9K331 Tor-M1 / SA-15 Gauntlet system, is a highly mobile rapid reaction
SAM built to replace the Cold War era SA-8 Gecko system. Like the
SA-8 Gecko, the Tor M1 TELAR is a fully self contained package, with
a search radar, a monopulse tracking and engagement radar, and a
magazine of Automatic Command to Line Of Sight guided missiles.
design aims of the Gauntlet were however broader than those for the
Gecko, and not only are low flying aircraft and helicopters intended
targets, but also cruise missiles, standoff missiles and smart bombs
during their terminal flight phase. Russian thinking is that
S-300PMU/S-400 battery elements such as radars and command posts are
to be covered by Gauntlet point defence systems, intended to engage
and destroy guided munitions targeting the S-300PMU/S-400 battery
earliest Gauntlet variants are carried on a GM-355 tracked chassis,
with later tracked variants using the GM-5955 chassis. The E/F-band
folding surveillance radar is carried on the top of the turret, and
the G/H-band engagement radar, claimed to be a phased array design,
is mounted on the front. Eight vertically launched 9K331
SAM rounds are carried in sealed magazines, these are vertically
ejected before ignition using the cold launch technique. Once clear
of the TELAR, the canard missiles use nose rocket thrusters to pitch
over in the direction of the target and effect the engagement.
Reaction time to threats is credited in seconds between track
confirmation and launch.
While in conceptual
terms the Gauntlet compares well to the Franco-German Roland, the
missile is more advanced and the TELAR far more capable than the
Roland ever could be.
The still current Tor
M1 production variant
incorporates a range of design improvements over the
baseline Tor/Tor M variants. Probably the best technical summary of
system was published by Iosif Drize [Chief Designer] and Alexandr
Luzan [Advisor to the Director General of the State Corporation
Rosvoorouzhenie] in the Rosoboronexport house journal, Military Parade
(TOR-M1 SAM SYSTEM: PROTECTING GROUND INSTALLATIONS AGAINST
HIGH-PRECISION WEAPONS; Military Parade, 1996), cite:
"In the 1970-1980s, several countries acquired airborne high-precision
weapons (HPW - further abbreviated as PGM), boasting improved quality
and produced in increased numbers. In terms of effectiveness, the PGM
could compare to tactical nuclear weapons, while they could be carried
by both strategic aircraft and most flying machines represented by the
army and tactical aircraft.
At present, leading
military specialists consider the PGM as the main weapon to deliver the
first (preventive) strike, capable of disabling or paralyzing air
defenses, increasing the capacity and enhancing the effectiveness of
the conventional means of air attack. In the course of subsequent
combat operations the PGM is used, as a rule, to destroy (neutralize)
the vital pinpoint and small-size targets carrying important potentials.
According to modern
classification, the tactical PGM include:
destroying targets at a distance of 15
to 70 and, in perspective, up to 150 km from the launching point and
flying at altitudes of 60 m to 12 - 16 km. The effective RCS of such
missiles is minimized to about 0.1 m2, while the flight speed varies
from 200 to 700 m/s.
2. Airborne guided missiles with infrared, laser or TV homing heads,
with a launching range from 6 to 10 km, angles of attack from 8-10 to
45-60 deg, effective RCS from 0.06 to 0.5 m2 and flight speeds from 200
to 600 m/s.
3. Gliding and controlled guided aerial bombs and clusters with a
release (drop) range of 8 to 10 km, effective Radiation PatternRCS
below 0.5 m2, speed of 250 to 400 m/s and angles of attack up to 50 -
4. Missiles fitted with inertial guidance and terrain avoidance
features using the terrain map and capable of flying at 60 m and lower
The PGM also include
Overall, the features
that distinguish the PGM (or their destructive
components) from other radar targets and offensive means alike are:
in the forward hemisphere at 0.1 m2 for
the centimeter waveband (1.5 - 5 cm);
- wide range of angular rates and angles of approach to the objective
of the attack: from level flight at an altitude of 30 to 60 m with
terrain avoidance to angles of attack of 45 to 60 deg and more;
- high cruising and maximum speeds of flight (200 to 700 m/s), variable
values of such speeds (accelerated and decelerated flights) as well as
high operational load factors reaching 8 to 10 g;
- high mechanical strength of guided and controlled aerial bombs,
reducing their vulnerability as targets.
Such PGM features help them effectively withstand such systems as Osa,
Roland and Crotale-NG. The first two circumstances impose new
requirements on radars employed by the SAMs designed to fight the PGM,
while the other two impose requirements on the flight ballistics and
control loop of the systems as well as on the muscle of their combat
The low values of
effective RCS require huge expenditure of energy by
both TAR and TTR, especially in case of electronic countermeasures
undertaken by the enemy as well as the implementation of new procedures
to seek out and track targets. The TAR must be either three-coordinate
or capable of measuring the target angle of site to an accuracy that
minimizes the fine search time by the TTR.
The wide range of angles
at which the PGM may approach the objective
dictates the need for the TAR to shape an isodistant target detection
zone instead of the isoheight (cosecant-squared) one widely employed by
the SAMs, which is the main reason for the poor effectiveness of the
existing SAM systems against the PGM.
In addition, the TAR
should realize the principle of criterional
processing of the signals, thereby minimizing the level of false
alarms, and also examine the target flight paths, categorize the
targets, select the most dangerous ones from a group of detected
targets and prioritize them. To solve these tasks, the TAR should
incorporate a data processor with the required capacity.
The TTR must ensure
prompt lockon of one or several targets and
automatically track the PGMs to an accuracy sufficient for their
reliable engagement by SAMs at prescribed ranges.
requirements minimizes the system reaction time.
specific demands are imposed on SAMs intended to fight the PGM:
(1) the missiles must be
given a minimum possible time to be ready for
launch (3-4 s);
(2) the propulsion system of
the SAM should ensure its most rapid
acceleration (within 3-5 s) to the prescribed speed and support its
powered flight to a range no shorter than the prescribed killing range
of the PGM. The operational load factors of the SAM must allow it to
hit the PGM with a g-load not less than 10 units;
(3) the armament of the SAM
must have sufficient power to destroy a
highly strong PGM and allow the SAM to adapt to the type (class) of the
target to be destroyed;
(4) the cost of the SAM should
be the minimum required to achieve the
positive balance between the cost of the PGM (plus the cost of the
prevented damage) and adjusted cost of the SAM.
The general demands on a SAM system designed to fight the PGM are as
- the engagement range of aircraft that carries optically guided PGM
must exceed the effective range of such weapons;
- the reaction time, that is, the time elapsed between target detection
and missile firing instants should be at a minimum. This can be
attained via high automation of the battle performance based on
extensive employment of computers (multiprocessor systems), elements of
robotization and artificial intellect for maximum reduction of the crew
- the maximum cost-effectiveness criterion versus minimum cost of the
SAM and reasonable (from the viewpoint of its significance) cost of the
facility it protects;
- the ability to combine the requisite number of SAMs into a highly
automated system designed to defend the vital installations and main
groupings of troops at the appropriate level.
Russia's Tor-M1 SAM system is the world's first short-range air defense
system specifically tailored for highly effective use against the PGM.
Tor-M1 SAM system has been developed and series produced by the
Antey Concern. The system is a logical sequel to the OSA SAM family,
capable of repelling existing and potential threats with the maximum
The core of the Tor-M1
SAM system is its combat vehicle (CV) whose main
version is based on the cross-country tracked chassis of an
intermediate weight category.
The CV comprises:
- TAR with a ground-based radar interrogator;
- target and missile tracking radar (TTR);
- backup TV optical tracker designed to autotrack targets in angular
- high-speed multiplex digital computer;
- air situation display equipment, CV systems and means monitoring
equipment, and CV commander and operator control panels;
- coded radio command operational communications system;
- navigation, survey control and orientation equipment;
- surface-to-air missiles in group launching transporting containers
(two containers with four SAMs in each);
- primary power supply with the generator driven by the gas turbine
engine or the engine of the self-propelled chassis;
- auxiliary equipment.
The Tor-M1 CV detects
and selects air targets on the move and fires
missiles at them from short halts.
The antenna system of
the TAR is stabilized. It produces an
eight-portion Battary command postradiation pattern (Fig. 2).
interval is 1 s, the
beam flare (width) in the vertical plane is 4 deg; the portion
switchover (scanning) mechanism is electronic. Any three portions of
the radiation pattern can be scanned within one scanning interval. The
entire elevation zone covers 32 deg and can be scanned within 3 s. The
regular scanning program is selected in such a way that, in order to
increase the detection range for low-altitude targets, the first
portion is scanned twice within three scanning intervals.
augment the TAR potential, the antenna system of the radar can be
revolved mechanically through 32 deg with a detection zone of 32 to 64
deg. This means that two CVs of the Tor-M1 system can make up a
detection zone of 0 to 64 deg, and the firing capabilities of each CV
assure target engagement within 0 and 80 deg in elevation.
increase the pulse energy, the length of the emitted pulse is
increased, and the pulse is internally modulated. The radar can also
operate in an active jamming environment when the entire transmitted
power of the radar is accumulated in one critical portion instead of
being distributed among three portions.
receivers perform an automatic threshold and criterional processing
of signals in digital form.
detect targets against the background of the earth's underlaying
surface, atmospheric perturbations or man-made passive jamming, the TAR
is provided with the moving target indication (MTI) feature assuring
detection of both high- and low-speed (up to 10 m/s) targets without
"blind" speeds. The MTI system has two rejection zones allowing
simultaneous suppression of both the clutter and moving passive
their first (coarse) cessing, the signals are fed to a computer
where target track initiation is performed. The most dangerous threats
are identified by their minimum approach flight time, altitude and
crossover range. This information is then used to designate the targets
for the TTR. The accuracy of target designation is 100 m in range, 20
min in azimuth and 2 deg in elevation.
main characteristics of the TAR and zone for detection of a target
with the effective RCS equal to 0.1 m2 and detection probability p =
0.5. The radar has a detection range of 18 to 22 km, which is
sufficient to engage air targets (depending on their speed) at ranges
from 12 km and less and within virtually all elevations (up to 64
deg).TOR-M1 system components.
TTR of the Tor-M1 SAM system is of the pulse Doppler type capable
of determining four coordinates of the selected target. To assure
steady passover to autotracking of point targets and obtain highly
accurate target coordinates, the radar uses a high-powered pulse
reduce the time required to switch to the autotracking mode and
materially weaken the influence of the motion of the target on its
lockon, the TTR uses a phased antenna array (PAA) with a small number
of elements, which deflects the antenna beam at a level of 3 dB within
ñ7.5 deg. The fine target search is then accomplished through
electronic deflection of the antenna beam within 7 deg in elevation and
3 deg in azimuth. With the selected accuracy of the target designation
received from the TAR, the fine search limits assure 100-percent target
lockon. The time required to switch to autotracking ranges from 400 to
600 ms, depending on the target speed and interferences. With this
passover time, the target seems to be "frozen" with respect to the
scanning sector of the PAA, ensuring the high reliability of the switch
to the autotracking mode. The TTR uses the Doppler signal processing,
pulse compression, fast Fourier transforms, and narrow-band filtration,
which, when combined with the high-energy pulse, large gain of the PAA
and low level of its sidelobe and background noise, makes the TTR
highly immune to jamming.
Tor-M1 SAM system uses a TV optical tracker, which autotracks
target angular coordinates, as a backup tracking system.
missile armament is used effectively by discriminating between
target types. The TAR allows discrimination between four classes of
targets: point targets (or PGM), airplanes, helicopters and
unidentified targets. This results in increased probability of
engagement of small-size targets, notably PGM.
track missiles, the TTR has two channels. One of the channels serves
to lock on to and track the missile by using beacon signals at the
starting leg of the flight. The second channel uses the missile
responder signals received via the PAA to track the missile throughout
its flight path.
The commands are
transmitted to the
missile by the radar transmitter
via the PAA. The indicator equipment, incorporating a commander's
target flight path display, TTR target and missile tracking displays, a
TV tracker video monitor, TAR operator displays, control panels and
signalling devices, are brought onto a single console located in the CV
operator compartment. The seat of the driver-mechanic, who drives the
CV, starts and monitors the operation of the gas turbine driven power
supply unit, is also located there.
terms of shape, the Tor-M1 missile is of the canard type. It is
launched vertically to a height of 15 to 20 m with the aid of a powder
catapult and is then inclined by a special thruster towards the target,
and its main solid propellant rocket motor takes over.
motor of the missile is single-stage and two-mode. In the launching
mode, the motor accelerates, within four seconds, the missile to a
maximum speed of 850 m/s; in the cruising mode, which lasts for 12
seconds of flight, it maintains the above speed. This makes for the
required power-to-weight ratio of the missile, allows the missile to
cover a distance of 8 km in powered flight and effectively engage
targets flying at speeds below 700 m/s and g-loads up to 10 g.
missile is furnished ready for use inside a launching transporting
container designed to accommodate four missiles.
One major characteristic of the short-range missile systems is the
reaction time or the interval between the moment of target detection by
the TAR and the instant of missile launch. One can single out three
characteristic stages in the process:
TAR, their processing and track initiation,
establishing priorities according to the relative threat criterion, and
production of target designation data for the TTR;
towards the most dangerous target in
azimuth and elevation;
switchover to autotracking and missile launch.
reaction time of the Tor-M1 SAM
system changes from 3.4 to 10.6 s, depending on the employment
conditions and intensity of interference. When employed on the move,
the two seconds required to stop the CV are added to this time. It
should be stressed that the high degree of battle performance
automation, employment of artificial intellect and unique algorithms
make it possible to perform all the operations, involving detection of
targets and the switch to autotracking the two most dangerous ones,
virtually without operator intervention.
Four Tor-M1 SAM
CVs are organic to one SAM
battery, which is the smallest tactical subunit capable of executing
combat missions independently. To control the combat actions and fire
of the CVs, each SAM battery has an automated battery command post
(BCP). Using the coded communications and navigation, survey control
and orientation equipment of the CVs, the BCP produces target
distribution and precludes accidental concentration of fire of several
CVs on one target. The essence of target distribution resides in the
automatic exchange of information on autotracked targets among the CVs
via the BCP and automatic reassignment of priorities by the CVs with
corrections made for received information. The target distribution
system realizes the step-by-step principle of adaptation of the CVs to
the current air situation in real time. When necessary, the battery
commander may intervene into (correct) the target distribution process
and execute other combat control tasks.
BCP can receive and
display the current air situation (10 most dangerous targets) from one
(any) subordinate CV and from the TAR located at a higher command post
(CP) and establish operational communication inside the SAM battery and
with the higher CP.
process of control over the
Tor-M1 SAM system CVs can be realized when all the elements of the SAM
battery are on the move or brought to a halt. The BCP also integrates
the SAM battery or a local system organized around it into the general
structures of the air defense systems of a large unit or region of the
In addition to these combat means, the Tor-M1 SAMs are provided with
transloaders, maintenance trucks and mobile SPTA sets."
A towed semi-mobile
variant of the Tor M1
is on offer, sacrificing
mobility for lower cost (Rosoboronexport).
The Tor M1 is being supplanted in production by the
9K332/9K331MK Tor M2/M2E variant, which incorporates substantial design
The Tor M2/M2E is a “deep modernisation” of the baseline
Tor M1 weapon
system, available on the legacy tracked chassis, or the entirely new
low profile wheeled
the 9A332/9A331MK, the latter specifically developed
ByeloRussian manufacturer for this application. Russian sources claim
the Russian MoD sought the same KAMAZ chassis as used with the SA-22 /
Pantsir S1, but the manufacturer was unhappy with the overall height
and hardness of the vehicle, and contracted MZKT in Minsk to develop a
new vehicle. The MZKT-6922 is semi-hardened, and intended to protect
the crew and systems from small arms fire, shrapnel and spall. The new
vehicle weighs 17 tonnes, with a maximum gross weight of 30 tonnes. It
is powered by a 420 SHP YaMZ-7513.10 diesel, using an MZKT GMP-400
transmission, delivering a road speed of 80 km/h.
The Tor M2E has an improved weapon system. The new planar array
surveillance radar can track up to 48 targets concurrently, retaining
the range performance of the legacy system. The revised phased array
engagement radar uses new phase shifters, and is capable of tracking
targets within a claimed 30° solid angle around the antenna boresight.
Paired command link antennas are mounted on both sides of the array,
used to acquire the missiles post launch, while they are out of the
field of view of the engagement radar array. Missiles can be launched 2
seconds apart. The manufacturer has identified the missile design as an
area of future improvement, the turret permitting the carriage of a
large number of smaller and lighter future missiles.
The envisaged Tor M2E battery structure comprises four 9A332/9A331MK
one 9S737MK Ranzhir-MK mobile command post, two 9T244 transloader
vehicles, and one 9V887M2K engineering support vehicle.
While the Tor M2E offers incremental gains in system capability, its
key advance over earlier variants is its much higher in-theatre
mobility, and intra-theatre deployability, making it a much more
practical asset for defending infrastructure targets than the legacy
Tor/Tor-M1 variants, optimised to escort armoured battlefield manouvre
formations. The Tor M2E is well suited for the envisaged role of
protecting fixed targets and highly mobile S-300PMU2/S-400 missile
batteries from PGM attack.
A more detailed analysis of the Ranzhir Command Post can be found under
Warsaw Pact /
Russian Air Defence Command Posts
, and the tracked GM5955 and
wheeled MZKT-6922 chassis under Russian
of systems employs two generations of
radar package, designated collectively the Scrum Half. Earlier variants
were developed to defend land manoevre forces against missile firing
attack helicopters and low flying close air support fighters. More
recently the role of the system has been redefined to protection of
high value targets against precision guided munitions and cruise
missiles. The current Tor M2E has new radar package and is carried on a
wheeled chassis, both optimisations for its new primary role.
A more detailed discussion can be found under Engagement and
Fire Control Radars
model 9K330/SA-15A Gauntlet round (via Military.cz).
Late model 9M334
their four round magazine (© 2009 Vitaliy V. Kuzmin).
of the missile round is similar conceptually to much earlier 9K33 /
SA-8 Gecko, but with some important differences, both
employing a simple tubular airframe design with a solid
rocket powerplant. The airframe uses cruciform canard controls for
pitch/yaw control, and a revolving sleeve mounts the cruciform tail
surfaces. The missile is not roll stabilised. The controls are powered
by compressed air.
significant difference in the control system is the use of nose mounted
thrust vectoring jets, used to pivot the missile to the desired azimuth
and pitch angle after its vertical launch. Unlike its
missile uses the vertical cold launch technique, with a charge ejecting
the round vertically from the transport and launch canister.
proximity fuse transmit antenna is in the missile nose, which also
contains the transmitter. The fuse receiver, command link receiver and
autopilot are all clustered in the centresection of the missile. The
warhead is situated between the guidance section and motor. A pair of
command link and beacon antennas are mounted on the tail.
have not disclosed the specific control laws used in this design, but
known that the missiles are flown in an arcing trajectory, and perform
a shallow dive against a low flying target, this is intended to
maximise ground clearance of the missile round and facilitate tracking
by the TLAR regardless of clutter.
The Tor series uses the 'cold launch' technique,
whereby the round is ejected vertically from the tube, and once clear
ignites its motor. Note the nose mounted thrusters used to rapidly
pivot the missile in the direction of the target.
Production and Exports
the 1990s the PLA procured the Russian 9K331M1
Tor-M1 / SA-15C Gauntlet system. Chinese
sources put the SA-15 inventory at around 25 systems, deployed with
the 31st and 38th Army
Groups. The Russians have also exported this system to Greece/Cyprus,
Libya, Venezuela, Yemen and Iran.