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SA-13 (Gopher) / 9K35 Strela-10


Self-Propelled, Tracked SAM System


Soviet Union | 1979



"The Soviet-era SA-13 Gopher replaced the earlier SA-9 Gaskin line of mobile SAM systems for the Soviet Army."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/27/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The 9K35 "Strela-10" was developed by Soviet engineers to replace the 1960s-era 9K31 Strela-1 line (SA-9 "Gaskin") of mobile Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) systems in service with the Red Army during the Cold War years. It was a budget alternative to more technology-laden programs of the period and therefore somewhat limited in terms of overall engagement capabilities. It lacked all-weather functionality though its more direct operator participation (it is optically-aimed and guided) made its engagement of aerial targets far less prone to jamming and evasion. Development work began in 1969 by KB Tochmash Design Bureau of Precision Engineering to which the 9K35 was taken into service in 1979. To NATO, the vehicle was known as the SA-13 "Gopher". It continues to see use today (2014), having been taken on by forces ranging from Afghanistan and Angola to Ukraine and Vietnam. Former operators include Czechoslovakia (dissolution), Poland, Slovakia, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia (dissolution). Modern Russian Army versions use a new missile.

The 13.55-ton SA-13 is built atop the existing hull and chassis of a slightly modified MT-LB multipurpose armored tracked carrier and therefore retains the same YaMZ-238 V diesel-fueled 240 horsepower engine and performance specifications of 37 miles per hour road speeds and 310 mile operational ranges. A torsion bar suspension allows for the necessary off-road capability and the hull is amphibious as in the original MT-LB, treading water at a 3-mile-per-hour-clip. Its crew numbers three - commander, driver, and gunner and armor protection is only against small arms fire, measuring 7mm thick. Primary armament is its four-shot 9M333 missile launcher which sits atop the hull on a trainable mount. The launchers are grouped as two pairs of launchers in a side-by-side format, the pairing separated by the radar array at center. The mounting hardware features full traversal and elevation controls. The launcher can also fire the older missiles of the Streal-1 family.

The original missile was the 9M31M of 1971 which used an impact and proximity fuse. This was followed by the 9M37 of 1976 and its proximity and impact fuse. Then came the 9M37M of 1981 and the 9M333 of 1989 - the latter introducing an eight-ray laser proximity and impact fuse. Maximum range has been progressively increased over the lifespan of the missile's evolution while minimum intercept altitudes have been steadily increased.

Over the decades, the Strela-10 system has been continually improved to help expand its battlefield usefulness. This has produced the Strela-10M, Strela,10M2, and Strela-10M3 marks. Its combat service has ranged from the Angolan War (1975-2002) and Operation Desert Storm (1991) to the Kosovo War (1998-1999) and others though with mixed results.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the SA-13 (Gopher) / 9K35 Strela-10 Self-Propelled, Tracked SAM System.
1 x YaMZ-238 V-type diesel-fueled engine developing 240 horsepower driving a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
Installed Power
38 mph
62 kph
Road Speed
311 miles
500 km
Range
Structure
The physical qualities of the SA-13 (Gopher) / 9K35 Strela-10 Self-Propelled, Tracked SAM System.
3
(MANNED)
Crew
21.7 ft
6.6 meters
O/A Length
9.4 ft
2.85 meters
O/A Width
12.5 ft
3.8 meters
O/A Height
27,117 lb
12,300 kg | 13.6 tons
Weight
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the SA-13 (Gopher) / 9K35 Strela-10 Self-Propelled, Tracked SAM System.
4 x 9M37 surface-to-air missiles on trainable launcher hardware atop ML-LB tracked hull.
AMMUNITION:
4 x 9m37 surface-to-air missiles; support for SA-7 "Grail" and SA-14 "Gremlin" missiles as well.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
Nightvision - YES.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - YES.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the SA-13 (Gopher) / 9K35 Strela-10 family line.
9K35 "Strela-10" - Base Series Designation; original production models of 1979.
Strela-10M - Improved 9K35.
Strela-10M2 - Improved 9K35.
Strela-10M3 - Improved 9K35.
SA-13 "Gopher" - NATO designation.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the SA-13 (Gopher) / 9K35 Strela-10. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 1,000 Units

Contractor(s): Saratovskiy Zenit Machine Plant - Soviet Union / Russia
National flag of Armenia National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Belarus National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Croatia National flag of Cuba National flag of Czechia National flag of Hungary National flag of India National flag of Macedonia National flag of North Korea National flag of Poland National flag of Russia National flag of Serbia National flag of Slovakia National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Ukraine National flag of Yugoslavia

[ Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Czechoslovakia; Croatia; Cuba; Hungary; India; Macedonia; North Korea; Poland; Russia; Serbia; Slovakia; Soviet Union; Ukraine; Yugoslavia ]
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Image of the SA-13 (Gopher) / 9K35 Strela-10
Rear right side view of the SA-13 Gopher SAM system
2 / 2
Image of the SA-13 (Gopher) / 9K35 Strela-10
Front right side view of the SA-13 Gopher self-propelled tracked anti-aircraft system

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
ANTI-AIRCRAFT
TRACK-AND-WHEEL DRIVE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The SA-13 (Gopher) / 9K35 Strela-10 Self-Propelled, Tracked SAM System appears in the following collections:
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