SA-15 Gauntlet / Tor 9K330 Missile System

The 9K331 Tor [SA-15 GAUNTLET land-based, SA-N-9 naval version] low-to-medium altitude SAM system is capable of engaging not only aircraft and helicopters but also RPVs, precision-guided weapons and various types of guided missiles. The HQ-17 is a copy of Tor-M1, that China will use it to replace the aging HQ-61 SAMs, will enter service around the year 2005. Although it is an autonomous system it can be interfaced into an integrated air defense network. SA-15b is designed to be a completely autonomous air defense system (at division level), capable of surveillance, command and control, missile launch and guidance functions from a single vehicle. The basic combat formation is the firing battery consisting of four TLARs and the Rangir battery command post. The TLAR carries eight ready missiles stored in two containers holding four missiles each. The SA-15b has the capability to automatically track and destroy 2 targets simultaneously in any weather and at any time of the day.

Effective range limits are from 1500 to 12000 m with target altitude limits being between 10 and 6000 m. The maximum maneuvering load factor limit on the weapon is 30 g.

The missile launcher consists of a box container extending down below the level of the hull top, holding two groups of four ready to fire missiles in the vertical position. Each missile is in a maintenance-free factory-sealed container-launcher box. The system is reloaded by a dedicated transportation/loader vehicle.

The 3D pulse Doppler electronically beam steered E/F-band surveillance radar provides range, azimuth, elevation and automatic threat evaluation data on up to 48 targets for the digital fire control computer processing system. Automatic track initiation can be performed on the 10 most dangerous targets, which are categorized and prioritized in order of threat for engagement. The operator reconfirms the highest priority target choice and tracks this target before firing the missile. The maximum radar range is stated as 25 kilometers, but the rapid five to eight second reaction time [including fire control target prioritization] suggests a somewhat greater range. The radar antenna, on top of the turret, is swung through 90ยบ to the horizontal position for travel. Target radar surveillance is carried out on the move but the vehicle would normally come to a halt for missile launch.

The phased-array pulse Doppler G/H-band tracking radar is located at the front of the turret. This electronically steered radar is capable of simultaneously tracking two targets traveling at speeds of up to 700 km/h in all weather conditions, and countering threat ECM operations. The antenna assembly can be folded down for travel.

Mounted on the top left of this radar is a small vertical pointing antenna which serves to initially acquire the missile after launch before it is handed over to the main tracking/guidance system. On the lower right side of the tracking radar is an automatic TV tracking system with a range of 20000 m that complements the tracking radar and enables the system to operate in a heavy ECM environment.

The Tor is not amphibious although it is airportable. An NBC system is fitted as standard as is a built-in training system. The chassis of the vehicle is almost identical to that used for the 2S6 self-propelled hybrid air defense system and is based on the GM-569 tracked vehicle. The three man crew consists of the vehicle commander, system operator and vehicle driver, seated at the front of the vehicle with the large box-like unmanned turret in the center and the engine compartment at the rear. This arrangement is similar to that of the Kub (SA-6) and Shilka (ZSU-23-4) vehicles. The vehicle suspension consists of six dual rubber tired roadwheels with the idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear and three return rollers.

An auxiliary gas turbine powers a 75 kW generator, allowing the main diesel engine to be shut down when the system is deployed to conserve fuel.


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