Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Libyan SA-24 Can't Be Used as MANPADS

Libyan SA-24 Can't Be Used as MANPADS: "A top official from Russian KBM Machine-building design bureau confirmed it was his company that supplied the Libyan government forces with the truck mounted short-range anti-aircraft Igla-S (SA-24 Grinch) missiles recently spotted by the international media.

Kolomna-based KBM is the designer of this system as well as its predecessors, the Strela and Igla family portable SAMs, and has a government permit to export its products directly, without the help of Russia’s Rosoboronexport arms trade agency.

blog post photo
From left to right: Igla-S MANPAD, Igla-S missile and Strelets with 4 launching tubes (credits - Maxim Pyadushkin)

The truck mount with two Igla launching tubes is a variant of the Strelets system that is designed to be installed on various platforms such as armored vehicles, helicopters and naval ships, said the KBM official. The system includes a universal launching module that houses two Igla launching tubes, control and communication equipment and the cables that connect the system with its carrier. Earlier Strelets were promoted in a set of four or eight missiles, but the two-missile version was delivered to Libya and Syria, said the official.

He explained that the Libyan Strelets fire Igla-S missiles but they can not be used as man-portable air defense (manpads). “To fire Iglas as a man-portable weapon you need a separate trigger mechanisms that were not supplied to Libya”, he said.

Another piece of good news to the coalition forces is that the Libyan variant of Strelets can’t fire in salvo as the launching tubes are installed too close to each other. According to KBM data, salvo fire is possible for Strelets versions with a higher number of launching tubes or for the Djigit mount where two Igla launchers are placed on different sides of the operator.

The KBM official also said that since the Soviet era the Libyan military has some Strela-2 and Strela-2M manpads that could still be operational.

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