JED - July 2015 - 26

The Modern MANPADS

I

Infrared (IR)-guided missiles were first
introduced on fighter aircraft in the mid1950s. Once this milestone was achieved,
it did not take long for portable groundbased missiles to be developed. Ground
forces quickly found these to be potent
weapons that could be used to attack
fighter and strike aircraft operating
below 15,000 feet. As missile technology evolved in the ensuing decades, the
target list grew to include fixed-wing
transports and all types of helicopters.
Counter-countermeasures were developed, as well. Today, many state and nonstate actors have access to and rely on a
wide range of Man-Portable Air Defense
Systems (MANPADS). In this article, we
will take a brief look at their history and
current trends.

BEGINNINGS

The Journal of Electronic Defense | July 2015

26

In 1956, engineers at what was then
Convair Pomona had sketched out the basics of a heat-seeking anti-aircraft missile
small enough to be fired from the shoulder.
Designated "Redeye," this would be 1.08 m
long, 7 cm in diameter, and weigh 6.6 kg.
Although not fielded until October 1967,
the resulting FIM-43 Redeye missile system
was the first operational MANPADS, and
along with its FIM-92 Stinger follow-on
(originally known as Redeye II) defined
the general concept and future development path of this class of weapon, as well
as its operational limitations.
The Convair engineers opted to adopt
passive IR guidance similar to that used
in the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile. Target position and rate information
obtained from a nose-mounted IR seeker
based on a lead sulphide (PbS) cell would
be used in a proportional-navigation system. During development, it became clear
that the original uncooled seeker gave
Taken from a Russian training manual, these
drawings show the 9P516-1 gripstock (left)
used by the Igla system and the 9B238 (right),
which includes the thermal batteries used
to generate pre-launch electrical power, and
high-pressure nitrogen gas unit used to cool
the seeker. (Tomsk Polytechnic University)

inadequate performance. Since cooling
the seeker would provide increased sensitivity, a change was made to a Mod 60
seeker head with a thermoelectrically
cooled PbS detector cell. The follow-on
Block II and Block III versions used a
gas-cooled Mod 60A PbS seeker.
The small size of the missile dictated
that the warhead had to be tiny in comparison to that of other anti-aircraft missiles.
It contained only 0.36 kg of HTE-3 explosive. To be of adequate lethality, it would
have to score a direct hit on the structure
of the target aircraft, and penetrate into
the structure before detonating.
Soviet work on a Redeye-class missile
system started in 1960. Development by
Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashinostroenia
(KBM) in Kolomna seems to have gone
more quickly than that of its US counterpart. According to a 1982 National
Intelligence Estimate by the Central
Intelligence Agency, "Information on the
US Redeye shoulder-fired surface-to-air
missile facilitated the development of
the Soviet SA-7. During the prototype
construction of the SA-7, bearings ac-

quired from Japan were used pending the
subsequent development of indigenous
bearings of suitable quality."
Its designers opted to use an uncooled
PbS seeker. Operating in the 0.2- to
1.5-micron band, this was only effective
when fired towards the rear of the attacking aircraft so that it could home into the
hot rear parts of the engine. Control was
via two canard surfaces.
Flight tests of what was to be designated the 9K32 "Strela-2" began in 1964.
Development was completed in 1967, and
the system became operational in the following year. It was given the US designation SA-7a and the NATO reporting name
"Grail Mod 0." It was followed into service
by the 9K32M Strela-2M (SA-7b "Grail Mod
1"). This used an improved 9E46 seeker
that gave a limited capability against
approaching aircraft of low performance
(such as helicopters).
The creation of more effective
MANPADS required the use of a gas-cooled
seeker. This was first done in the Block II
and Block III versions of Redeye, which
used a Mod 60A PbS seeker.



JED - July 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - July 2015

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
The Modern MANPADS – an Evolving Threat
Technology Survey: RF Tuners and Tuner Modules for SIGINT Applications
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - July 2015 - cover1
JED - July 2015 - cover2
JED - July 2015 - 3
JED - July 2015 - 4
JED - July 2015 - 5
JED - July 2015 - The View From Here
JED - July 2015 - 7
JED - July 2015 - Conferences Calendar
JED - July 2015 - 9
JED - July 2015 - Courses Calendar
JED - July 2015 - 11
JED - July 2015 - From the President
JED - July 2015 - 13
JED - July 2015 - 14
JED - July 2015 - The Monitor
JED - July 2015 - 16
JED - July 2015 - 17
JED - July 2015 - 18
JED - July 2015 - 19
JED - July 2015 - 20
JED - July 2015 - 21
JED - July 2015 - World Report
JED - July 2015 - 23
JED - July 2015 - 24
JED - July 2015 - 25
JED - July 2015 - The Modern MANPADS – an Evolving Threat
JED - July 2015 - 27
JED - July 2015 - 28
JED - July 2015 - 29
JED - July 2015 - 30
JED - July 2015 - 31
JED - July 2015 - 32
JED - July 2015 - Technology Survey: RF Tuners and Tuner Modules for SIGINT Applications
JED - July 2015 - 34
JED - July 2015 - 35
JED - July 2015 - 36
JED - July 2015 - 37
JED - July 2015 - 38
JED - July 2015 - 39
JED - July 2015 - 40
JED - July 2015 - 41
JED - July 2015 - 42
JED - July 2015 - EW 101
JED - July 2015 - 44
JED - July 2015 - 45
JED - July 2015 - AOC News
JED - July 2015 - 47
JED - July 2015 - 48
JED - July 2015 - Index of Advertisers
JED - July 2015 - JED Quick Look
JED - July 2015 - cover3
JED - July 2015 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1017
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0917
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0817
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0717
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0617
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0517
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1016
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0916
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0816
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0716
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0616
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0516
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1115
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1015
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0915
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0815
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0715
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0615
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0515
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0115
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com