industry as a long-range anti-ballistic missile defense system while also retaining an anti-aircraft capability.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 2/7/2019
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Year: 1988
Manufacturer(s): State Factories - Soviet Union / Russia / China
Production: 600
Capabilities: Anti-Aircraft/Airspace Denial;
Crew: 4
Length: 28.71 ft (8.75 m)
Width: 10.83 ft (3.3 m)
Height: 9.84 ft (3 m)
Weight: 41 tons (37,000 kg); 81,571 lb
Power: 1 x Diesel powerplant driving track-and-wheel arrangement (MT-T tracked vehicle).
Speed: 40 mph (65 kph)
Range: 311 miles (500 km)
Operators: China (HQ-18); Russia; Soviet Union
The S-300V (NATO codename of SA-12 Gladiator or Giant) was developed by the Soviets during the Cold War period (1947-1991) as part of the wider-ranging S-300 Anti-Aircraft (AA) Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) defensive-minded line of vehicles. This series, however, ultimately emerged as a completely different form from the multi-wheeled S-300 airspace denial units. It was given to a different developer and manufacturer than those of the S-300 family while featuring altogether different missiles - the 9M82 "Giant" and the 9M83 "Gladiator". Two- and four-shot launcher forms were devised and the types have been fielded in the anti-ballistic missile role while also being able to provide protection against inbound aerial threats - such as aircraft and cruise missiles - at long range. It still sees service on today's battlefields despite its Cold War roots.

The S-300V series was taken into service in 1983 and full-strength was eventually before the end of the decade; around 1988.

The S-300V utilizes the chassis of the MT-T carrier tracked combat vehicle. The tracked nature of this chassis allows it to travel cross-country easily enough while keeping pace with the main mechanized fighting force. Over the top of the vehicle are large launch tubes housing the primary armament of 9M82 "Giant" or 9M83 series missiles and the launcher is hinged along the rear edge of the hull and propped upwards when the tubes are made ready-to-fire. The missiles can not only engage at long range but also high altitude - making them doubly-dangerous. A typical SA-12 arrangement in the Soviet/Russian ranks is up to six of these launcher vehicles assigned with a target detection/designation vehicle.

China has produced a local variant of the S-300V as the "HQ-18".


2 OR 4 x Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) seated over the rear of the hull.

2 x 9M82 "Giant" OR 4 x 9M83 "Gladiator" missiles depending on carrier vehicle.

Variants / Models

• S-300V (Antey-300) - Base Designation; mobile and fixed launcher forms available.
• SA-12B "Giant" - NATO Designation of two-tube model featuring the 9M82 Giant missile series; 9A84 LLV vehicle.
• SA-12 "Gladiator" - NATO Designation of four-tube model featuring the 9M83 Gladiator missile series; 9A85 LLV vehicle.
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