Russia’s Kalashnikov may have marked the first international sale of its Strela 9М333 Guided Missiles systems to India.
Sources in the know told defenseworld.net that progress in the contract was made towards the end of 2020. A Kalashnikov spokesperson confirmed reports of the deal but offered no details either. Information about the number of units or the value of the deal were not immediately available.
In December 2020, Kalashnikov had announced, “Field tests of the newest Strela-9M333 anti-aircraft missile have been successfully completed at the Donguz test site in the Orenburg Region. Serial production of the product was started in the interests of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.”
The fire-forget missile has three modes of seeker operation: photo-contrast, infrared and jamming, which is its most important advantage over other missiles of this class.
Most competing guided missile systems are equipped with half-active seekers with laser guidance or require support from stationary radar to track the target.
Earlier, Russia had offered to upgrade India’s existing short-range Strela-10M3 mobile air defence system to the level of the Strela-10M4 or Strela-10MN (night version).
During a meeting of the Russia-India Inter-governmental Commission (IGC), we made a technical proposal to India for the modernization of the Strela-10M3 SAM systems. A formal offer was made under the aegis of Rosoboronexport, Ria Novosti had reported in 2015.
Guided 9М333 missile is the modernized 9М37М missile with a higher efficiency engine and a new transportation and launch container. Unlike its predecessor that had only 2 seeker modes available, the new seeker works in 3 modes.
The new war-head is heavier than its predecessor with the weight of 5 kg as opposed to the 3 kg warhead of 9М37М. The accuracy and the probability of target hitting are increased due to a bigger detonator buster, and the special section of its sub-munitions (missile fragments).
The new guided 9М333 missile is fully compatible with all earlier versions of Strela-10. The new transportation and launching container and the missile electronics do not require any alterations to be made in the Strela-10 system combat vehicles, Kalashnikov information said.