At the recent LIMA-2013 exhibition in Malaysia, the Kolomna Machine Building Design Bureau (KBM) presented several of its developments. Among other projects, the Luchnik-E short-range anti-aircraft missile system was shown. It continues the line of similar systems, and also combines a number of proven and new solutions. In fact, the Luchnik-E air defense system is a further development of the Strela-10M combat vehicles and the Strelets anti-aircraft system, developed earlier.
The basis of the Archer-E combat vehicle, as in the case of the earlier Strela-10M, is the widespread MT-LB tracked armored chassis. Probably, if necessary, the equipment of the complex can be mounted on another base. Thus, in the case of using the MT-LB chassis, the "Luchnik-E" complex has running characteristics at the level of previous air defense systems of its class: the maximum speed on the highway is about 60 km / h, up to 5-6 km / h afloat and a cruising range of up to 500 kilometers. Such characteristics will allow the combat vehicle to be constantly close to the protected units.
In the middle of the machine is the operator's workplace and the main equipment of the anti-aircraft complex. The latter is a modified equipment of the "Strelets" system, developed several years earlier. The combat module of the "Archer-E" complex significantly resembles a similar unit of the previous short-range air defense systems. It is a small one-man turret with launchers mounted on it. In front of the tower there is a relatively large observation glass through which the operator of the complex observes the situation and looks for targets.
On the lifting platform of the combat module "Luchnik-E" there are two blocks of launchers. Each of them can carry up to six transport and launch containers (TPK) with missiles. Eight more missiles in containers can be carried inside the vehicle's hull. There is some kind of sighting equipment between the launchers. Its exact composition was not announced, but from the available photographs it follows that the new anti-aircraft missile system uses a certain system that works in the infrared range. There is also information about the possibility of automatic target detection using the existing equipment. Thus, the complex can effectively find and attack targets in various conditions, including at night or in bad weather.
When searching for an anti-aircraft missile for the Luchnik-E, an approach was applied that is actively used in foreign countries. There, when creating a short-range air defense system, missiles of the FIM-92 Stinger portable complex (M6 Linebacker, AN / TWQ-1 Avenger, etc.) were repeatedly used. On the Luchnik-E air defense system, as well as in the Strelets system, it is proposed to use transport and launch containers with Igla MANPADS missiles and its modifications. Thanks to this approach, it was possible with relatively small forces to create a new anti-aircraft complex with sufficiently high characteristics. In addition, the use of existing missiles made it possible to facilitate the supply of ammunition, since in this case TPK with Igla missiles can be used both in a portable version and on Luchnik-E combat vehicles.
When using missiles of the 9K338 Igla-S modification, the Luchnik-E air defense missile system is capable of protecting troops on the march or in positions from enemy aircraft and helicopters at ranges of up to 6000 meters. The maximum target flight altitude is 3.5 kilometers. The 9K338 missile is capable of catching up with an aircraft or a cruise missile flying at a speed of up to 320 m / s. When intercepting on a collision course, the maximum target speed at which it can be hit increases to 400 m / s. The reaction time of the "Luchnik-E" complex is said to be in the range of 5 to 11.5 seconds, depending on the situation.
The new anti-aircraft missile system has several advantages over some other air defense systems of its class. Firstly, it is the presence of passive means of target detection. Thanks to them, the combat vehicle does not give out its location, but at the same time it is capable of performing a combat mission. Secondly, the Luchnik-E combat vehicle can simultaneously launch several missiles at once. Since the launchers can accommodate at least eight missiles, the combat potential of the complex is significantly higher than that of previous air defense systems of this class. Finally, the use of missiles of the Igla family mastered in production has a corresponding effect on the cost of the air defense system itself and its operation.
The combination of combat and economic indicators makes the new Luchnik-E system interesting not only for the Russian armed forces. With the expectation of export contracts, KBM advertises the novelty at foreign salons of weapons and military equipment. In particular, the Asia-Pacific is considered one of the most promising markets. The countries of this region are now actively developing their armed forces, but at the same time they cannot independently provide themselves with the necessary equipment. Thus, the Luchnik-E air defense missile system may interest them and become the subject of transactions.