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Last Updated: Mon Jan 27 11:18:09 UTC 2014

Almaz-Antey S-300PMU2 Favorit
Self Propelled Air Defence System
/ SA-20 Gargoyle
Самоходный Зенитный Ракетный  Комплекс 
С-300ПМУ2 «Фаворит»

Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0502

by Dr Carlo Kopp, AFAIAA, SMIEEE, PEng
© 2009 Said Aminov, Vestnik-PVO
May 2009
Updated January 2010
Updated May, June 2011
Updated April, 2012
Text, Line Art © 2009-2012 Carlo Kopp

Operational PLA S-300PMU2 Favorit / SA-20B 5P85TE2 TEL launching a 48N6E2 round (Chinese Internet).


The S-300PMU2/SA-10E Favorit system, later redesignated SA-20B Gargoyle, is the last of the Almaz S-300P variants to carry the S-300P designation. Developed between 1995 and 1997, it was intended to compete directly against the Antey S-300V and Patriot PAC-2/3 systems as an Anti-Ballistic Missile system, while retaining the long range SAM capabilities of its predecessor S-300P variants.

The Favorit incorporates incrementally upgraded 30N6E2 Tomb Stone, NIIIP 64N6E2 Big Bird radars and a 54K6E2 command post, and the LEMZ 96L6E as its early warning and primary acquisition system, replacing the 36D6/ST-68UM Tin Shield and LEMZ 76N6E Clam Shell. While the system retains compatibility with earlier 48N6 missiles, a new extended 108 nautical mile range 46N6E2 missile was added.

The Favorit's new command post has the capability to control S-300PMU / SA-10, S-300PMU1 / SA-20 batteries, and also according to Russian sources S-200VE / SA-5 Gammon batteries, relaying coordinates and commands to the 5N62VE Square Pair guidance and illumination radar.

While the Favorit superficially appears like the SA-10B, it has a wide range of technological  improvements internally, and a range of optimisations to improve performance in the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) role. Almaz, the system integrators, and Fakel, the missile designers, claim to have repeatedly caused Scud target vehicle warheads to detonate during test intercepts at the Kapustin Yar range in 1995.

The S-300PMU2 is the most advanced variant of the S-300P series to be exported in larger quantities, with the PLA being the principal client at this time.

Technical Notes

The S-300PMU2 Favorit is a direct evolution of the S-300PMU1, that in turn having evolved from the S-300PM / SA-20A variants, which were a deep redesign of the self-propelled S-300PS / SA-10B. The system became a platform for a series of technology insertion upgrades, most of which became production features in the subsequent S-400 Triumf, which was initially designated as the S-300PMU3. An example is the four round launcher for the 9M96E/E2 interceptor missiles.

The best technical discussion of design of the S-300PMU2 to date is a recent article by Alexander Ryazanov, Chief Designer, Vitaliy Semenov, Chief Designer, Almaz-Antey, and Dr Anatoliy Sumin, consultant to Almaz-Antey, published in the Russian language Vozdushno-Kosmicheskaya Oborona journal, No.2 (45), 20091. Follow on articles by other authors expand on this analysis2.

Ryazanov et al / VKO - Reference 1.

Ryazanov et al state that the S-300PMU2 began as a “deep modernisation” or technology insertion upgrade to the existing S-300PM/PMU1 / SA-20A design, and state trials (Russian OpEval) were completed in 2007. The protracted development of the S-300PMU2 resulted in technology migration from the concurrent but more advanced S-400 Triumf / SA-21. The intent was to maximise commonality in as many components as possible, between the S-300PMU2 Favorit and S-400 Triumf.

The Ryazanov article notes that significant changes were made to system hardware, software, and algorithms for missile guidance.

The broad architecture of the system divides it into three core components:
  1. A single 83M6E2 battle management system, comprising the upgraded 54K6E2 Command Post and the 64N6E2 Big Bird acquisition radar system;
  2. Up to six S-300PMU2 battery fire units, each comprising an upgraded 30N6E2 Tomb Stone engagement radar, each of which can control up to twelve 5P85SE2 or 5P85TE2 TELs, common to the S-400;
  3. The 82Ts6E2 missile storage, resupply and maintenance suite.
The 15Ya6ME digital data/voice radio relay equipment may be used to connect battery components to distances as great as 90 kilometres.

The 83M6E2 battle management system is backward compatible with the S-300PMU1, allowing it to control mixed batteries of SA-20A and SA-20B fire units.

All battery components are self propelled, and equipped with independent electrical power generators for mobile operations, as well as mains grid power converters for static operations.

Most equipment containers can be removed from their respective vehicle chassis for emplacement in bunkers or hardened shelters if required, not unlike earlier Russian SAM systems. The 30N6E2 radar head cabin retains comptibility with the 40V6M/MD mast system.

Individual fire units can operate autonomously, if equipped with a dedicated self-propelled 96L6E acquisition radar, as the S-400 / SA-21 does.

Specific design changes in the S-300PMU2 include:

48N6E2 Gargoyle Missile Round

  1. Optimisation of the warhead design for ballistic targets, the intent being to initiate the warhead in the target. This was accomplished by changing the mass of the warhead fragments and their initial velocity, without impairing lethality against aircraft. The new warhead accounts for the 35 kg increase in missile launch weight;
  2. Increased missile kinematic range from 150 km to 200 km.

30N6E2 Tomb Stone Engagement Radar

Early model 30N6-1 radar antenna undergoing maintenance. To the left is an auxiliary array. The S-300PMU2 has the capability to independently beamform these arrays for jammer nulling (via NVA Forum).

The engagement radar was subjected to a number of upgrades in key areas, intended to support the higher capability of the new missile. Importantly, many of the changes were designed around legacy cabling harnesses in the F2E1 cabin.
  1. Revised PESA scan patterns in sector search modes, intended to improve acquisition of high velocity ballistic targets;
  2. Independent mainlobe steering for the auxiliary PESA canceller antenna arrays, to permit automatic jammer nulling and to expand the engagement envelope in a countermeasures environment;
  3. Replacement of radome material without replacement of PESA phase shifter modules;
  4. Replacement of the digital TsVF beamsteering controller with a new design to permit auxiliary PESA canceller antenna array control;
  5. Revised missile guidance control law algorithms to improve endgame accuracy, especially when engaging ballistic targets, or aircraft at extreme range;
  6. Replacement of the legacy data processor with a new Russian built ruggedised Elbrus-90 Mikro SPARC architecture quad CPU system, with a 500 MHz clock and 500 MB of RAM. All code is implemented in C language. The additional processing capability is used to support the revised missile control laws;
  7. Replacement of the legacy consoles for the Commander and Fire Control Officer stations with a new colour display design, using LCD panels and Baget 23V digital processors;
  8. An interface terminal adaptor for track data feed from the 96L6E acquisition radar;
  9. A new STRS-ME voice/data digital communications system;
  10. A new 11Ya6ME voice communications link, based on the R-168-25UE radio equipment;
  11. The NK Orientir precision navigation system, refer below.

54K6E2 Command Post

The CP was comprehensively redesigned, and unlike demonstrators, uses as much common hardware as possible with the S-400 Triumf / SA-21 55K6E CP. The new digital CP design fits into one half the volume and mass of the legacy 54K6E CP, with 3 to 4 times lower power consumption.
  1. The CP is now installed in the same container and carried by the same 8 x 8 Ural 532361 truck as the 55K6E;
  2. Electrical power for the CP is produced via a power take-off on the engine transmission of the Ural 532301 truck, rather than using a separate APU;
  3. The mission computer in the CP was replaced by a new ruggedised Elbrus-90 Mikro SPARC architecture quad CPU system, with a 500 MHz clock and 500 MB of RAM. All code is implemented in C language, and includes modules for controlling the 64N6E2 Big Bird;
  4. Common workstation consoles are employed, using LCD panel displays and embedded RAMEK processors;
  5. A new STRS-ME voice/data digital communications system;
  6. A new Luch-M48 millimetre wave band narrow beam datalink for secure data transfers between the CP and acquisition radar;
  7. A new 93Ya6-05 datalink terminal to provide connectivity to other CPs, acquisition radars, and external sources of track data;
  8. A new 11Ya6ME voice communications link, based on the R-168-25UE radio equipment.
Ryazanov et al did not detail design changes to the 64N6E2 Big Bird, but given the comprehensive replacement of legacy computer, display and C3 components in the CP and Tomb Stone, it is safe to assume the same technology was inserted into the Big Bird. The article is the first to show the use of the common S-400 / SA-21 TEL.

It is also likely that the 30N6E2 Tomb Stone and 64N6E2 Big Bird will be carried on MZKT-7930 chassis, common to the S-400 / SA-21.

Ruggedised Elbrus-90 Mikro SPARC architecture quad CPU system (MTsST).

It is known that S-300PMU2 Favorit systems recently exported to the PRC have been supplied with the latest 5P85TE2 semi-trailer TELs, towed by BAZ-64022 6 x 6 tractors. This TEL design is being supplied to Russian PVO units as part of the S-400 Triumf systems. It is not known what other S-400 components may be part of the PLA S-300PMU2 configuration.

Above: PLA S-300PMU2 Favorit battery components - LEMZ 96L6E acquisition radar on MKZT-7930 chassis, 5P85TE2 TEL with BAZ-64022 tractor. In the background a PLA tropospheric scatter communications system, modelled on the AN/TRC-170 series, used to support PLA air defence units (via Chinese Internet).

5P85TE2 TEL display model at Zhuhai 2010. The 40V6M/MD mast remains on offer for the 30N6E2 Tomb Stone (© 2010, Air Power Australia).

Above, below: Operational PLA S-300PMU2 Favorit / SA-20B 5P85TE2 TEL launching a 48N6E2 round (Chinese Internet).

NK Orientir Precision Navigation System

The state-of-the-art NK Orientir precision navigation system is an option on current production S-300PMU2 / SA-20B and S-400 / SA-21 SAM systems. The characteristic array of satnav antennas is employed for differential carrier phase measurements. The TEL is a legacy 5P85SE (image © Miroslav Gyűrösi).

A recent option available for both the S-300PMU1 and S-300PMU2 is the NK Orientir precision navigation system, developed since 2004 by a consortium comprising the NVP Protek, NII Radiotekhniki KGTU, NPP Radiosvyaz and FGUP TsNII Elektropribor. This system uses a FOG inertial reference with corrections provided by a GPS and Glonass satnav receivers, LORAN-C and Chaika  radio navaids,  and an odometer. The system is equipped with a moving map display and is intended to provide a geolocation accuracy of 15 metres, and angular positioning accuracy of 6 minutes of arc, for “hide, shoot and scoot” operations. The system has been deployed on the 30N6E2 Tomb Stone engagement radar. It employs a characteristic array of rooftop antenna domes on a rigid tubular frame, employed for differential carrier phase measurements.

S-300PMU2 Technical Data

SA-10/20 Missiles
SAM Specifications
 Характеристики ЗУР 5В55К 5В55Р 48Н6 48Н6E2
SAM System
S-300PM/PMU1 Favorit

С-300ПT С-300ПС/ПМY С-300ПM/ПМY-1 Фаворит
MKB Fakel
Разработчик МКБ "Факел"
Изготовитель ПО "ЛСЗ"
in service,
out of production
in service
Состояние на вооружении, сняты с производства на вооружении
Engagement Envelope
-range [NMI]
-altitude [ft]




Зона поражения, км
- дальность
- высота




Target max speed [KTAS]



Максимальная скорость цели, км/ч N/A 4300 6450 7500
SAM max speed
< 6.7
< 6.7
< 7.0
< 7.0
Максимальная скорость ЗУР, м/с до 2000 до 2000 до 2100 до 2100
Weight [lb]
Масса ракеты, кг 1480-1500 1665* 1800-1900 N/A
Warhead weight [lb]
Масса БЧ, кг 133 196 143 180
Warhead type
Тип БЧ осколочно-фугасная
Guidance system
Command link
Track via missile
Система управления радиокомандная комбинированная через ракету
Length [in]
Длина ракеты, м 7,25 7,25 7,5 N/A
Diameter[in] 20.0
Диаметр корпуса ракеты, м 0,508 0,508 0,519 N/A
Tail span[in] 44.25
Размах оперения, м 1,124 1,124 1,134 N/A
Number of stages
Число ступеней 1 1 1 1
Motor type
Solid propellant
Тип двигателя твердотопливный
Motor burn duration [sec]
8-10 8-10 < 12
Время работы двигателя, сек 8-10 8-10 до 12 N/A
Load factor limit [G]
Располагаемые перегрузки н/д н/д 25 н/д
Storage life [yr]
10 10
10 10 Гарантированный срок хранения в ТПК, лет 10 10 10 10
*including launch tube - 5170 lb
 * с контейнером - 2342 кг

S-300PMU2 Battery Components

S-300PMU2 Battery Components
Self Propelled Command Post
Ural 532361
Site Survey Vehicle
30N6E2 Tomb Stone
F1E2 Radar Cabin / F2E2 Control Cabin
64N6E2 Big Bird
Self Propelled Acquisition Radar MAZ-79100 Tractor
Self Propelled Acquisition Radar
Self Propelled Transporter Erector Launcher
5P85TE/TE1/TE2 Semitrailer Transporter Erector Launcher KrAZ-260 Tractor
BAZ-64022 Tractor
Transloader / Crane
22T6-2E2 Transloader / Crane Ural-532361-1012
5T58-2 Missile Transporter Four 5P32 Launch Tubes
KrAZ-260 Tractor
Mobile Diesel Power Generator 200 kW
MAZ-5224V Trailer
Mobile Mains Grid Power Converter
MAZ-5224V Trailer
Mobile Mains Grid Power Converter MAZ-5224V Trailer

S-300PMU2 Battery Component Options
36D6E Tin Shield
Mobile Acquisition Radar KrAZ-260 Tractor
76N6E Clam Shell
Semi-Mobile Low Altitude Acquisition Radar KrAZ-260 Tractor
Semi-Mobile Mast System 24 Metre
MAZ-537 Tractor
40V6MD Semi-Mobile Mast System 40 Metre
MAZ-537 Tractor
Mobile Crane
Mobile Crane MAZ-79100
Fuel Tanker Truck
Mobile Crew Accommodation Vehicle

Almaz 5P85TE2 Towed Transporter Erector Launcher

Operational PLA S-300PMU2 Favorit / SA-20B battery with 5P85TE2 TELs (Chinese Internet).

Full rate production S-300PMU2 Favorit systems recently exported to the PLA have been photographed using late model 5P85TE2 TELs with BAZ-6402 series tractors, rather than the earlier towed TEL variant. This reflects the current Almaz-Antey philosophy of maximising commonality between the S-300PMU2 and S-400 systems (Almaz-Antey).

Almaz 5P85SE Self Propelled Transporter Erector Launcher

Legacy 5P85SE TELs were employed with the S-300PMU2 demonstrators.

Almaz 5P85TE/TE1 Towed Transporter Erector Launcher

Legacy 5P85TE TELs were employed with the S-300PMU2 demonstrators.

Almaz 54K6E2 Command Post

An S-400 55K6 Command Post with deployed antenna mast, carried by an 8 x 8 Ural 532361. The production SA-20B 54K6E2 CP is engineered around 55K6E components and will be difficult to visually differentiate (image © Miroslav Gyűrösi).

55K6E CP operator consoles in  container van. The production SA-20B 54K6E2 CP is engineered around 55K6E components (Almaz-Antey).

S-300PMU2 Favorit 54K6E2 CP demonstrators used the legacy 54K6E CP as a platform.

Almaz 30N6E2 Tomb Stone Engagement Radar

LEMZ 96L6E Acquisition Radar

Above, below: Late production PLA S-300PMU2 Favorit batteries employ a single LEMZ 96L6E acquisition radar on the MKZT-7930 chassis, replacing the ST-68U Tin Shield and 76N6E Clam Shell (image © 2010 Vitaliy Kuzmin).

NIIIP 64N6E2 Big Bird Acquisition Radar

Almaz 1T12 Site Survey Vehicle

5T58E Missile Transporter

The 5T58-2 missile transporters used with late production S-300PMU2 systems are towed by the BAZ-6402 tractor (image © Miroslav Gyűrösi).

Early model 5T58E transporter with four rounds loaded. This semi-trailer is used not only for the carriage of missiles, but also to deploy other equipment, including radar and mast components (via Russian internet).

22T6E2 Missile Transloader

The NPP Start 22T6E2 Missile Transloader has been offered on two different chassis, a 6 x 6 legacy design, and the 8 x 8 Ural 532361 which is also used for the new S-400 / SA-21 55K6E command post (NPP Start).

An early model 22T6 transloader on the KrAZ-260 chassis performing a transloading operation with an early model 5P85DU TEL (via Russian Internet).


  1. Александр В. РЯЗАНОВ, Виталий В. СЕМЕНОВ, Анатолий С. СУМИН, Система ПВО «Фаворит»: новые возможности, Воздушно-космическая оборона, No.2 (45) 2009, URI: http://www.vko.ru/.
  2. František Chmelař, Systém PVO S-300PMU2 Favorit: nové možnosti, Valka.cz, URI: http://www.valka.cz/clanek_13084.html
  3. Also refer D.K. Barton's  Design of the S-300P and S-300V SAM Systems
  4. Almaz S-300P/PT/PS/PMU/PMU1/PMU2 / S-400 SAM System Technical Analysis
  5. Almaz 5P85 Series Transporter Erector Launcher Technical Analysis
  6. Antey S-300V/VM SAM System Technical Analysis
  7. NKMZ 40V6M/40V6MD Universal Mobile Mast Analysis
  8. SAM System Mobility - Air Defence System Vehicles
  9. SAM System Integration - Air Defence Command Posts
  10. SAM System Passive Targeting - Emitter Locating Systems
  11. SAM System Counter VLO Capabilities
  12. SAM System Multimedia - Rosoboronexport Footage

S-300PMU2 Favorit demonstrator at MAKS.

Technical Report APA-TR-2009-0502

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