Russian surface-to-air missile (SAM) specialist KBM Engineering Bureau is offering an upgrade which is intended to extend radically the life of its best-selling Strela-2M(SA-7 Grail) man-portable SAM.

KBM, in collaboration with Russian infra-red-seeker design house LOMO, is offering to retrofit customers' existing Strelas with the considerably more capable seeker, based on the 9E410 system developed for the design bureau's Igla (SA-18) man-portable SAM. The upgraded missile is dubbed the Strela-2M2.

According to LOMO technical director Nikolai Shustov, the upgrade will replace the Strela-2M's single infra-red (IR)-band 9E46 seeker with the dual-IR band 9E46M. The dual-band seeker provides greater resistance to being spoofed by flares ejected by the target and against IR jammers.

The design of the missile differs in that it lacks the Mach-breaker spike fitted to the ceramic seeker dome of the Igla. Shustov says that, because the Strela's speed is considerably lower than that of the Igla, it does not require a spike. The Strela's speed is quoted as 51,200ft/min (260m/s), while the Igla's is given as 78,700ft/min.

Shustov claims that significant Strela-2M customers have shown interest in the upgrade, although none of them has placed an order so far .

He adds that the 9E46M seeker has been tested against specimen targets, although no test firings of a modified Strela will be carried out before a contract has been concluded with a customer for an actual upgrade programme.

Source: Flight International