RBS 15 Gungnir Mk.3

Sweden’s re-armament in the face of increasing concern over Russia’s assertive steps against neighbouring countries has extended to re-establishing mobile coastal defence missile systems disbanded after the end of the Cold War. Local press reports suggest that some land-based launch equipment for the potent RBS-15 Mk.3 missile has had to be recovered from museums to get the systems back up-and-running.

The Baltic’s status as part of the new `front line’ between Russia and the rest of Europe has resulted in a new focus on defence that shows no signs of abating. Efforts to strengthen military posture have been particularly evident in Sweden, which has announced it will reintroduce military conscription from 1 January 2018. The measure is aimed at resolving a recruitment shortage and – unlike the previous measure abolished in 2010 – will extend to both men and women. Other significant developments have included the reintroduction of the RBS-15 land-based surface-to-surface missile system, some seven years after the coastal artillery network was abandoned. The missiles have been taken from stocks released from decommissioned surface vessels, whilst some of the launch vehicles have reportedly been recovered from museums. 17 Significant efforts are also being made to extend the lives of existing surface vessels, including a SEK1.2bn (c. US$150m) contract announced on 30 June 2017 for the modernisation of the two Gävle class corvettes. They will join the five Visby class vessels to form a seven-strong force of front-line surface combatants, supported by two older Stockholm class ships acting in a second-line surveillance role. Some of the Koster class MCMVs are also receiving further modernisation, whilst a comprehensive recapitalisation of the submarine fleet was announced in 2015

A new, next-generation version of the SAAB Dynamics RBS 15 ASM was awarded by Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) in March 2017 to equip the Royal Swedish Navy’s VISBY class corvettes and Air Force’s JAS GRIPEN E multirole fighters. Externally similar to current generation RBS 15, the new missile is reported to be a re-architectured development of the existing RBS 15 Mk.3 anti-ship missile, introducing technology enhancements in the airframe, navigation suite, on-board processing in addition to the RF seeker to improve the all-weather capabilities and develop a significant range enhancement. The latter is reported to have been achieved thanks to a lower weight obtained mainly by composite material use in the airframe design.

The new RBS 15 version for both ship- and airborne applications will be operational from the mid-2020s. Jointly produced and marketed by Saab, Sweden, and Diehl BGT Defence, Germany, the current RBS 15 Mk.3 is in production, under delivery or in service with the Swedish, German, Polish and reportedly Algerian navies. With a range of 250+ km, all-weather and fire-and-forget capabilities, the 4.35-metre-long and 660 kg (flight weight) Mk.3 version is equipped with a high-resolution radar seeker, intelligent processing and a state-of-the-art navigation system with GPS.

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Dogs of the Conquistadors

The Spaniards began using dogs at least by the 1260s, as King Jaume I of Aragon-Catalonia supplied guard dogs to garrisons of regional castles.

When Christopher Columbus returned to the New World in 1493, Don Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca, in charge of supplying the expedition, included 20 mastiffs and greyhounds as weapons. The Spanish destroyed the Guanches of the Canary Islands by use of war dogs. Later the dogs fought the Moors. The mastiffs, which could weigh as much as 250 pounds and stand three feet high at the shoulder, were brute attackers, while the greyhounds were speedy and made lightning-quick strikes, often trying to disembowel their opponent. In May 1494 the Jamaican natives did not look friendly, so Columbus ordered an attack. One war dog caused absolute terror, so Columbus in his journal wrote that one dog was worth 10 soldiers against Indians. During the Haiti campaign, opposed by a huge native force, all 20 dogs fought at the Battle of Vega Real in March 1495. Alonso de Ojeda, who had fought with them against the Moors, commanded the dogs. He released the dogs shouting, “Tomalos!” (basically, “Sic ’em!”). An observer said that in one hour, each dog had torn apart at least a hundred natives. The island was taken largely by terror of the dogs. Later conquistadores including Ponce de Leon, Balboa, Velasquez, Cortes, De Soto, Toledo, Coronado, and Pizarro all used war dogs.

Some Spaniards started a cruel practice called “la monteria infernal” (“the hellish hunting”) or “dogging,” setting the dogs on the chiefs or other important people in tribes. When their leaders were torn to shreds, the tribes often surrendered. To increase the ferocity of attacks, some conquistadores fed the dogs on the flesh of natives. One Portuguese fellow “had the quarters of Indians hanging on a porch to feed his dogs with.” The dog Amigo helped in the conquest of Mexico. Bruto, belonging to Hernando de Soto, assisted in the conquest of Florida. When Bruto died, the Spaniards kept it secret, because the natives feared him so much.

A dog named Mohama gained a soldier’s share of the booty for fighting courageously at Granada. Perhaps recognizing the Spanish love for war dogs, in 1518, King Henry VIII of England sent 400 war mastiffs “garnished with good yron collers” (spiked collars) to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Spain. Apparently one of Charles’s foes heard of this acquisition and started collecting war dogs of his own. At the siege of Valencia, the iron-clad mastiffs sent the newly trained French dogs fleeing with their tails between their legs.

The Spanish sent war dogs to their New World campaigns to help conquer much of South and Central America. Just as the invaders’ horses terrified the natives, so did the dogs, because the likes of these creatures had never been seen. The Aztec king, Montezuma, was told that the Spanish dogs were huge, “spotted like ocelots, with ears doubled over, great hanging jowls, blazing yellow eyes, gaunt stomachs, and flanks with ribs showing.” They “went about panting, tongues hanging out. Their barks astounded the Mexicans since, though they had their little dogs, they did not bark; they merely yowled.” A mastiff belonging to Francisco de Lugo barked most of the night, causing the local people to ask if the beast was a lion. They were told that the dogs would kill anyone who annoyed the Spaniards. The dogs often preceded the horsemen in column, panting with “foam dripping from their mouths.”

A German explorer accompanied the Spaniards to Colombia and saw a brigade of mastiffs used to scout out ambushes by the Chibchas Indians. These animals wore quilted armor to protect them from arrows, and they learned to kill the natives by tearing out their throats. The Indians were terrified of these dogs.

An account in 1553 says Pizarro’s dogs were “so fierce that in two bites with their cruel teeth they laid open their victims to the entrails.”

The dogs the Spaniards brought were mostly war dogs. These dogs were strong and ferocious, accompanying their owners in battles. They were usually wearing armor to protect them from enemies and were incredibly valued.

The Spaniards depended so much on their war dogs that they trained them to kill. They often had them fast days before a battle to make them more lethal against their enemies. They were also used as a method of torture against Americans.

The Aztec natives were familiar with certain breeds of dogs, but they were generally small and harmless species, without much fur. The species known by these natives were an antecedent of the modern chihuahua and the Xoloitzcuintle. These dogs were raised as pets and also as food and source of protein.

Unlike these more timid endogenous breeds, European dogs were large and aggressive. The Aztecs had dogs. They were small, hairless, timid creatures, related to the modern Chihuahua, which were reared not as pets but as a food source. Accordingly when the Aztecs first met the Spanish war dogs – wolfhounds, greyhounds, lurchers, pit bulls and gigantic mastiffs similar to modern Rottweilers, they had absolutely no idea what they were dealing with. Indeed they did not think these animals were dogs at all. They thought they might be some species of dragon – an impression compounded by the fact that the Spanish dogs were armored in chainmail and steel plate like their masters and were thus almost invulnerable to stone weapons. Fasted before battle so they were in a state of voracious, slavering hunger, trained to fight and kill with the utmost ferocity, these terrifying animals already relished human flesh having been used repeatedly in acts of genocide against the Indians of Hispaniola and Cuba. Unleashed in snarling, baying packs, their tongues lolling, drool dripping from their fangs and sparks of fire seeming – in the imagination of the victims – to flash from their eyes, they tore into the Aztec front lines with devastating effect, disemboweling men, ripping out their throats, feasting on their soft, unarmored bodies. “They have flat ears and are spotted like ocelots,” reported one Aztec eyewitness of the Spanish war dogs. “They have great dragging jowls and fangs like daggers and blazing eyes of burning yellow that flash fire and shoot off sparks. Their bellies are gaunt, their flanks long and lean with the ribs showing. They are tireless and very powerful. They bound here and there, panting, their tongues dripping venom.”

Clad in metal armor and chains, the natives did not believe that these creatures were dogs and regarded them as beasts. These attack dogs, often wearing their own armor, were the common European shock and awe tactic of the period. The first documented New World use of these canine swat teams occurred in 1495 when Bartholomew Columbus, Chris’s brother, used 20 mastiffs in a battle waged at Santa Maris el Antigua, Darien with his brother employing the same approach a year later.  These dogs were trained to pursue, disembowel and dismember humans and to this purpose, enjoyed a human diet in the Americas. The Spanish reveled in holding human hunts called “la Monteria infernal “where much sport was made of chasing and killing the local men, women and children. The noted Spanish apologist Bartolme de La Casas has left us numerous accounts of the exploits of these hounds from hell and it is easy to understand why these horrific memes still prevail in the cultures of Latin America. The names of many of these dogs so esteemed by the Spaniards still live on and here are but a few:

Bercerruillo the terror of Borinquen, until he was fallen by 50 arrows, received a salary one and a half times that of an archer from his owner Ponce de Leon.

Leoncillo (Little Lion), Bercerruillo’s son, was Balboa’s warrior, earned over 500 gold pesos in booty during his many campaigns, and he was the first Western dog to see the Pacific. When ordered to catch a native he would grab the man’s arm in his mouth. If the man came along quietly, they walked slowly to Balboa. If there was any resistance, the dog ripped him apart.

Bruto, De Soto’s champion, received 20 slaves as spoils before his career ended.

Warships and Fleets Transformed

The principal navies could not avoid taking a lead in modernization after Hampton Roads and Lissa. The majority of warships in commission were out of date and virtually defenceless against any minor naval power which equipped itself with a mere handful of modern warships. Now that steam propulsion of screw-driven ships was established, sails could be abolished and full attention paid to improving power plant. HMS Devastation, the first battleship without sails, was launched in 1871 but like all those to follow, she also incorporated the latest gunnery system. Notice had been given that henceforward priority would be paid to ways and means of destruction versus means of protection. In fact, there were two separate but coincidental lines of approach in naval thinking: attack by guns upon hull and superstructure, rivalled by underwater attack by mines and the locomotive torpedo.

As cheaper steel became available in vast quantities and demonstrated superior qualities over iron, nearly all guns were made from it. Simultaneously, the earlier system of `hooped’ barrels was superseded by a method of steel wire wound over the inner tube. And any controversy over the attributes of muzzle or breech loaders was finally resolved in the 1870s by the need to solve problems inherent in loading and firing pieces which grew steadily in weight and length. A British- built 17 3/4-in calibre gun weighing 100 tons and firing a 2000 lb shell was in service by 1876, while pieces of 40 feet long were already in existence. Lengths were bound to increase, as this proved the best way to augment muzzle velocity in order to pierce thick armour. The business of manoeuvring a long gun inboard, off-target, in order to push charge and shell into its muzzle was both laborious, complicated and time-consuming. Rates of fire for breech loaders could be twice as great. Their most notorious defect, when first produced in quantity by Krupps and Armstrongs, was a susceptibility to bursting cases or emission of gas and flame due to inadequate sealing between breech and chamber. But by the time of the Franco-German war these faults had largely been eliminated.

Controversy attended the development of the turret, also due to the problems of loading longer guns, but this was overcome once muzzle-loaders were finally done away with. From the 1880s onwards, the turret became the almost universal, self-contained housing for a ship’s main armament, its ammunition supply brought up by hoist from magazines located below. Loading and traversing were powered by hydraulics (or later by electricity); and recoil was no longer taken up by friction devices or rope restrainers, but absorbed by steel spring and hydraulic systems (first suggested by the Siemens brothers in England in 1862) which returned the barrel to rest in its firing position and dispensed with the need to reposition guns after every discharge.

In parallel with the intensive work devoted to guns and turrets went development of new shot and shells to defeat the thicker armour protecting their targets. Solid iron shot failed as an armour penetrator because it broke up too easily on impact. It was superseded by steel shot with a hardened tip, later improved by the addition of a soft steel cap over the nose to take the first shock of impact. Quite as much research and trial went, of course, into improvements to the armour these missiles were intended to smash or penetrate. Naturally, under trial, steel proved superior to iron. When one of the 2000-lb shells from a 17 3/4-in gun struck iron armour backed by 29 ins of wood at 1470 ft per second, it penetrated; against steel, however, it pierced only 21 ins deep.

More efficient guns depended to a large extent upon improved propellants. The start made by Rodman in the 1850s was steadily built upon by others from many nations. In 1846 CF Schonbein, a German, had created guncotton (nitrocellulose) by adding nitric acid to cotton; subsequently improved by the Austrian Baron von Lenk in the 1860s, it was stabilized in colloid form by Paul Vieille and adopted by the French Army as Poudre B in 1885. This was four times more powerful than existing explosives. Then, in 1875, the Swede Alfred Nobel successfully mixed guncotton with nitroglycerine and in 1885 went a stage further by developing this mixture into ballistite, which was smokeless — a vital advance. Also about this time, Frederick Abel and James Dewar (both British) discovered cordite by mixing nitro¬ cellulose and nitroglycerine with mineral jelly. These smokeless propellants not only increased the effective range of artillery and led to a new generation of guns and small arms, they opened a new era in shooting techniques and tactics since the gun position would henceforward not be clouded in smoke (as an advertisement of its position) and the gunners would be free of smoke obscuration, enabling them to observe the fall of shot and make positive corrections to aim.

In parallel, significant hardening and strengthening of steel came from the addition of special elements, such as tungsten, nickel, chromium and manganese. Greatest among the metallurgists researching alloy steels was the Briton Robert Hadfield, who invented manganese steel in 1882 and silicon steel in 1885 – the former of immense importance for armour and shot; the latter of great use in the burgeoning electrical industry. Simultaneously, M Marbeau of France invented nickel steel, soon used in America for ships’ armour plate. Alloy steels were more expensive than plain carbon steel, but their application by armed forces on sea and land, quite apart from civilian usage, was fundamental and implemented with astonishing rapidity. It was another step forward when in 1876 France launched the Redoubtable, the first ship built of carbon steel frames and armour and incorporating a watertight double-bottom and internal subdivision for damage control. It was even more important when, in 1891, the US Navy opted to armour its ships with nickel steel, which did away with the need to back wrought iron or carbon steel with timber.

Attack below the waterline by static mines as a defensive measure had sunk 26 ships during the American Civil War. Offensive underwater operations might have occurred had the US Navy adopted the rocket-propelled torpedo of Pascal Plant, but when his model was tried out before President Lincoln in December 1862, it ran wild and sank a luckless schooner which happened to get in the way. It was collaboration between Giovanni Luppis of Austria and Robert Whitehead of Britain which, in 1864, produced the first practical locomotive torpedo. Luppis demonstrated (as Bushnell and Fulton had shown 90 years previously) that when a gunpowder charge was exploded underwater, the water had a tamping effect. Whitehead put on sale in 1866 a 14-ft, cigar-shaped torpedo, 14 ins in diameter with an 18-lb charge in the nose. It was powered by a compressed air engine driving a propeller, had a speed of 6 knots and a range up to 700 yards. When launched, initially from under¬ water tubes, but later from tubes carried above water, it ran a set course, controlled in depth by a hydrostatic valve and a pendulum weight working together to activate a pair of horizontal rudders called hydroplanes.

Rudimentary as the Whitehead torpedo was in the 1860s, its impact upon naval thinking and ship construction was immediate and positive. While investigations to improve the existing model went on, foresighted officers began to study changes in tactics which this weapon would impose upon fleet commanders and ships’ captains. Among many innovations came the idea of a new class of warship to specialize in attacking with torpedoes. By 1876 the British had built a 33-knot, 19-ton coastal torpedo boat called , HMS Lightning. Eight years later the Russians had in service 115 sea-going, 40-ton torpedo boats with a speed of 22 knots. Although many old-guard admirals might disapprove of torpedoes, the advent of the torpedo boat could not be ignored. Henceforward battleships would require better protection below the waterline and more watertight compartments, plus extra defensive armament in the shape of quick-firing, breech-loading guns. Escorts, or so-called torpedo boat destroyers, were also called for to supplement firepower. In 1881, the Royal Navy finally abandoned slower firing muzzle-loading guns and three years later was compelled to take note of a British-built, 386-ton destroyer called Destructor, fitted with a triple-expansion engine (the first ship to be powered with this invention by a Frenchman, Benjamin Normand) and with a speed of 22 1/2 knots.

The inescapable outcome of threatening firepower and underwater attack was a race between nations to maintain parity. No nation which looked to the sea for its trade and security could afford to permit rivals a decisive technical superiority. Inevitably increases in weight, power and complexity of arms were called for, together with a considerable rise in costs and a demand for specialists to build and run the machinery and then control the weapons. A wooden ship of the line in 1850 weighed around 3000 tons, mounted some 100 guns up to 10 ins in calibre (with a range of 400 yards) and had its speed controlled by the wind. By the 1890s a steel battleship could weigh 13 000 tons, carry a mere four or six powerful guns of about 14 ins in calibre, with a 10-mile range at a speed of 18 knots.

The overhead costs and logistics of replacing every old ship with types of a totally different kind were enormous. Building and manufacturing called for new industries and the recruitment and training of technicians and labour for unfamiliar tasks, while acquiring new traditions of quality production. So rapid was progress that, in unprecedentedly short periods, equipment was made obsolete by more inventions coming to hand. Warships had recently remained combat-worthy for half a century and more. Now they could qualify for replacement within a decade. Doing away with sail not only placed demands upon engine designers and manufacturers, but also had repercussions in other fields. The rope and sail-making industries were faced with severe cut-backs in production which in turn caused a reduction in the growing and milling of flax and hemp, thus generating problems for farmers. Calls for higher speeds and greater radius of action drove marine engine designers to improve the efficiency of steam engines and forced ship designers to provide far more space for the bunkering of coal. Nations like Britain and France, with world-wide commitments of empire and trade, were compelled to establish coaling bases at strategic points, such as the Falkland Islands, in order to maintain the mobility of their ships. No longer could a fleet be victualled for a year’s voyage: movements beyond the range of home ports had to be carefully arranged within a new logistic system, requiring time to assemble, good communications and practice.

ZSU Truck Technicals

Good detail of a camouflage painted 23mm ZU-23-2 cannon in use with Taliban forces in 1995. The truck is likely a Soviet GAZ-66.

 

An Amal M35 `heavy technical’ or `gun-truck’ mounting a 23mm ZU-23-2 AA cannon, West Beirut, 1985. All factions in Lebanon mounted the versatile ZU-23-2 on everything from light trucks to M113 armoured personnel carriers.

An M34 armed with a ZU-23-2 AA gun belonging to the Guardians of the Cedars militia during the early stages of the Lebanese Civil War.

 

Somali Islamic Courts Union (ICU) insurgents manning a formidable four-barrelled 14.5mm ZPU-4-equipped Unimog-based `heavy technical’ in Mogadishu, 2006.

There are many machines, weapons and items that have marked the history of war throughout the ages. Roman legionaries had their gladius and their helmets, samurai had the katana and so on. In the second half of 20th century all the revolutionaries and the rebel movements were distinguished by the well-known AK 47 and, in the last decades thirty years, even by the technical vehicles. An open backed civilian pickup truck or four wheel drive vehicle mounting a machine gun, light anti-aircraft gun, anti-tank weapon, or other support weapon. It has played a big role especially in the conflicts that have been taken place in Africa and in the Middle East. The technicals have become the cavalry of any insurgent movement in that territories. They respond to the request of rapidity and fire power that all those groups need, without spending the money that only a government has. They need no specific training to be driven and no special logistic support. However, they do not have only strong points. Being civilian vehicles, they are not designed and adequate for combat purposes, so they do not carry any kind of protection or armored for their passengers and crew.

The term “technical” comes from the Somali civil conflict. In the early 1990s, NGOs that operated in the country were barred from bringing in private security, so they hired local gunmen to protect their personnel, using money as “technical assistance grants”. Eventually the term broadened to include any vehicle carrying armed men.

The technicals became so important that a power of a Somali warlord could be measured by how many vehicles he owned.

Even if the term was coined during the Somali civil war, the use of improvised fighting vehicle dates back to the invention of automobile, and eve earlier, to the horse drawn tachankas mounting machine guns in eastern Europe and Russia.

During World War II, in northern Africa, various units, like the British Special Air Service (SAS), recurred to unarmored motor vehicles, often fitted with machine guns and cannons, to carry out their actions in the desert.

The first rebel group that recurred to these vehicles was the Polisario front in its struggle against Moroccan and Mauritanian governments for the independence of western Sahara.

These fighters became masters in the use of technical, relying on their speed and rapidity to launch assaults against Moroccan and Mauritanian troops and disappearing in the desert immediately.

Technicals were widely used even in the conflict between Libya and Chad, that became famous as “Great Toyota War”. During the clashes between the two armies, it was discovered that these light vehicles could ride through anti-tank mine fields without detonating the mines when driven at speeds over 100 km/h. The Toyota War was unusual in that the force equipped with improvised technicals prevailed over the force equipped with purpose-built fighting vehicles. Eventually Chadianvictory was also due to the fact that those vehicles mounted modern anti-tanks missiles MILAN, that gave a big advantage against poorly equipped Libyan troops.

Somali conflict marked the turning point for the use of technicals. Reporting from the frontline, all the TV channels that followed the war broadcasted the images of Somali rebels fighting against each others and against UNISOM troops on those vehicles. All the factions have used them. Mohammed Farrah Aidid, the most famous rebel leader, deployed 30 technicals along with a force of 600 militia to capture Baidoa in September 1995. After he was killed in clan fighting in 1996, his body was carried to his funeral on a Toyota pickup. The president of Puntaland, General Adde Musa, personally led personally  fifty battlewagons to Galkacyoto confront the Islamists on November 13, 2006.

American Special forces employed them in many clandestine operations in Afghanistan. Special Forces used Toyotas on the battlefield for several years, until the increased proliferation of Improvised Explosive Devices forced them into military-grade mine-protected vehicles. But Afghan troops still use Toyotas by the thousands.

Before the collapse of his regime, even Saddam Hussein forces used techinicals. Afterward,the Coalition also supplied technicals to the Iraqi police. Private military contractors drove also technicals and the United States military used modified Toyota Tacoma pickups (purchased from auto showrooms in the USA and modified before delivery) as well. These vehicles appeared also in the Darfur conflict.

During the Libyan civil war, both regime loyalist forces as well as the anti-Gaddafi forces used technicals extensively. Given the type of warfare that had been carried out in the conflict—wherein highly mobile groups of soldiers and rebels continued to move to and from on the desert terrain, retreating at a time and then suddenly attacking to regain control of small towns and villages in the Eastern rebel held parts of Libya—had led to the technical becoming a vehicle of choice for both sides. Technicals had also been widely used by the rebels whilst setting up checkpoints. It also formed a vast percentage of the rebel inventory which was limited to light weapons, light body armor and very few tanks.

In the ongoing Syrian civil war, technical have been seen on sides of loyalist forces and rebels and Islamist factions. The kind of weapons mounted on technicals varies widely, from light machine guns to anti-aircraft guns and even BMP-1 turrets.

ISIS captured many  Iraqi police and army techinicals during its offensive in the north of Iraq. Even Peshmerga fighters have tested the versatility of these vehicles, relying on their agility to surround and attack ISIS forces.

Technicals seem to have become a landmark for the fighters of asymmetric conflicts. Their agility has allowed poorly equipped forces to be more effective, even against better  equipped enemies.The fact they are cheap, easy to use and perfect for the harsh terrains in the Third World countries, make them the best option for every fighter group that can not afford expensive and sophisticated armored vehicles.

The practice of bolting an anti-aircraft gun into the bed of a truck or pick-up in Beirut was also driven by the battlefield environment itself. Fighting from the ruins of multi-storey apartments or office blocks was the norm and the weapons systems mounted in most AFVs simply couldn’t elevate their barrels high enough to engage their attackers. AA guns were pressed into service and proved ideal in combating snipers and RPG teams on rooftops and upper floors. This innovative use of AA cannon would later be repeated by the Russians in both Afghanistan and Chechnya to combat opponents utilizing the high ground.

A bewildering variety of pick-up and light trucks, both military and civilian, were present in Lebanon. The Syrian Army had adopted the Series III Land Rover in the 1970s, whilst the Lebanese forces had purchased a large number of Series II and III Land Rovers alongside their M38 and later M151 Jeeps. Unlicensed Iranian Land Rover copies manufactured by Morattab were also a common sight. Indeed it was possible to see virtually every version of the Land Rover during the Lebanese Civil War and the platform was used extensively by all factions.

These Land Rovers employed by both militia and government forces had one thing in common; invariably, some form of heavy weapon would be pintle-mounted in the bed. Most sported a machine gun, from elderly Browning .30cals to DShK HMGs. Some featured gun shields to provide a modicum of protection to the gunner. Others carried various recoilless rifles, from B-10s to M40s.

Like the Land Rover, all factions employed the Toyota Land Cruiser equipped with RCLs and HMGs. Civilian CJ-series Jeeps were also very common. The Progressive Socialist Party, or PSP, used American Dodge and Chevrolet pick-ups mounting AA guns including the Zastava M55 and the ubiquitous ZPU-1, whilst some of their larger Chevrolet C20 flatbeds sported the formidable four-barrel ZPU-4.

US-made M35s, the famous `deuce and a half’, were modified to mount heavy AA platforms like the ZPU-4. The Lebanese Forces militia deployed large numbers of Iranian-made Keohwa M-5GA1 Jeeps mounting the M40 RCL, the Milan ATGM and the Chinese Type 63 12-barrelled rocket launcher. Indeed this appears to be the first documented use of such field expedient MLRSs on a technical. Years later, such employment would be common during the civil wars in Libya, Iraq and Syria.

Two types of technical dominated in Somalia. What US Special Forces termed the `heavy technical’ were mainly Mercedes and Spanish Pegaso trucks with AA cannon mounted on the flatbed; the ZPU-1 and ZPU-2, the ZU-23-2 and even the ancient but still-deadly World War II-era 37mm M1939 all proved popular.

In Chechnya, although the insurgents did operate a limited number of ZPU-2 and ZPU-4 AA cannon mounted on the flatbeds of trucks in the mountains surrounding Grozny. Here, Russian helicopters, including the infamous Hind, could be seen at greater distances and engaged by a mixture of ZPU cannon and SA-7 SAMs.

Libyan rebel groups widely use trucks from the Chinese manufacturer Zhongxing (ZX) prominently feature in the hands of the militias, including a model cheekily named the Grand Hiland. Uniquely, the firm used their new-found notoriety in their marketing campaign at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, where Zhongxing pick-ups were displayed against colourful backdrops of Libyan technicals with the slogan `Stronger-Than-War’.

Large numbers of 14.5mm KPV heavy machine guns (the same weapon used in the ZPU AA gun) were looted from Libyan Army stores and now feature on many technicals, along with the PKT MMG pilfered from destroyed AFVs. Large numbers of US M2 and M3 HMGs (the latter normally being a variant deployed as a helicopter door-gun) have also been seen, including at least one example mounting twin M2s in what appears to be a factory mount similar to the Platt Mounts systems used by UKSF.

Heavy technicals mounting a dizzying array of AA guns are in use as direct-fire artillery to shoot-in ground assaults. Along with the familiar ZUs and ZPUs, 20mm Hispano-Suiza HS. 820s, S-60s and even Romanian twin-barrel 30mm Model 80 cannons have all made an appearance. Even Russian Gryazev-Shipunov 23mm and 30mm cannons have been pillaged from former Libyan Air Force aircraft and affixed to a range of light trucks using homemade mounts, although, as we shall see, this is far from the only type of aerial weapon to be reimagined for use on a Libyan technical.

The Libyans were the first to improvise components from BMP-1s. Along with the use of actual BMP-1 turrets, often with hillbilly armour used to shroud the frame supporting the turret, the 73mm gun itself has been retrieved from destroyed BMPs and mounted in a clumsy mechanism bolted to the tray bed of Chinese ZX pick-ups as a kind of technical mounted cannon. Its accuracy can only be guessed.

Like Libya, the on-going civil war in Syria has seen a bewildering number and variety of technicals deployed by all sides in the fighting. The Syrian Army themselves employ a large number of technicals, including variants built upon the Hyundai Mighty, a flatbed commercial truck available in 2.5- and 3.5-ton variants. The Mighty has been seen in both commercial colours and crudely applied camouflage patterns.

Weapons mounted upon the Mighty include the standard ZPUs and ZU-23s to S-60s and various aerial rocket pods. Heavier trucks including Russian-supplied Ural-4320s mounting twin-barrel ZU-23-2s are also commonplace.

Anti-Aircraft Gun (AA) Armament

Along with the DShK, Russian and Chinese AA guns are by far the most prevalent heavy weapon encountered on insurgent technicals. Two types are common: the 14.5mm ZPU based on the KPV HMG design and the 23mm ZU-23-2 cannon. A range of other types, including the 20mm Zastava, 35mm Oerlikon and even ancient Russian 57mm S-60s, are also seen, although in far fewer numbers.

The ZPU is manufactured in three variants: the single-barrelled ZPU-1, the twin-barrelled ZPU-2 and the fearsome four-barrelled ZPU-4. The ZPU-1 and 2 are the most common and can be used against both ground and air targets. In the Libyan Civil War, technical mounted ZPUs were employed in place of traditional artillery to suppress targets in preparation for ground assaults.

The ZU-23-2 is even more powerful, a fact that has resulted in more than one video shared on social media showing the recoil of the twin 23mm cannon tipping over some poorly balanced technical! The 23mm round offers both the ability to engage ground and air targets at extended ranges and an anti-armour capability. For example, Houthi insurgents have successfully engaged Saudi tanks in Yemen, whilst the weapon is also credited with downing a number of Syrian Air Force helicopters.

Schwerer Wehrmachtschlepper (Gepanzerter Ausführung)

Proposed version of the sWS with UHU would have been introduced as the command and observation vehicle of the five-tank Infra-red Panther Platoons. The infra-red equipment fitted to each Panther tank had a range of only 400m. Each UHU with its 60cm Beobachtungs Gerat 1251 and telescope Beobachtungs Gerat 1221 was capable of illuminating and sighting at ranges of 1,500m. The UHU commander then controlled the five Panthers, in their attack of such targets, over the usual FuG5 radio. The main searchlight had a traverse of 360*and could be folded down when not in use.

This vehicle was the only one of the series to enter production. On 27th July 1942 Hitler issued an order for the cancellation of the 5-ton Sd.Kfz.6 vehicle and for the turning over of production facilities for this vehicle to the output of the sWS. The sWS was a new, simplified, low-speed tractor designed primarily for use by infantry units as a supply vehicle in adverse conditions. The parent firm was Bussing NAG of Berlin Oberschönweide, and Ringhöfer-Tatra assisted in production. On 27th July 1942 the OKH presented WaPruf.6 with a requirement for 7,484 of these vehicles to be completed within the next two years. Production was scheduled to begin during the spring of 1943 with a monthly output of 150; but the first vehicles did not enter service until December 1943, when only five were completed. The firms assigned to producing these vehicles were Bussing NAG and Tatra in Czechoslovakia (the latter continuing production for some years after the war for the Czech Army). By September 1944 only 381 sWS had been delivered to the army, and total production by 1945 amounted to 1,000. The Tatra version employed the air-cooled Tatra 111 engine.

The vehicle had a greatly simplified suspension and dry-pin tracks. It was mainly intended as a supply vehicle, although versions existed which had heavy bows for canvas covers and could carry wounded men (four stretchers, six minor casualties and two orderlies). There was also a version with an armoured cab which, apart from its role as a normal tractor, was used as a platform for various weapons. It was originally intended that the sWS should replace the Maultier hybrid semitracks which had been produced as an expedient prior to its introduction; but as production never reached a satisfactory level, the Maultier remained in service for the remainder of the war.

The tractor was normally provided with an open lorry body. The engine was a 6·cylinder Maybach HL42 TRKMS, basically similar to and of the same rating as the engines used in the 1- and 3-ton tractors, and it had dry-sump forced lubrication, using a gear-type pump. The dry double-disc clutch, type PF220K, was the same as that used in the 1- and 3-ton tractors. The main gearbox, type Kb40D , gave four forward speeds and one reverse speed and was of sliding-mesh, non-synchromesh type. The auxiliary gearbox was connected to the main one by a short propeller shaft. Two ratios were provided. The vehicle had a conventional controlled differential. The steering brakes were mounted co-axially with the half-shafts and were pneumatically operated. Here the road brakes were not integral with the driving sprockets. The half-shafts drove the driving sprockets through final reduction gears secured to each of the main chassis members. The suspension consisted of five pairs of double overlapping bogies, there being three widely spaced and two narrowly spaced on each side. The bogies were mounted on taper roller-bearings on hubs carried on radius arms, each separately sprung by means of a torsion-bar. The arrangement of these differed from that on the older semi-tracked vehicles in that the radius arms on the two sides were directed in opposite senses, those on the left pointing forward and those on the right trailing. Further, each torsion·bar was arranged to be co-axial (whereas in the older semi-tracks they were slightly offset) and tracks of the same number of links were used on each side. The driving sprocket consisted of two truncated cones, united at the smaller ends and carrying toothed rings bolted to the two outer rims. The bogies consisted of pairs of identical shallow discs carrying solid rubber tyres at their peripheries and were bolted to the hubs. They were detachable without removing the hubs. The idlers consisted of spoked wheels, rubber blocks being secured round their peripheries by steel clamping rings that also acted as guides for the teeth of the tracks. The idlers were mounted on cranked axles and the usual track-tensioning device was used, comprising a nut and threaded rod device incorporating a shear-bolt. Each track consisted of fifty-five main links, each carrying two spuds and two guide teeth, and an equal number of intermediate links hinged together by track pins. The intermediate I inks were secured on the outer side by a head and on the inner side by a circlip and pin. The guide teeth ran between the widely-spaced bogies but outside the narrowly-spaced ones. The track width was 500mm (19.7in).

The front wheel steering was of the ZF Ross worm and- cam type, and it was connected with a pneumatic valve for operating the track brakes when the steering wheel had been turned through a certain angle. A new feature was a lever on the dashboard that enabled each track to be braked independently, allowing the vehicle to be driven on one track only in the event of one track slipping excessively or when removing tracks.

A winch was optional and would be incorporated only by special request. It was driven from the auxiliary gearbox through a propeller shaft and worm gear. The capacity of the winch was 5 tons.

The version with an armoured cab weighed 10.5-tons unladen and could carry up to 3 1/2 tons. The trailer load capacity was 8 tons. In this version the engine, radiator and driver’s compartment were enclosed in light armour plate. This armour was joined by welding except that of the engine cover, which was bolted on. The armour varied from 15mm on the front to 8mm on the sides and roof. The body of the vehicle consisted of a flatbed covered with steel plates and fitted with hinged sides. A compartment of the same height as the sides extended across the rear of the body. A seat for a gun crew was located at the back of the cab and was protected by an extension of the side armour. A folding canvas top was provided. This armoured version was not fitted with a winch.

Manufacturer: Bussing-NAG, Ringhoffer-Tatra

Chassis Nos.: 150001-

825 produced from December 1943 to March 1945

Crew: 2

Engine: Maybach HL42TRKMS

Gearbox: 2 x 4 forward, 2 x 1 reverse

Weight (tons): 13.5

Length (metres): 6.92

Width (metres): 2.5

Height (metres): 2.07

Speed (km/hr): 28

Range (km): 300

Armour: 6-15mm

 

Zugkraftwagen

Much use was made in the German Army of ‘Zugkraftwagen’ (Zg.Kw), or towing tractors, with one or more steered wheels at the front and a tracked suspension system at the rear. These were classified not by load· carrying capacity but by trailer load and would be referred to either by this means or by their special vehicle number (Sd.Kfz.Nr.) . As distinct from the Maultier (mule) vehicles, which were purely load carriers, these were solely for towing. The adoption of this type of vehicle followed experience gained during World War One with Daimler-Benz ‘Marienwagens’ and ·Kraft-Protze’.

The design of German half·tracked (strictly speaking three-quarters-tracked) vehicles commenced during 1926 to fulfil a requirement for motorising the artillery arm. Pursuance of this form of vehicle has been attributed to the personal endeavours of Ernst Kniepkamp (head of the Heereswaffenamt, who was also attributed with the successful adoption of overlapping wheel arrangements). During 1928, Krauss·Maffei AG tested a prototype MS 4·wheeled tractor with tracks in place ‘ of the rear wheels. This was a dual-purpose vehicle in that the tracks could be removed for road driving. The adoption of the semi-tracked configuration resulted from a series of extensive trials. Richard Student wrote: Development of the half-tracked tractor in Germany evolved from studies with the conventional full-tracked type. Following trials with rubber band tracks, German engineers came to the conclusion that only a steel-type track could meet the demands for durability and long life and lend itself adequately to the replacement of damaged parts. After extensive proving and research, a tracked running gear was evolved which answered all the demands. Its basic characteristics were: (a) Lubricated bearings in the track links; (b) Rubber pads to dampen noise; (c) Large wheels with rubber tyres, and a front-located sprocket. This track system permitted high speeds with relatively low power. The degree of sensitivity in the steering system required for road travel could not, however, be obtained by track braking. In order to compensate for this, the vehicles were provided with additional front wheels which were used only for steering through slight angles (and thereby at high speeds): and for greater steering angles, operation of the steering wheel brought into play the steering brakes of the track system. It is considered that the use of lubricated steel tracks enabled the prolonged towing of heavy loads

During 1932, a standardised family of semi-tracked vehicles was scheduled for production under the control of Wa. Pruf. 6 (Heereswaffenamt Branch 6), embracing a wide range of towing capacities. At first the army requested three basic classes-light, medium and heavy; but these designations were later modified and vehicles were classified according to their trailer capacity. The light class became the 5-ton, the medium the 8-ton, and the heavy the 12·ton class; during 1934 a parent firm was selected to conduct the design and development work for each weight class. At this time, two further vehicles were ordered-the 3-ton class and the 1-ton class; and during 1936 the last class (18-ton) was ordered. Other firms were requested to assist in production whenever necessary.

In order to maintain interchangeability of parts, the authorities refrained from introducing new models. It is interesting to note that the models with which the Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe were equipped prior to World War Two appeared in service in the following order:

8-ton Sd.Ktz. 7. Medium semi-tracked tractor (m.Zg.Kw.)

8-ton, developed by Krauss-Maffei AG, Munchen.

5-ton Sd.Ktz. 6. Medium semi-tracked tractor (m.Zg.Kw.)

5-ton, developed by Bussing NAG, Berlin Oberschbnweide.

12-lon Sd.Ktz. 8. Heavy semi-tracked tractor (s. Zg .Kw.)

12-ton, developed by Daimler-Benz AG, Berlin Marienfelde.

3-ton Sd. Ktz. 11. Light semi-tracked tractor (le. Zg. Kw.)

3-ton, developed by Borgward (formerly Hansa-Lloyd-Goliath AG), Bremen.

1-ton Sd. Ktz. 10. Light semi-tracked tractor (le. Zg. Kw.)

1-ton, developed by Demag, Wetter/Ruhr.

18-ton Sd.Ktz. 9. Heavy semi-tracked tractor (s.zg.Kw.)

18-ton, developed by Famo, Breslau.

Each firm was responsible for the development and production of pilot vehicles for its particular class . Subsequently, as already mentioned , other concerns were obliged to build its model (s).

A certain level of standardisation was achieved in that all models were powered by Maybach engines (either 6- or 12-cylinder, water-cooled). The first one or two capital letters of a semi-track designation signified the firm originally making the vehicle, as follows:

D-Demag;

BN-Bussing NAG;

HL-Hansa-Lloyd (later Borgward);

DB-Daimler-Benz;

H-Hanomag;

F-Famo.

KM-Krauss-Maffei;

Since the types developed by these manufacturers were made later by a number of other firms, however, the mark type is not a reliable guide to the original manufacturer-whose name could nevertheless be found on the vehicle name-plate. The very early models were noted for their extremely short track sections (half-tracks), but later models had the track section lengthened to improve cross-country performance (three-quarter-tracks). The earlier models also had leaf-spring suspension; but some of the later versions adopted torsion bars carrying cranked carrier arms. All models in the 1- and 3-ton classes had this type of suspension. The semi-tracks were designed so that the sides of the body were sufficiently high to obscure seated personnel to shoulder height. With all inspection hatches of the hull closed, the main body of the vehicle was practically watertight when traversing deep water. Development of this first generation of semi-tracks reached a satisfactory conclusion by 1939, the models then in production being continued throughout the war with only minor modification (with the exception of the 5-ton model, which was eventually superseded by the S.W.S). Some of these vehicles were supplemented by Maultier (mule) vehicles.

HK 100 Series: Kleines Kettenkraftrad Sd.Kfz. 2

This small motor-cycle tractor, designed by Wa. Pruf. 6, was developed by NSU during 1939. It was intended mainly as a light air-portable tractor for towing the light guns and single-axle open supply trailers of paratroop and airborne un its, but it was also used as a despatch vehicle in localities unsuitable for wheeled vehicles. It first saw action during the invasion of Crete.

The development of the Kettenkraftrad was based on the Motorkarette built by Austro-Daimler (later SteyrDaimler-Puch) for the Austrian Army-which had steel tracks and lever-controlled steering and could be transformed into a wheeled vehicle by the manual application of pneumatic-tyred wheels to spec ial axles provided on the chassis. By introducing steering brakes, reducing the track width and introducing the normal motor-cycle steering system at the front, NSU transformed the Austrian vehicle into one conforming to German military requirements. The prototype was designated Versuchs Kfz. 620; but when standardised the vehicle was classified as the Sd. Kfz. 2 Kleines Kettenkraftrad , with the series project number HK100.

It entered service on 5th June 1941 and thereafter served mainly as a supply vehicle for rough terrain conditions. It remained in production until 1944. The mobility of the vehicle was as good as most tanks; and its ability as a light prime-mover, because of its wide gear selection, was very good. Production was shared between NSU in Neckarsulm and Stoewer in Stettin, and 8.34S were built in all. It was intended that production should also be taken over by Simca, but this never materialised. Essentially, the vehicle retained the standard front wheel and handle-bars of a conventional motor-cycle but had two caterpillar tracks in place of the rear wheel. The front wheel steered the vehicle through slight angles, but controlled-differential steering brakes took over thereafter. The chassis was a box-like structure of pressed steel in two sections, welded together in a horizontal plane below the track guards. It contained the driving compartment, the engine and transverse seating accommodation for two men facing the rear.

A hand-rail was provided on each side at the rear. The driver was seated on a saddle-seat directly above the transmission and clutch housing . Petrol tanks were mounted on each side and, together with the battery and tool compartments, made up the side walls of the vehicle. The engine was a centrally-mounted Opel Olympia 4-cylinder (positioned back-to-front) water-cooled petrol engine developing 37bhp. It was mounted behind the driver’s seat and therefore could not be cooled by the slipstream , so it was cooled by a radiator with a shaft-driven fan coupled to the crankshaft at the rear. It drove the front sprockets through a transmission giving six forward gears and two reverse gears. The suspension consisted of two straddle-mounted, rubber-tyred bogie wheels on torsion-bars, a front driving sprocket and a rear idler. The inner bogie wheels were of the hollow spoked type, and the outer wheels were of the removable disc type. The tracks had 40 links each and were equipped with needle-bearings and replaceable rubber pads.

At a slightly later date, two cable-laying versions of this vehicle were introduced into service. They were: Sd.Kfz. 2/1 Kleines Kettenkraftrad für Feldfernkabel (light motor-cycle tractor for field telephone cable). Sd.Kfz. 2/2 Kleines Kettenkraftrad für Schweres Feldkabel (Iight motor-cycle tractor for heavy field cable).

Both vehicles had cable-drums mounted on frames behind the driver’s seat.

A crane version was also produced in small numbers.

During 1941 NSU undertook a project for a heavier version of this vehicle with an increased load-carrying capacity and five seats (excluding the driver’s). It weighed 2,2S0 kg, was powered by a 2-litre 4-cylinder Stump K20 engine developing 65hp, and was designated the HK102 (Grosses Kettenkraftrad). But it never progressed beyond the prototype stage.

A further engine was also being developed for the HK101, to replace the Opel. It was a 600cc 3Shp (metric) 4-cylinder in-line short-stroke engine with a kick-start. One interesting variant of this vehicle was the NSU Springer, which was used as a radio-controlled demolition vehicle.

Production of the Sd.Kfz. 2 was as follows:

1941 = 420

1942 = 985

1943 = 2,450

1944 = 4,490

TOR-M1

9A331-1 combat vehicle

Intended for effective defense of troops, civilian and industrial facilities from current and future air attack weapons, primarily high-precision weapons, as well as from aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, guided aerial bombs and remotely piloted vehicles.

TOR-M1 air defense missile system which succeeded the OSA-AKM ADMC is one of the most advanced shortrange air defense systems. To the present day, TOR-M1 has no foreign analogues that could so effectively engage the cruise missiles, glide and guided bombs, small and actively maneuvering targets at the altitudes from 10 meters to 6 kilometers and at a range of 12 kilometers. The system is being in demand not only in the Russian army but also among many foreign customers. It is now in service with Greece, China, Iran and Egypt.

TOR-M1 is designed to defend the important administrative economic and military facilities, first echelons of the land forces and formations against the attacks of the antiradar and cruise missiles, remotely piloted vehicles, glide bombs, aircraft and helicopters, including of stealth technology.

The system incorporates the combat vehicle (CV) and the AD missile module (with the missiles in the container launcher), vehicles, maintenance and repair facilities and the electronic computer-aided operator’s trainer of the combat vehicle.

TOR-M1 basic element is the combat vehicle mounted on the cross-country self-propelled tracked chassis. It can detect the air targets independently on the move, determine their state identity and engage them at short halts. Unique design solutions implemented in TOR-M1, i.e. missile vertical launch scheme; ammunition up to eight missiles; capability of detecting up to 48 targets at a distance of up to 27 km; selection of up to 10 high threats and simultaneous engagement of two targets by two missiles; high level of automation; effective operation in the active and passive jamming environment, can reduce to a minimum the time to engage the surprise air targets.

All the radar, optical and computer equipment, missile ammunition and missile launch facilities, electrical power supply sources, survey control and life support equipment of the TOR-M1 crew are installed on one cross-country softskin tracked chassis that greatly improves mobility and endurance of the combat vehicle.

9A331-1 combat vehicle

The basic component of the system is a combat vehicle mounted on a cross-country tracked chassis of the intermediate weight category. The combat vehicle can detect aerial targets on the move and launch air defense missiles at two highest threat targets from a short halt. The combat vehicle comprises:

– self-propelled armored tracked chassis;

– three-dimensional target acquisition radar;

– digital computer;

– antenna stabilization system;

– ground-based IFF interrogator;

– target tracking phased-array radar;

– TV/optical sight;

– automatic launch equipment;

– coded telemetry and command radio communications system;

– navigation, survey and orientation equipment;

– primary power supply system;

– crew life-support equipment;

– auxiliary equipment.

9M334 air defense missile module (9M331 missile and 9Ya281 transport launch canister)

The missile is designed around a canard configuration. It is launched vertically by a powder catapult to a height of 15 – 20 m. It is then turned in the target direction, and its main solid-propellant rocket motor gets ignited.

The single-stage rocket motor has two operating modes. In the liftoff mode, the motor imparts the maximum speed of 850 m/s to the missile for 4 s of flight; in the cruise mode, lasting up to 12 s, the motor maintains this speed. Such a flight speed envelope ensures the required power-to-weight ratio, which enables the missile to cover a zone of up to 12 km in range and defeat targets flying at a speed of up to 700 m/s and g-loads of up to 10 g. The missile is maintenance-free and accommodated in a four-compartment transport launch canister.

Command/control assets

Organizationally, four combat vehicles of the Tor-M1 AD missile system enter into the complement of an air defense missile battery, which is the smallest tactical element. The combat vehicles are controlled by the 9S737-M Ranzhir unified battery command post. The Tor-M1 AD missile system is shipped by any type of transport, including aircraft. The manufacturers of the Tor-M1 system render a full package of maintenance services to keep the system in combat readiness and offer modernization packages that markedly expand the system’s combat capabilities.

There are several modifications of the Tor-M1 system, such as the TorM1T (wheeled chassis mounted system) and a stationary version.

Composition

The Tor-M1 ADMS includes combat, technical and auxiliary assets.

Typical combat assets include:

  • up to four 9A331-1 CVs with two SAM modules on each;
  • 9M334 missile modules with four 9M331 missiles in each;
  • 9S737M battery command post.

Technical assets include:

  • maintenance assets for the ADM system and its vehicles;
  • missiles loading/unloading, storage and transportation facilities with rigging equipment;
  • ADMS group set of spare parts, tools and accessories.

Auxiliary assets comprise 9F678 self-contained simulator for CV operators. Each CV is equipped with life-support equipment, navigation and mission recording means. The CV onboard equipment can be mounted on either tracked or wheeled chassis, or in container.

The Tor-M1 ADMS can be shipped by all transportation means, including aircraft.

Number of targets:

simultaneously detected 48

simultaneously tracked 10

Target detection range, km 27

Target engagement envelope, km: range 1.0 – 12.0 altitude 0.01 – 6.0 cross-range 6.0

Target speed, m/s 0 – 700

Minimum target ERA, m2 -0.1

Reaction time (from target detection to missile liftoff), sec 5 – 10

Number of missiles on combat vehicle 8

Aircraft kill probability 0.6 – 0.95

Maximum vehicle speed, km/h 65

Weight of combat vehicle, kg 37,000

Fuel endurance (including equipment operation for 2 h), km 500