In the 50-60s, in a number of countries that had the necessary scientific and technical potential, anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) were created. For medium and long-range air defense systems of the first generation, as a rule, radio command guidance of anti-aircraft guided missiles (SAM) to the target was used.
The first missiles were equipped with engines running on liquid fuel and oxidizers (LRE). In the late 50s - early 60s in the United States, long and medium-range air defense systems with SAMs, whose engines used solid propellants (solid propellants), were successfully tested and adopted.
In the United States, the first such anti-aircraft system with solid propellants was the long-range air defense system MIM-14 "Nike-Hercules" (firing range 130 km).
SAM complex "Nike-Hercules"
Despite the absence of the need for time-consuming and dangerous refueling of missiles with liquid fuel and oxidizer, this American anti-aircraft system was initially purely stationary. This was due to the views of the American military on the formation of an object air defense system in the territories of the United States and Canada. As well as the cumbersomeness of the electronic components of the first variants of the detection and guidance system.
Later, after modernization, variants of the complex with combat elements adapted for relocation were created. That allowed the Nike-Hercules air defense system to carry out limited maneuver on the ground and to introduce these complexes in the air defense of the ground forces.
"Nike-Hercules" became the first American anti-aircraft system, the missiles of which were massively equipped with nuclear warheads (YaBCH) with a capacity of 2 - 40 kt. This was to increase the likelihood of hitting air group targets in conditions of massive interference, as well as to give the air defense missile system anti-missile capabilities.
With an air nuclear explosion, an affected area appeared within a radius of up to 1 km, which largely compensated for the not too high accuracy of firing radio command missiles at high-speed and intensively maneuvering targets, which is especially important when setting up radio interference. As of the late 60s, all Nike-Hercules missiles deployed in the United States were equipped with nuclear warheads.
SAM complex "Nike-Hercules" with nuclear warheads in 1960 for the first time successfully intercepted the tactical ballistic missile MGM-5 Corporal.
Equipping the Nike-Hercules air defense systems deployed in Europe with missiles with nuclear warheads, to some extent, gave them the capabilities of tactical ballistic missiles. After the modifications, the ability to deliver nuclear strikes by anti-aircraft missiles against targets with previously known coordinates appeared.
For Soviet anti-aircraft missiles of medium and long-range complexes, "special combat units" were also created. But compared to the United States, this happened about 10 years later. Missiles with "special warheads" were supposed to repel massive enemy air raids.
Information regarding tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) in our country is still largely “closed”. However, it is reliably known that the low-altitude S-125 air defense system, equipped with a missile defense system with nuclear warheads, was capable of striking sea targets and objects on land.
Also, during the exercises, the ability to fire at sea and ground targets with missiles of the S-300P family was repeatedly demonstrated. Taking into account the fact that for various variants of the S-300P there were missiles with nuclear warheads, it is logical to assume that these most common anti-aircraft missile systems are also capable of delivering nuclear strikes against ground targets.
At the personal request of Mao Zedong in 1959, several divisions of the SA-75 Dvina air defense system were delivered to the PRC. At that time, this newest complex had just begun to be mastered by the air defense forces of the USSR.
Despite the beginning of deterioration in relations with the PRC, this request was granted, since then there was a real air war in the airspace of China. During the year, the PLA Air Force shot down 15-20 American and Taiwanese aircraft, their own losses were also very significant. Of particular concern were the flights of high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft RB-57D, which the MiG-15 and MiG-17 fighters then available in the PRC could not suppress.
The first high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft RB-57D in the airspace of the PRC was shot down not far from Beijing on October 7, 1959. Great assistance in this was provided by Soviet military advisers, under whose leadership the process of combat work was carried out - the capture, escort and defeat of an air target. Until the last moment, the Chinese leadership carefully concealed the presence of Soviet air defense systems in the PRC, which ultimately led to painful losses for the aviation of Kuomintang Taiwan. Over the territory of the PRC, 5 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft were shot down by anti-aircraft missiles, including thanks to the incident near Sverdlovsk, which became widely known high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft Lockheed U-2. Several Taiwanese pilots who flew them were captured.
The Chinese highly appreciated the characteristics of the CA-75, which prompted the Chinese leadership to acquire a license to manufacture this air defense system. In China, the complex received the designation HQ-1 ("Hongqi-1").
Later in the PRC, despite the terminated defense cooperation with the USSR, an improved HQ-2 air defense system was created, which, in terms of its technical solutions and characteristics, basically corresponded to the Soviet S-75. This became possible thanks to the Soviet military aid going through the territory of the PRC to the belligerent Vietnam. Soviet representatives have repeatedly recorded the facts of the loss of goods transported through the territory of the PRC, including aircraft and missiles. But the Soviet leadership was forced to put up with this banal theft, since sea transportation was much more dangerous and lengthy.
Taking into account the experience of combat use, the Chinese HQ-2 air defense system was repeatedly modernized, in general, it repeated the path of development of the Soviet counterpart, but with a delay of 10-15 years. In order to increase the mobility of the firing division, the launchers of the HQ-2B complex were mounted on tracked chassis. The most perfect of this family was the HQ-2J air defense system.
Chinese SAM HQ-2J
For a long time, the HQ-2 air defense system was the main one in the PLA air defense forces. The production of the HQ-2 ended in the PRC in the mid-90s, after the start of deliveries from Russia of the S-300PMU, but the air defense systems of this type are still in service in the PRC.
In the mid-80s in the PRC, using elements of the HQ-2 rocket, the M-7 operational-tactical missile (OTR) (Project 8610) was developed and put into service. In the OTR, part of the HQ-2 missiles being removed from service has been redesigned. Apparently, this was due to the lack of our own experience in creating tactical missiles for the ground forces and an attempt to save money.
The M-7 missile with a launch range of 150 km had a fairly simple inertial guidance system. The mass of the monoblock warhead (warhead) was increased several times compared to the SAM and reached 250 kg. Later, a cassette and chemical warhead were created for it.
With a good range for the OTP, this missile had significant drawbacks. Equipped with a relatively light warhead, it had low accuracy. The circular probable deviation (CEP) when firing at the maximum range reached several kilometers. In conventional equipment, the M-7 was effective only when firing at large area targets. The rocket could not be in a refueled state for a long time, and after refueling with fuel and an oxidizer, it required very careful handling, which excluded transportation over rough terrain with high vibration loads. When launching this rocket, it was necessary to carefully choose a suitable place for the launch pad, since the falling parts of the first accelerating solid-propellant stage posed a threat to their troops and structures.
The creation and adoption of an OTR with a rather modest combat capability made it possible to accumulate the necessary experience in the operation and use of this type of weapon in the PLA's missile units. Apparently, the M-7 was considered as an intermediate type of rocket armament, which was operated before the appearance of more advanced models. All liquid-propellant OTR M-7s were replaced in the PLA by solid-propellant rockets DF-11 and DF-15. The decommissioned OTR M-7 were used at training ranges as targets, about 90 missiles were exported to Iran.
In Iran, the missiles received the designation "Tondar-69", at present there are at least 30 mobile OTR launchers of this type.
Start of OTR "Tondar-69"
Taking into account the fact that Iran owns a significant number of HQ-2 anti-aircraft systems received from the PRC and is producing and actively modernizing missiles for them, it seems quite likely to create its own Iranian surface-to-surface missiles based on missiles.
In addition, Iran has some experience in adapting Soviet missile technologies for its own needs. So, when creating the Iranian OTR, the sustainer LPRE of the 5V28E air defense missile system S-200VE was used, which were supplied from Russia in the early 90s.
In the late 80s, in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, an attempt was also made to create a ballistic missile based on the Soviet-made S-75 air defense system (B-750 missile). Despite numerous test launches, Iraqi specialists did not manage to achieve acceptable hitting accuracy.
After the US invasion in 2003, the Iraqi military made several attempts to launch S-75 missiles towards the coalition forces. However, the Iraqis failed to achieve much.
The overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya has left vast army arsenals in the hands of various armed formations fighting among themselves. Among other things, the medium-range air defense systems "Kvadrat" (an export version of the "Kub" air defense missile systems) and the S-125 were captured.
The relatively small dimensions and weight of the SAM systems of these complexes, as well as the absence of the need for refueling with liquid fuel and an oxidizer, allows them to be used from mobile launchers in the ground-to-ground version. So the group "Dawn of Libya" demonstrated anti-aircraft missiles, prepared for use on ground targets.
SAM S-125 missiles prepared for firing at ground targets
The "modernization" of the S-125 air defense missile systems boiled down to the fact that the front stabilizers were removed from them and the self-destruction mechanism and radio fuses were turned off. A contact fuse is installed at the head of the missile defense system, which detonates 60 kg of a standard fragmentation warhead equipped with an alloy of TNT with hexagen.
Missiles of the 2K12 "Square" complex on the "Puma" armored personnel carrier
The 3M9 missiles of the mobile Kvadrat air defense system underwent a similar alteration, in this case the Italian Puma armored personnel carrier with a standard launcher from an anti-aircraft missile system acts as a self-propelled gun.
However, the effectiveness of such "handicrafts" is highly questionable. Their relatively effective use is possible only against large area targets in the line-of-sight zone; moreover, they are extremely vulnerable to enemy fire.
A more successful example of the conversion of obsolete anti-aircraft missiles into operational-tactical complexes was the South Korean missile Hyunmoo-1 (the name roughly translates as "guardian of the northern sky"). This OTR was created by altering the withdrawn from service anti-aircraft missiles of the American air defense system "Nike-Hercules". It weighs more than 5 tons and is about 12 m long.
South Korean engineers have managed to squeeze the most out of the outdated solid-propellant anti-aircraft missiles. A modified version of this ballistic missile is capable of delivering 500 kg of warheads at a range of about 200 km.
For a long time, the Hyunmoo-1 was the only type of OTP in service with the army of the Republic of Korea. In the modernized version of the Hyunmoo-2A, which entered the troops in 2009, the firing range was increased to 500 km.
The most advanced tactical missile system created on the basis of an anti-aircraft missile was the Soviet Tochka. But unlike other complexes created in a number of countries, missiles for Tochka and its subsequent modifications were produced anew, and not altered from existing missiles.
The development of an operational-tactical missile of the Tochka complex began at the Kolomna Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering (KBM) under the leadership of S. P. Invincible in the late 60s. The basis for the new missile was the V-611 SAM of the M-11 Shtorm complex. This medium-range air defense missile system, developed at the Fakel ICB under the leadership of P. D. Grushin, was used only in the USSR Navy. Since 1967, they have been armed with large warships pr. 1123, pr. 1143, pr. 1134B.
Launch of V-611 SAM complex M-11 "Storm"
In 1973, in Votkinsk, at a machine-building plant, the assembly of missiles of the first experimental batch, intended for testing, began. The six-wheel floating all-wheel drive chassis was developed at the Bryansk Automobile Plant.
The rocket, about 6.5 m long and 650 mm in diameter, had lattice rudders with a span of about 1400 mm. The mass of the rocket is within 2 tons, of which 480 kg falls on the warhead.
Rocket 9M79M "Tochka"
The rocket of the Tochka complex uses an autonomous, inertial control system with a gyro-stabilized platform and an onboard digital computer complex. The rocket is controlled on the trajectory with the help of gas-jet rudders made of a refractory alloy, mounted on the same shaft with the lattice ones.
The Tochka inherited a high thrust-to-weight ratio from the anti-aircraft missile. A single-stage solid-propellant engine equipped with 790 kg of a mixture of rubber, aluminum powder and ammonium perchlorate works for 25 seconds, accelerating the rocket to 500 m / s, while providing a firing range of 70 km. KVO when firing at a maximum range is 160 m. The missiles of this complex can carry tactical nuclear charges with a capacity of 10 - 100 kt, as well as chemical, cluster and high-explosive warheads.
In 1976, the first Tochka complexes began to enter the troops. OTR “Tochka” has become our “trump card” in Europe. They were originally intended to arm the missile brigades of motorized rifle and tank divisions, but later the missile brigades of the Tochka OTR were transferred to the army.
In 1984, the Tochka-R missile, designed to destroy radio-emitting targets, entered service. A passive seeker was introduced into the rocket, it captured the emitting target at a distance of about 15 km, the CEP when firing such targets was reduced to 40 m.
In 1989, the updated Tochka-U complex was adopted. Thanks to the improved fuel formulation, the firing range was increased to 120 km, while the KVO was reduced to 50 m. The missile control system was built on a modern element base, which reduced its mass and increased the targeting accuracy.
In total, about 300 Tochka and Tochka-U complexes were built. In 1991, on the territory of the USSR, there were about 150 OTR launchers of this type. "Tochka" was supplied to the allies under the "Warsaw Pact": Czechoslovakia, Poland and Bulgaria, as well as to Yemen and the DPRK.
After the collapse of the USSR, OTR "Tochka" and "Tochka-U", in addition to Russia, were at the disposal of: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
OTR "Tochka" received the "baptism of fire" during the hostilities in Afghanistan. The Tochka-U complex was used very effectively by the Russian army during the hostilities in the Chechen Republic. According to unconfirmed reports, these OTRs were used against Georgia in 2008.
The Ukrainian army used Tochka-U complexes during the hostilities in the southeast of the country. The blows were applied to the height of Saur-Mogila and the outskirts of Donetsk. However, the accuracy and effectiveness of these missile strikes were very low and did not have a noticeable effect on the course of hostilities.
At present, the Tochka and Tochka-U, despite the adoption of the more advanced Iskander OTR, continue to remain in service with the missile units of the Russian ground forces. Due to their ability to carry tactical nuclear warheads, they are a powerful deterrent for our "partners".