The culmination of missile design work by Soviet engineers in the 1950s and 1960s became the 9K338 "Igla-S" (NATO: SA-24 "Grinch") man-portable, shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile of 2004. The path was evolved through the preceding 9K32, 9K32M, 9K34, 9K310, 9K38 and 9K310 marks throughout the Cold War decades and into the new millennium. As was the case with the previous marks, the 9K338 series is built upon new systems that are designed to resist modern countermeasures. The 9K338 makes use of the improved "Igla-S" missile.
As with the previous line of shoulder-launched Soviet-Russian originated missile systems, the 9K338 features a slim launch tube housing the missile, integrated optics and guidance and a trigger with grip unit. Night vision is standard with each 9K338 unit. The newer missile features a heavier and more potent warhead for maximized damage capabilities while sporting a contact and timed fuse with increased engagement ranges. The warhead is of High-Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) and weighs 2.5 kilograms. Guidance is through IR-homing with engagement ranges between 500 meters and 6,000 meters. The 9K338 is a line-of-sight weapon requiring the target and operator to have a clean line of vision between them. It is intended for low-flying aircraft such as helicopters, strike platforms and transports.
To date (2013), operators of the 9K338 series are the Russian Army, Brazil, Iran, Libya, Slovenia, Syria, Venezuela and Vietnam. Iraq began receiving a collection of Igla-S MANPADS in late 2014 as part of a deal the government signed with Russia back on October 2012.
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