9K33 Osa

The 9K33 Osa (Russian: 9К33 «Оса», literally "wasp"; NATO reporting name SA-8 Gecko) is a highly mobile, low-altitude, short-range tactical surface-to-air missile system developed in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and fielded in 1972. Its export version name is Romb.[5]

9K33 Osa
(NATO reporting name: SA-8 Gecko)
ParkPatriot2015part8-28.jpg
9A33BM3 transporter-launcher and radar vehicle of the upgraded 9K33M3 Osa-AKM
Type6×6 amphibious SAM system
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1971–present
Used bySee list of present and former operator
WarsIran–Iraq War, 1982 Lebanon War, Angolan Civil War, Western Sahara War, Persian Gulf War, 2008 Russia-Georgia war, 2011 Libyan civil war, Syrian Civil War, 2020 Armenian–Azerbaijani skirmishes[1] 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Production history
DesignerNII-20 Research Institute
Designed1960–1972
ManufacturerZnamya Truda Plant
Produced1970–1988[2]
No. built1,200[3]
VariantsOSA-A, OSA-AK, OSA-AKM, OSA-M
Specifications (OSA-AKM)
Mass17.5 tonnes
Length9.14 m
Width2.75 m
Height4.20 m (radar mast stowed)
Crew5 soldiers

Main
armament
6 9M33, 9M33M1, 9M33M2 or 9M33M3 missiles
EngineD20K300 diesel
Ground clearance400 mm
Operational
range
30 km[4]
Maximum speed 80 km/h
8 km/h (swimming)

DevelopmentEdit

Design work on an entirely new, self-propelled air defense guided missile system began in 1960 and was assigned to the Moscow-based NII-20 (Russian: «Научно-исследовательский электромеханический институт») research and design institute under lead designer M.M. Kosichkin. The program initially suffered numerous delays and setbacks due to poorly formulated performance and tactical requirements, as this was a pioneering battlefield air defense system with no equivalents in existence at the time, and no doctrinal experience with such a weapon. P.M. Chukadov was assigned project leader in 1965 after a thorough review of the stalled program, and the Osa would ultimately see service acceptance in 1972 after a period of trials.

DescriptionEdit

 
The Polish OSA-AKM

Osa was the first mobile air defense missile system incorporating its own engagement radars on a single vehicle.

All versions of the 9K33 feature all-in-one 9A33 transporter-launcher and radar vehicles which can detect, track and engage aircraft independently or with the aid of regimental surveillance radars. The six-wheeled transport vehicles BAZ-5937 are fully amphibious and air transportable. The road range is about 500 km.

The 1S51M3-2 radar system on the 9K33 Osa TELAR received the NATO codename Land Roll. It was derived from the naval 'Pop Group' radar system but is smaller since it does not require the elaborate stabilisation system. An improved system, the Osa-AKM (NATO reporting name SA-8B 'Gecko' Mod 1) was first seen in Germany in 1980. It had improvements added to the launcher configuration, carrying six missiles in ribbed containers. The system is reported to be of the frequency-agile monopulse type. It consists of an elliptical rotating surveillance antenna mounted on top of the array, operates in H band (6 to 8 GHz) and has a 30 km acquisition range against most targets. The large pulsed J band (14.5 GHz) engagement antenna is mounted below it in the centre of the array and has a maximum tracking range of about 20 km.

Mounted on either side of the tracking radar antenna is a small J band parabolic dish antenna to track the missile. Below that is a small circular antenna which emits an I band uplink capture beam to gather the missile shortly after launch. The final antennas in the array are two small white rectangular ones, one on either side of the array mounted alongside the I band. These are used for command uplink to the missile. This twin antenna system permits the 'Land Roll' radar to control up to two missiles simultaneously against a single target. Furthermore, the two missiles can be guided on different frequencies to further complicate ECM. There is also a tubular device fitted to and above the tracking radar; this is a 9Sh33 electro-optical tracker. It can be used to track the target when the main tracking radar is jammed by ECM.

A 9K33 battery comprises four 9A33B TELAR vehicles and two 9T217 transloader vehicles on BAZ-5939 chassis with reload missiles and a crane. A reload time of five minutes has been reported per TELAR.

In addition to the TELARs, each regiment is also assigned a single radar collimation vehicle 9V914 (initially on the BAZ-5938 chassis but more often found on the ZiL-131 truck). This vehicle assists in the alignment of the TELAR's radar systems, ensuring accurate target tracking and engagement.

VariantsEdit

 
SA-N-4 launcher covered by a circular plate on the Slava-class cruiser Marshal Ustinov.
  • 9K33 "Osa" (US DoD designation SA-8A "Gecko") began development in 1960 and was introduced in 1971–1972 with four exposed 9M33 missiles per TELAR 9A33B and a maximum range of 12 km (7.5 mi).
  • 4K33 "OSA-M" (NATO reporting name SA-N-4 "Gecko") was introduced in 1972 and is the naval version of the system with two 9M33M missiles on a Zif-122 retractable rotating launcher and improved performance. It has been installed on Gepard-class frigate, Kara-class guided missile cruisers, Kiev-class VTOL cruisers and also the Kirov, Slava and Krivak classes.
  • 9K33M2 "Osa-AK" (US DoD designation SA-8B "Gecko Mod-0") with TELAR 9A33BM2 was introduced in 1975 with the new six-missile box launcher, each 9M33M2 missile being a sealed round.
  • 9K33M3 "Osa-AKM" (US DoD designation SA-8B "Gecko Mod-1") with TELAR 9A33BM3 and missiles 9M33M3 was introduced in 1980 with the maximum range extended to 15 km (9.3 mi) and maximum altitude to 12 km (40,000 ft) as explained above. Most OSA-AKM systems also feature an IFF antenna.
  • Saman and Saman-M (Russian Саман – adobe) is a development of the Osa\Osa-M system into target drones, used for testing and training with air defense systems, including SAMs.

The 9K33M3 is also able[citation needed] to use the 9A33BM3 missiles which are wire-guided, presumably for use in an ECM-heavy environment where the radio command guidance may not operate properly.

MissilesEdit

9M33
 
The 9M33M3 missile
TypeSurface-to-air missile
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1971–present
Used bySee list of present and former operator
Production history
DesignerMKB "Fakel"
Designed1960–1972
ManufacturerZnamya Truda Plant
Produced1970–1988
Variants9M33, 9M33M1, 9M33M2, 9M33M3, 9A33BM3
Specifications (9K33M3[7])
Mass170 kg
Length3158 mm
Diameter209.6 mm
WarheadFrag-HE
Warhead weight16 kg[6]
Detonation
mechanism
Contact and proximity

PropellantSolid propellant rocket motor
Operational
range
15 kilometres (9.3 mi)
Flight altitude12,000 metres (39,000 ft)
Boost time2 s boost, then 15 s sustain
Maximum speed 1020 m/s
Guidance
system
RF CLOS
Steering
system
dual-thrust rocket motor.
Accuracy5 m
Launch
platform
9P35M2

Engagement range for the early versions is approximately 2–9 km (1.3–5.6 miles) and engagement altitudes of between 50 and 5,000 m (164–16,400 ft). The 9M33M2 "Osa-A" missile extends the ranges out to 1,500–10,000m (1–6.2 miles) and engagement altitudes to 25–5,000 m (82–16,400 ft). The 9M33M3 missile greatly enhances the altitude engagement envelope to 10–12,000 m (33–42,500 ft), and as such are also able to fly further (about 15 km/9 miles) but the system is not able to engage targets at longer ranges, due to other factors such as the radar tracking of the missiles. The system is designed for use primarily against jet aircraft and helicopters in any kind of weather.

The 9M33 missiles are 3.158 m (10.3 ft) long, weigh 126 kg (278 lb) and use command guidance. There is also a backup low-light optical tracking system for heavy ECM environments. The latest 9M33M3 missiles have an increased total weight of 170 kg (375 lb) in order to provide the extended range coverage and larger warhead. Propulsion is provided by a dual-thrust solid fuel rocket motor. Both versions feature a missile speed of around Mach 2.4 (peaking at around Mach 3) for a maximum target engagement speed of around Mach 1.4 for the original missile and Mach 1.6 for the M2\M3 missiles. The warhead for the initial and M2 versions weighs 19 kg (42 pounds), increased to 40 kg (88 lb) in the M3 version to improve performance against helicopters. All versions have impact and proximity fuzes.

There have been unconfirmed reports of other possible versions of the missile with both infrared and semi-active radar terminal homing seekers.

Each TELAR is able to launch and guide two missiles against one target simultaneously. Kill probability is quoted as being 0.35–0.85 for the Osa and 0.55–0.85 for the Osa-AK and Osa-AKM (presumably depending upon target aspect, speed, maneuverability and radar cross section). Reaction time (from target detection to launch) is around 26 seconds. Time to prepare for engagements from being in transit is around 4 minutes and missile reloading takes around 5 minutes. Each battery of four TELARs is usually accompanied by two reload vehicles carrying 18 missiles in sets of three, with a crane mounted on the reload vehicles to assist in moving the missiles.

When launched the booster motor burns for two seconds, this permits the radar to gather and control it at very short ranges (about 1.6 km). The sustainer motor has a 15-second burn, bringing the missile to a top speed of about Mach 2. Once launched the missile is command-guided for the whole flight, and the warhead is detonated by its proximity fuze or possible command. The warhead is said to have a lethal radius of 5 m at low altitude against an F-4 Phantom size target.[citation needed]

RadarsEdit

 
P-40 'Long Track' radar set
  • 1S51M3 ("Land Roll") – C band target acquisition radar, H band conical scan target tracking radar and two J band pulse mode fire control radars (range 35 km/22 miles for acquisition, 30 km/19 miles for tracking and 25 km/16 miles for guidance). Mounted on the TELAR.
  • P-40 ("Long Track") – E band early warning radar (also used by the 2K11 Krug and 2K12 Kub, range 175 km/108 miles), mounted on a tracked vehicle (a modified AT-T).
  • P-15 ("Flat Face A") or P-19 ("Flat Face B") or P-15M(2) ("Squat Eye") – 380 kW C band target acquisition radar (also used by the S-125 Neva and 2K12 Kub, range 250 km/155 miles), mounted on a ZiL-131 truck.
  • PRV-9 or PRV-16 ("Thin Skin") – E band height finding radar (also used by the 2K11 Krug and 2K12 Kub, range 240 km/148 miles), mounted on a KrAZ-255B truck.

Deployment and historyEdit

Produced by the USSR/Russia, there are many export customers for this system, including Cuba, Greece (from the former East Germany), Poland, Syria, Ecuador and Iraq.

After the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, in which Syrian air defenses were oblitarated by a massive air campaign against Syrian SAM sites in the Beqaa valley, the Syrians managed to deploy SA-8s. At least one F-4 Phantom in a SEAD mission was shot down on July 24, 1982 by an SA-8 system. The WSO (back seater), Aharon Katz was killed, while the pilot, Gil Fogel, survived and was held captive by the Syrians for two years.[8]

In late 1980s, Cuba deployed several 9K33 Osa units in southern Angola which posed a significant threat to South African air superiority at shorter ranges.[9] The South African 61 Mechanised Battalion Group captured an intact 9K33 Osa anti-aircraft missile system on 3 October 1987 during the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale. This was the first time that such a system had ever fallen into the hands of non-Warsaw Pact forces, giving Western intelligence agencies an opportunity to examine an important Soviet-bloc weapon system.[10]

Iraq used Osa systems during the 1991 Gulf War.

The system also saw use in the 2008 Russo-Georgian War by both the Georgian and Russian militaries.

Libyan 9K33 Osa were used, and some destroyed during the 2011 Libyan Civil War by NATO airstrikes.[11][12]

Syrian Civil WarEdit

During the Syrian civil war in December 2012, rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad's forces managed to capture at least one Osa system after a raid on an air defense base near Damascus.[13] Later, on different occasions, videos showing rebels using the system appeared.

On 31 July 2013, a video surfaced showing the successful missile launch for a rebel operated Osa system with a possible hit on a Syrian helicopter.[citation needed]

On 16 January 2014, a video of the shooting down of a Syrian Mi-8 or Mi-17 helicopter was uploaded. The heavy damage on the plunging helicopter appeared to confirm the use of a bigger missile to hit the helicopter compared to the damage caused by MANPADS. Also, a video filming the TV screen inside the Osa vehicle matches another video taken outside. Another video surfaced on 18 January 2014, this time missing the intended target.[citation needed] On 15 October 2015, the Russian military reported that a 9K33 Osa system captured by rebel forces was destroyed in an airstrike by a Russian Su-34 bomber near Damascus.[citation needed] On 26 June 2016, Jaish al-Islam insurgents reported a new attempt to shoot down a helicopter with an Osa anti-aircraft system and released a video of the event.[14]

War in DonbasEdit

The Ukrainian Joint Forces reported destruction of the Osa-AKM surface-to-air missile system of the DNR forces along with Zhitel R-330Zh automatic jamming system in Donbas on 30 March 2019.[15]

Yemeni Civil WarEdit

On 29 November 2019, Russian sources speculated that a Soviet made 9K33 Osa fired by Houthi forces shot down a Saudi Arabian Army Aviation AH-64 Apache.[16][17] Neither Yemen nor Iran had any 9K33 Osa in their armed forces, while known Houthis' operated systems are based on the Soviet made surface-to-air 2K12 Kub which employs a two-stage rocket engine and the air-to-air missiles R-73 and R-27T which both have a single stage rocket engine.[18]

2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflictEdit

The Armenian Air Defense extensively employed 9K33 Osa missile systems during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. During the opening days of the war, several videos released by the Azerbaijani military showed several Armenian 9K33 Osa and 9K35 Strela-10 vehicles destroyed by Bayraktar TB2 armed drones,[19][20] with a number of them destroyed in the following weeks when found on the battlefield.[21] Twelve 9K33 Osa missile systems of Armenian Army destroyed during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by Azerbaijani Bayraktar TB2. [22]

On 4 October 2020, an Azerbaijani Air force Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft was shot down, by Armenian forces, probably by a 9K33 Osa while targeting Armenian positions in Fuzuli. The pilot Col. Zaur Nudiraliyev died in the crash. Azerbaijani officials acknowledged the loss in December 2020,[23][24] with the 9K33 Osa vehicle possibly using passive detection and shoot and scoot tactics to survive the Azerbaijani suppression of air defenses missions.[25]

Command postEdit

PPRU-M1 (PPRU-M1-2) is a mobile command center for a mixed grouping of air defense forces, such as 9K33 Osa and Tor missile system, 9K22 Tunguska, 9K35 Strela-10, 9K38 Igla[26]

UpgradesEdit

BelarusEdit

 
T38 Stilet
  • The 9K33-1T "Osa-1T" was developed by UE "Tetraedr" from Belarus. A SAM system comprises combat assets and technical support means, including
    • the 9А33-1Т TELAR or "Combat Vehicle" (CV), based on the original BAZ-5937 (or the new MZKT-69222) and equipped with a new day/night camera system OES-1T instead of the original day-only 9Sh33 or 9Sh38-2 "Karat";
    • the 9M33M2 or -3 SAMs, or the new 9M33M3-1 with a range of 20 km;
    • the 9Т217-1T Transportation and Loading Vehicle (TLV);
    • the 9V210-1T Maintenance Vehicle (MV);
    • the 9V214-1T Alignment Vehicle (AV);
    • the 9V242-1T Automatic Mobile Check-up and Testing Station (AKIPS) and
    • the 9F16M2 Ground Equipment Kit (GEK).[27][28][29]
  • The T38 "Stilet" is a further development of the Osa-1T. Main components are the TELAR T381 on MZKT-69222 chassis and the new missile T382. Maximum range of targets' destruction 20 km, minimal RCS of targets detected 0.02 m2.[30]

PolandEdit

  • Osa-AKM-P1 "Żądło" (export name SA-8P Sting) is a Polish upgrade of the 9K33M2 "Osa-AK" and 9K33M3 "Osa-AKM". Probably 32 of the 64 systems purchased from the Soviet Union will be upgraded to keep them in service until 2017. An upgraded TELAR 9A33BM3-P1 was displayed at the MSPO 2004 exhibition in Kielce, Poland. The upgraded vehicle is fitted with a passive detection and identification system SIC 12/TA as well as the ISZ-01 IFF system.[31][32]

In 2019 Poland started modification of the whole environment of the Osa system. Those works has been commissioned to WZU Grudziądz. The total cost is about €40-50 million.[33][34][35][36]

OperatorsEdit

 
Map of 9K33 operators in blue with former operators in red
 
Armenian 9K33 Osa missile during a military parade in Yerevan
 
Romanian 9K33 Osa missile launch at Capu Midia firing range.

Current operatorsEdit

 
Indian 9K33 Osa Missile System in Delhi during a Military Parade

Former operatorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Orbiter-3 downed in Artsakh hit with OSA AKM modernized in Armenia". lragir.am , 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. lragir.am. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Прочие с долевым участием". www.kupol.ru. Archived from the original on 6 December 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Зенитный ракетный комплекс "Оса"". Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  4. ^ Pike, John. "SA-8 GECKO / 9K33M3 Osa-AKM". www.globalsecurity.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Designations of Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft and Missiles". Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  6. ^ "SA-8 GECKO / 9K33M3 Osa-AKM". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  7. ^ "9K33M3 Osa-AKM". Archived from the original on 19 February 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2008..
  8. ^ McCarthy, Don (14 November 2013). The Sword of David: The Israeli Air Force at War. ISBN 9781781592908.
  9. ^ George, Edward in: The Cuban Intervention in Angola, 1965–1991, Frank Cass, London, New York, 2005, ISBN 0-415-35015-8, p. 236-237
  10. ^ Turton, A.R. 2010. Shaking Hands with Billy. Durban: Just Done Publications.
  11. ^ "Several Libyan arrmored vehicles and anti-aircraft systems destroy by the coalition forces". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  12. ^ "U.S. aviators rescued; Gadhafi remains defiant". CNN. 24 August 2011. Archived from the original on 24 March 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  13. ^ SYRIAN REBELS CAPTURE MOBILE ROCKET LAUNCHER; During attacks [GunFire + Chanting] on YouTube
  14. ^ "Conflict News on Twitter". Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Escalation in Donbas: One Ukrainian soldier killed, four wounded amid 19 enemy attacks in past day". Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Homepage – Infinite Scroll | MBS News". Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Houthi Rebels Claim To Have Shot Down Saudi Apache Gunship And Wing Loong UAV in Yemen". 2 December 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Houthis reveal 2 new air defense systems". debriefer.net. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Azerbaijan used TB2 drone to destroy twelve 9K33 Osa short-range anti-aircraft systems of Armenia". 27 September 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  20. ^ Newdick, Joseph Trevithick and Thomas. "Everything We Know About The Fighting That Has Erupted Between Armenia And Azerbaijan". The Drive. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  21. ^ Məmmədov, www mrsadiq info | Sadiq; Məmmədov, www mrsadiq info | Sadiq (30 October 2020). "Azerbaijan destroys another "Osa" anti-aircraft missile system of Armenian troops (VIDEO)". News.az. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  22. ^ GDC (27 September 2020). "Azerbaijan used TB2 drone to destroy twelve 9K33 Osa short-range anti-aircraft systems of Armenia". Global Defense Corp. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Əsir düşməmək üçün "Su-25" döyüş təyyarəsini düşmən səngərinə çırpan şəhid polkovnik Zaur Nudirəliyev VİDEO" (in Azerbaijani). 27 December 2020.
  24. ^ "Armenian air defenses shot down Azerbaijani Su-25 during Karabakh conflict, pilot was killed: media". Al-Masdar News. 27 December 2020.
  25. ^ "Combat missions of the Azerbaijani Air Force in the Second Karabakh War".
  26. ^ "Зенитные ракетные системы и комплексы" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  27. ^ "933-1 SA-1 Short Range Air Defence System". Archived from the original on 26 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  28. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 November 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 November 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "T38 STILET Short Range Air Defence System". Archived from the original on 26 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  31. ^ a b "Defense & Security Intelligence & Analysis: IHS Jane's – IHS". Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  32. ^ "Defense & Security Intelligence & Analysis: IHS Jane's – IHS". Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  33. ^ "Usługi - 153124-2019 - TED Tenders Electronic Daily". ted.europa.eu. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  34. ^ "Usługi - 158283-2019 - TED Tenders Electronic Daily". ted.europa.eu. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  35. ^ "Usługi - 155907-2019 - TED Tenders Electronic Daily". ted.europa.eu. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  36. ^ "Usługi - 172966-2018 - TED Tenders Electronic Daily". ted.europa.eu. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  37. ^ "Âîîðóæåííûå ñèëû Àëæèðà". waronline.org. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014.
  38. ^ The Military Balance 2010. — P. 245. +The Military Balance 2012. — P. 317.
  39. ^ "Defense & Security Intelligence & Analysis: IHS Jane's – IHS". Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  40. ^ "Hezbollah has long-range surface-to-air missiles". Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  41. ^ "Старые комплексы ЗРК "Оса" все еще эффективны". Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  42. ^ ""Купол" защищает поле боя". Archived from the original on 25 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  43. ^ Ignacio Fuente Cobo; Fernando M. Mariño Menéndez (2006). El conflicto del Sahara occidental (PDF) (in Spanish). Ministerio de Defensa de España & Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. p. 117. ISBN 978-84-9781-253-5. Fuente & Mariño.
  44. ^ "ПВО Сирии: спасение или иллюзия" (in Russian). 26 November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
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  48. ^ "SIPRI Arms Transfers Database to Iraq, 1970-2004". Retrieved 4 January 2021.