S-200 Angara/SA-5 Gammon

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A Soviet-era Russian surface-to-air missile. Enormous surface-to-air missile developed by the famous missile scientist P D Grushin after the failure of the Dal project. Deployed in limited numbers and exported to countries in the Mideast to defend against American high-altitude, high-speed SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft.


Specifics: Alternate names: 5V21;Angara;Gammon;SA-5;V-860.

Status: Active.

Payload: 217 kg (478 lb). Gross mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb).

Height: 10.60 m (34.70 ft).

Diameter: 0.86 m (2.82 ft).

Span: 2.90 m (9.50 ft).

Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).



The S-200 surface-to-air missile system was designed for the defense of the most important administrative, industrial and military installations from all types of air attack. The S-200 was built for use against almost any kind of enemy aircraft, including air command and control centers, AWACS aircraft, aircraft jamming creation and other manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. The S-200 is an all-weather system that can be operated in various climatic conditions.

Soon after the V-400 Dal/SA-5 Griffon program's failure, P D Grushin's team developed the 5V21 missile for the S-200 Angara surface-to-air missile system. This had a range of over 150 km and incorporated several new principles. It was equipped with the first semi-active radar homing head. The aerodynamic surfaces automatically adjusted according to the velocity and altitude of the rocket. The missile system had one missile per launcher.


By 1966, the S-200 was officially accepted into service in order to replace the failed anti-ballistic missile RZ-25/5V11 "Dal". The Dal was assigned the NATO reporting name SA-5 "Griffon" before it was cancelled.

The first S-200 operational regiments were deployed in 1966 with 18 sites and 342 launchers in service by the end of the year. By 1968 there were 40 sites, and by 1969 there were 60 sites. The growth in numbers then gradually increased throughout the 1970s (1,100 launchers) and early 1980s until the peak of 130 sites and 2,030 launchers was reached in 1980–1990.

In the Mideast, this missile successfully intercepted Israeli reconnaissance aircraft at a range of 190 km in the 1980's. This performance was unmatched in the world. The missile was used as the booster for the experimental Kholod hypersonic scramjet. Two launches of this were made on 28 November 1991 and 17 November 1992 as part of an experimental program run by TsIAM.

However, the S-200 hasn't fared well against modern Israeli aircraft. During the brief clash between the Israeli Air Force, Syrian Air Defense Force, and Iranian forces on February 2018, Israeli jets successfully destroyed several S-200 batteries without any losses. The Syrian A.D.F. claimed one aircraft shot down, the Israelis surprisingly admitted one loss.

A Russian Il-20 Electronic Intelligence plane was later shot down accidentally by a Syrian S-200.

Western sources mixed this missile up with the Dal system, later code-named Gammon, with lateral boosters. Vega/Dubna code names used as well.

S-200 System

Each missile battalion has one 320 km range P-35M BARLOCK-B E/F-band (2-4 GHz band) target search and acquisition radar with an integral D-band (1 GHz - 2 GHz) IFF system, one 270 km range SQUARE PAIR H-band (6-8 GHz band) missile guidance radar, and six trainable semi-fixed single rail launchers.

The missile's minimum range of 60 km is due to the booster burn time and jettison requirements, limiting the system to engagements against relatively large unmaneuverable targets at ranges up to 250 km. Guidance beyond the 60 km booster jettison point is by course correction command signals from the SQUARE PAIR radar with the S-200's own active radar terminal homing seeker head activated near the projected intercept point for final guidance.

The large HE warhead is detonated either by a command signal or the onboard proximity fusing system. When fitted with a nuclear warhead only the command detonation option is used.


5N69 Big Back early warning radar, D band (1-2 GHz), range 500 km. P-35M/1RL139 Bar Lock-B target acquisition radar, E/F band (2-4 GHz), range 320 km. 5N62 Square Pair target tracking radar, H band (6-8 GHz), range 270 km. PRV-11 Side Net height finding radar, E band (2-3 GHz), range 180 km.


Maximum range: 150 km (90 mi).

Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket.

Maximum speed: 4,900 kph (3,000 mph).

Minimum range: 7.00 km (4.30 mi).

Initial Operational Capability: 1967.

Total Number Built: 2000.

Floor: 300 m (980 ft).

See also

S-25 Berkut/SA-1 Guild

S-75 Dvina/SA-2 Guideline

S-125 Neva/SA-3 Goa

2K11 Krug/SA-4 Ganef

V-400 Dal/SA-5 Griffon

2K12 Kub/SA-6 Gainful


A-35 Aldan

ABM-1 Galosh


Encyclopedia Astronautica, Wikipedia, CSIS.org, and the Federation of American Scientists, Nuclear Discussion

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