1,500 of Soviet 9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS and 100 MG3 arrived in Ukraine

KYIV, ($1=29.65 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — Ukraine has received a shipment from Germany, including the delivery of 1,500 units of the Soviet hand-held surface-to-air missile system 9K32 Strela-2, as well as 100 MG3 machine guns, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing a German source. Another 1,200 units of Soviet 9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS will be delivered in the coming weeks, according to a source in the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense at the German Ministry of Defense. NATO’s 9K32 Arrow-2 name is SA-7 Grail.

Germany donates Soviet-made 9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS to Ukraine
Photo credit: Falcon Lounge

As we wrote on March 3, Germany has decided to open warehouses with old Soviet weapons from the Cold War era and the Berlin Wall, and to help Ukrainians in their war against Russia. 2,700 units of Man-portable air-defense systems 9K32 Strela-2 will be immediately delivered to Kyiv.

MG3 general-purpose machine gun

The MG3 machine gun is a 7.62 × 51mm NATO German machine gun designed during World War II and then firing the 7.92 × 57mm Mauser round. The machine gun has a rich military history, having taken part not only in the Second World War but also in at least 15 other known military conflicts, including civil wars around the world. MG3 is used by all parties to the conflict, from the official armament of dozens of countries to the armament of bandits or terrorist groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria.

1,500 of Soviet 9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS and 100 MG3 arrived in Ukraine
Photo credit: Wikipedia

MG3 weighs 11 kg, and if mounted on a tripod the whole system reaches 27.5 kg. The operating range is from 200 to 1,200 meters, and its fire rate is from 800 to 1,300 rounds/min, depending on the modification. MG3 machine gun feed system is a 50-round non-disintegrating DM1 belt [can be combined in a drum]; 100-round disintegrating DM6 / M13 belt.

9K32 Strela-2 in the Soviet-Afghan war

9K32 Strela-2 is a legend in the Soviet-Afghan war, which ended in 1989 with the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the Asian country. During the conflict, Egypt and China, as well as other CIA-assisted third countries, supplied Soviet-made 9K32 Strela-2s to the mujahideen. 9K32 Strela-2 began shooting down Soviet Mi helicopters and low-flying aircraft during the Soviet-Afghan war. This encouraged the mujahideen, and although many of the 9K32 Arrow-2s donated to them were old or broken, the balance of power began to tilt in favor of the mujahideen.

9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS

This weapon is a legend. He has participated in 30 regional conflicts and wars around the world. The 9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS has been in production since 1968 and is still in use today. It was designed four years earlier.

Germany-donates-Soviet-made-9K32-Strela-2-MANPADS-to-Ukraine-1
Photo credit: Wikipedia

9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS has a diameter of 72 mm and weighs between 10 and 15 kg depending on the variations. The maximum range varies from 3,700 to 4,200 meters. The maximum speed of the projectile can reach 500 m / s at a height of up to 2,300 meters.

The warhead of the missile fired by 9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS weighs exactly 1.15 kg. The warhead is exploding with directed energy.

How 9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS works

When preparing a rocket, the starting source of energy is turned on first. The self-targeting head [GOS] is powered. After 5 seconds, the rotor of the gyroscope on autopilot rotates and the anti-aircraft missile system is ready for battle. At the right moment, the shooter points the trigger at the target and presses the trigger.

As soon as the thermal radiation of the target enters the field of view of GOS, the shooter is notified by an audible signal. And when the head goes into automatic tracking mode, it will see a light signal. After 0.8 s, the voltage is applied to the delay unit and the electric igniter of the powder pressure accumulator. After another 0.6 s the battery enters the operating mode, the voltage is applied to the electric igniter of the exhaust motor. Approximately 1.5 s after the light signal appears, the rocket launches.

Germany donates Soviet-made 9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS to Ukraine
Photo credit: Wikipedia

As soon as the main part of it leaves the launch tube, the rudders open under the action of the springs. Then the stabilizers are tilted and at a distance of 5-6 m from the shooter the marching engine is started. At the beginning of the main engine, under the action of inertial forces, a special inertial stopper is switched off, which prepares the explosive device for detonation. At a distance of 80-250 m from the shooter, the second stage of protection is activated – the pyrotechnic fuses burn out completely and the preparation of the explosive device is completed.

During the flight, the optical axis of the self-guiding head is always aimed at the target: regardless of the position of the longitudinal axis of the missile, the head follows the target and adjusts the course of the missile until it meets the target. In case of omission after 14-17 seconds from the moment of launch, the self-liquidator is activated and the missile is destroyed.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

Ukraine 'uses' 30 US fighters, incl F-35 and AWACS in the war
Photo credit: Emilio Morenatti/AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared martial law throughout Ukraine. Air raid sirens were heard throughout Ukraine for most of the day. Ukraine’s ICT infrastructure has already deteriorated as a result of Russian cyber-attacks and bombardments. Several Ukrainian cities or buildings have been occupied, including the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

However, per a US defence official, Russians forces are “meeting more resistance” in advance towards Kyiv “than they expected”; a statement repeated by James Heappey, Britain’s current Minister for the Armed Forces the next day.

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