S-300VM Antey-2500 SA-23 Gladiator Giant air defense missile system

The S-300VM (Antey-2500, NATO name: SA-23 Gladiator / Giant) is a long-range, multi-channel anti-ballistic missile defence system designed and manufactured by Almaz-Antey, which provides warfighters with enhanced combat capabilities.


The mobile air defence missile system (ADMS) is capable of destroying medium-range ballistic missiles, radar surveillance and guidance aircraft, reconnaissance and attack systems, patrolling jamming stations, unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as theatre, tactical, air ballistic and cruise missiles.

The missile system has high fire power capability against current and future tactical and strategic aircraft featuring stealth technology.


The S-300VM (Antey-2500) air defence missile system is designed to protect task forces and vital national and military installations from mass attacks of medium range ballistic missiles, theatre/tactical ballistic missiles, aeroballistic and cruise missiles, strategic and tactical aircraft, as well as to engage AWACS-type aircraft, reconnaissance and- strike air systems, loitering ECM aircraft, and other air attack assets. The S-300VM ADM system is a long-range multi-channel mobile air defence system. It can provide effective non-strategic antimissile and anti-aircraft defence. The system has efficient anti-jamming immunity and therefore is capable of engaging air targets in intensive electronic and fire counteraction environment, in any weather, by day and night. The S-300VM has a maximum target detection range of up to 250 km, with aerodynamic target engagement envelope of up to 200 km (range) and altitude from 250 m. to 30 km. It can engage simultaneously up to 24 targets and up to 48 guided missiles. “Antey-2500” has not analogs in the world which is capable to struggle with head parts of ballistic missiles, launched from distance of 2,500 km. Source @armyrecognition.com

s-300vm-envelope-1s-300v-vm-envelope-1Provisional data – Russian sources.- Image @ausairpower.netS-300VM-Envelopes-1S.jpgS-300VM Kinematic Envelopes (Antey) – Image @ausairpower.net

The S-300VM ADMS is operational with the Russian Army. Venezuela received two S-300VM air defence systems in April 2013. Russia has also offered the missile system to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

S-300VM missile system design and features

The S-300VM anti-ballistic missile defence system is developed based on the S-300 surface-to-air missile system, which entered into service in 1979. The new missile system features high degree reliability and enhanced mobility, and can operate under all weather conditions during both day and night.

MT-T tracked cross-country vehicle

mt-t-chassis-dwgMT-T tracked cross-country vehicle – Image @ausairpower.net


Years of manufacture 1979-1992
Weight 25 t
Load-carrying capacity  12 t
Trailer Weight 25 t
Overall dimensions: 
– length 8,711 mm
– width 3,420 mm
– height 2,720 mm
Number of seats in cabin and at platform 5+18
Engine power output 710 hp
Maximum road speed 65 km/h
Cruising range 500 km
Source:  http://www.morozov.com.ua/eng/body/traktors/mt-t.php – @ausairpower.net

The air defence system is mounted on a MT-T tracked cross-country vehicle designed and built by Kharkov Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau. It can operate independently or can be integrated into other air defence systems. It is equipped with advanced electronic systems and a new 9S457ME command post vehicle.

9S457ME command post vehicle


The missile system can simultaneously engage up to 30 aerodynamic targets and up to 24 ballistic targets. The guided missiles can be launched at an interval of 1.5 seconds from the same launcher, and simultaneously using different launchers. The system is effective against the targets with a minimum radar cross-section of 0.02m².

S-300V/VM/SA-12/23 System Design and Integration


All principal components of the S-300V system are carried on the “Item 830” series tracked vehicle, with gross weights between 44 and 47 tonnes per vehicle – the S-300V is not a lightweight system – and has similar offroad mobility to a medium tank.

The S-300V system comprises no less than eight unique system vehicles, the 9S457 mobile command post, the 9S15 Bill Board acquisition radar, the 9S19 High Screen ABM early warning radar, the 9S32 Grill Pan engagement radar, the 9A82 and 9A83 TELARs (Transporter Erector Launcher and Radar), and the 9A84 and 9A85 TEL/Transloader vehicles.

The paired acquisition radars are each optimised for their specific roles, with a limited overlap in capabilities, as the 9S15 Bill Board has some ABM early warning capability, and the 9S19 High Screen can acquire and track airborne targets. The 9S32 Grill Pan is more narrowly optimised as an engagement radar for missile guidance.

The 9A82 and 9A83 TELARs each include high power CW illuminators for missile guidance and command uplinks, and also provide these guidance functions for the 9A84 and 9A85 TEL/Transloaders, which operate as slave TELs in the battery.

Typical battery integration involves datalink tie-ins with the divisional level 9S52/9S52M Polyana DM series command posts, and the use of the Pori P1 series radar data fusion centre. Often S-300V / SA-12 batteries are supplemented with a 1L13-3 Nebo SV VHF-band 2D early warning and acquisition radar.

The S-300VM / SA-23 retains the basic battery structure of the earlier variant, replacing individual components with revised designs. Source @ausairpower.net

s-300vm-battery-components-1sS-300VM / SA-23 battery composition and integration (Antey). – Image @ausairpower.net

Missiles used by the S-300VM missile system

The S-300VM ballistic missile defence complex consists of a 9A83ME launcher unit, a 9A84ME loader / launcher unit, and a 9S32ME multi-channel missile guidance radar. It can be deployed or deactivated within six minutes.


The 9A83ME launcher unit is installed with four 9M83M/ME missiles, which can destruct ballistic targets at a maximum speed of 3km/s. The missile has a maximum kill range of 130km and a kill altitude of 25km. It can destroy medium-range ballistic missiles with a firing range of up to 1,100km.

The 9A84ME loader / launcher unit is fitted with two 9M82M/ME missiles. Each missile has a kill range of 200km, firing range of 2,500km and a maximum kill altitude of 30km. It can engage ballistic missiles re-entering at speeds of up to 4.5km/s.

The missiles are equipped with 150kg of high-explosive warheads and can be fired up to a range of 3km above sea level. The operating range is 40km and the maximum speed is 50km/h. The missile can travel up to 250km without refuelling, with subsequent operation of gas turbine power unit for two hours. It can withstand a temperature ranging from -50°C to 50°C, humidity of 98% at +30°C, and wind speeds of up to 30m/s.

Missile support

There’s two variants of vehicles, the 9A83ME launcher unit (SA-23a Gladiator) with four 9M83M/ME missiles container-launcher tubes and the 9A84ME loader/launcher (SA-23b Giant) with two missiles 9M82M/ME container-launcher tubes. These tubes are raised to the vertical for missile launch and are carried horizontally for travel.

9A83ME launcher unit (SA-23a Gladiator)


9A84ME loader/launcher (SA-23b Giant)


9A84ME TELAR (SA-23b Giant)


On the 9A84ME launcher unit, the engagement radar is mounted at the front of the launcher on a scissors-type mount which gives it a full 360º coverage in azimuth as well as full hemispheric coverage in elevation. 

On the 9A83ME launcher unit the radar is mounted in a semi-fixed position over the cab, giving 90º coverage to either side in azimuth or 110º coverage in elevation. The difference in the radar locations is because the 9A84ME TELAR has a secondary anti-aircraft role and therefore needs a mast-mounted antenna to engage low-flying targets in any direction. Source @armyrecognition.com


9m829m83-missile-layout-acImage @ausairpower.net

The 9M82M/ME missile is intended to defeat tactical, theater and medium range ballistic missile, as well as aerodynamic targets at a range of up to 200 km to a maximum altitude of 30 km. This missile has a maximum speed of 4,500 m/sec. The missile is controlled throughout the entire flight trajectory. The 9M82M/ME has double the range of the 9M82 (uses by the S-300V) against aerial targets, at 108 nautical miles, and increased terminal phase agility – a single shot kill probability of 98% is claimed against ballistic targets.

9M82M/ME missile (SA-23b Giant)


9M83M/ME missiles (SA-23a Gladiator)


According to some Internet sources, the range performance of the 9M82M/ME and 9M83M/ME missiles against aerial targets is not as good as the contemporary S-400/SA-21 40N6 missile, the 9M82M/ME matches the kinematic range of the S-400/SA-21 48N6E3, and outperforms the S-300PMU2 Favorit/SA-20B 48N6E2 missile, and all earlier 48N6 series missiles. In terms of performance against ballistic targets, the 9M82M/ME outperforms the 48N6E2 missile and provides almost identical performance to the much newer 48N6E3 missile. The 9M83M/ME missile is intended to engage tactical and theater missiles, as well as aerodynamic targets at short and medium ranges.


Основные характеристики ЗУР системы С-300В
Principal Characteristics of the S-300V SAMs
9М83 / SA-12A Gladiator 9М82 / SA-12B Giant
Длина, мм
Length [mm]
7898 (8570) 9913 (10525)
Максимальный диаметр, мм
Maximum diameter [mm]
915 (930) 1215 (1460)
Масса, кг:
Mass [kg]:
3500 (3600) 5800 (6000)
– первой ступени
– first stage
2275 4635
– второй ступени
– second stage
1213 1271
Масса боевой части, кг
Warhead Mass [kg]
150 н/д
Средняя скорость полета, м/с
Average flight velocity [m/s]
1200 1800
Максимальная перегрузка, ед.
Maximum load factor [G]
20 20
Границы зоны эффективного действия, км
Engagement Envelope [km]
– дальняя
– maximum range
75 100
– верхняя
– maximum altitude
25 30
– ближняя
– minimum range
6 13
– нижняя
– minimum altitude
0,025 1
Потенциальная дальность захвата ГСН цели с ЭПР 0,05 кв.м
Seeker acquisition range for target with 0.05 m2RCS [km]
30 30

Technical data @ausairpower.net

Range of Russian S-300V4 system with new missile reaches 400 km: Here

Improved version of the 48N6


Russian surface-to-air missile. Improved version of the 48N6 for the S-300PMU-1 48N6E and S-400 systems, capable of shooting down tactical ballistic missiles at incoming speeds of 4.8 km/s or hypersonic targets flying at 3.0 km/s at 150 km altitude.

AKA: S-400. Payload: 180 kg (390 lb). Gross mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Height: 6.98 m (22.91 ft). Diameter: 0.52 m (1.69 ft). Span: 1.04 m (3.40 ft). Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

Maximum range: 400 km (240 mi). Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket. Minimum range:3.00 km (1.80 mi). Floor: 10 m (32 ft). 

Source @astronautix.com

103509085248N6 being launched – Image @sputniknews.com

Missile guidance

s-300v-vm-radar-params-2011-fImage @ausairpower.net

The 9S32ME multi-channel missile guidance radar is equipped to provide guidance for up to two missiles from the same launcher and a maximum of four missiles from different launchers. The radar is mounted in front of the 9A84ME launcher unit, providing 360º coverage in azimuth angle and 180º in elevation. It is mounted in a semi-fixed position on the 9A83ME launcher and provides 90º coverage in azimuth and 110º in elevation.

9S19ME sector-surveillance radar

sa 12 sa 23 battalion max:

9S15M2 (or 9S15MT2E, 9S15MVE2) all-round surveillance radar


9S32ME multi-channel missile guidance radar

sa 12 sa 23 battalion max:

The 9S32 Grill Pan is an engagement radar similar in concept and function to the MPQ-53 and 30N6, but larger with the antenna turret capable of slewing through ±340º. It will automatically acquire and track targets provided by the 9S457 command post, control the operation of TELAR mounted illuminators and generate midcourse guidance commands for up to 12 missiles fired at 6 targets concurrently. The S-300V system uses continuous wave illumination of targets and semi-active radar terminal homing, not unlike the US Navy RIM-66/67 series SAMs – the illuminators are carried on the 9A82 and 9A83 TELARs.

Like the 9S19, the 9S32 is a high power-aperture, coherent, X-band phased array, but specialised for missile guidance producing a mainlobe of around of 1º in width. The TWT based transmitter is rated at 150 kW peak and 10-13 kW average power, with receiver sensitivity cited at 10-17 Watts. Cited detection ranges are about 80 nautical miles for fighter sized targets, 40 nautical miles for SRAM class missiles and up to 80 nautical miles for larger IRBMs. The radar uses monopulse angle tracking techniques, frequency hopping in all modes to provide high jam resistance, and chirped waveforms providing a high compression ratio. Three auxiliary receiver channels are used for cancelling sidelobe jamming.

Two basic operating modes are used. In the first the 9S32 is controlled by the 9S457 command post and acquires targets within a narrow 5º x 6º field of view, alternately it can autonomously search and acquire targets within a 60º field of view. A telescoping mast datalink antenna is mounted aft of the array.

A more detailed discussion can be found under Engagement and Fire Control Radars, with a detailed technical analysis of the design under David Barton’s 9S32/32M Grill Pan Fire Control Radar.

9s32m-vs-mpq-53-1Image @ausairpower.net

While the S-300VM sees incremental improvements in most components, the 9M32M/ME engagement radar underwent a significant redesign, especially in the antenna. Brochure material produced by the manufacturer shows a design which can be best described as a hybrid of components from the Grill Pan and the High Screen. The larger aperture High Screen array is employed, combined with revised IFF array and interferometer / sidelobe blanker antenna array below the primary aperture. The high and low angle circular polarised monopulse space feeds are retained but repositioned for the different array geometry. The new enlarged aperture will exhibit almost twice the gain of the Grill Pan, much better angular resolution especially for targets near the zenith, and improved heightfinding performance.

The 9S32M/ME will have a much higher peak power rating compared to the 9S32 Grill Pan since the additional range of the 9M82M cannot be accommodated by the ~3 dB power-aperture improvement produced by the larger antenna alone. A more detailed analysis will not be possible until good quality imagery of prototypes or production systems becomes available. Source @ausairpower.net

The S-300VM surface-to-air missile defence system is also equipped with 9S19ME sector surveillance radar to track and detect the targets. it is also fitted with 9S15M2 circular observation radar to provide all-round surveillance, early warning and target acquisition data.

Main material source @army-technology.com

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