The ZRK 9A35M2 "Strela-10M2"(Lit. Arrow; NATO codename: SA-13 Gopher) is one of the missile system that composed the extensive air-defense layers of Soviet and Warsaw Pact ground forces. As the direct upgrade upgrade of the previous 9K31 Strela-1 systems, the Strela-10M2 systems were developed as placeholder before the new 9K22 Tungska (2S6) system could be developed by 1970s; however, the system was not very reliable against jets of its era during field tests and was delayed to mid-1970s for deployment. The systems, which could be said as the close-layer of air-defense network for army corps, are still being used by many ex-Soviet republics with upgrades introduced to the missile seeker for better counter-ECCM capabilities.
Introduced in Update "Apex Predators" as Soviet's first SAM battery in-game, although the 9A35M2 launcher vehicle doesn't have divisional search vehicles (especially MT-LBU with 9S80 search radar) nor commander vehicles to search aerial targets; but hiding the vehicle and seek for opportunities to take down enemy jets or helicopters that gets too close is achievable. Be sure not to rush to the front as the vehicle have nothing but only a PKM light machine gun to harass enemies or gunning down exposed crews in very rare occasions.
Survivability and armour
The survivability of the 10M2 is lacking, which is to be expected of a small SPAA vehicle. However, it is not without some quirks that can sometimes keep a player alive.
The thickest armour on the vehicle is only 14 mm, the rest is 7 mm. This is barely enough to protect the crew from stray low-calibre MG fire and more distant shrapnel, and will not provide any protection against higher-calibre MGs, rocket and bomb explosions, or even the odd HE shell.
The interesting part of the 10M2 is its relatively uncluttered interior that can make hasty enemy shots ineffective. Two of the three crew members sit in the very front of the hull (commander and driver), with the third (gunner) towards the rear underneath the launcher assembly. The engine sits in the middle of the vehicle, with the rear section holding a few spare missiles. Therefore, when enemy fire strikes the middle of the vehicle (which many players instinctively aim for), it will often knock out the gunner and/or the turret assembly but leave the front two crew members, and sometimes even the engine, unscathed, allowing the 10M2 to get away.
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull||___ mm|| ___ mm Top
___ mm Bottom
|___ mm||___ - ___ mm|
|Turret|| ___ - ___ mm Turret front
___ mm Gun mantlet
|___ - ___ mm||___ - ___ mm||___ - ___ mm|
|Cupola||___ mm||___ mm||___ mm||___ mm|
The 10M2's mobility is solidly average. The engine can propel the little vehicle at a decent speed but takes a while to do so, and is not happy when climbing hills. A not often used but still valuable feature is the 10M2's amphibious capability, allowing it to reach a few places and take some shorter routes that other vehicles cannot. In all, while the 10M2 will not win many races against other vehicles, it is still fast enough to do its job well.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The 9M37M missile is a worthy analogue to the Stinger-type missiles found on Western IR SAM vehicles such as the Ozelot, Type 93, and LAV-AD. It doesn't have as good lock characteristics, notably in frontal aspect engagements, but makes up for it with an overload of 20G, double any contemporary ground-based IR SAM system except for the SIDAM 25 (Mistral) and the SANTAL, both of which still only have 12G missiles. Against highly manoeuvrable targets, these missiles are far easier to score hits with.
There are no missile upgrades available, the stock missile is the top missile. The proximity fuse and warhead weight are both sufficient for destroying or crippling any aerial target it connects with, with the only drawback being the seeker head - it is easily decoyed by flares, a feature familiar to users of Russian aerial infrared missiles.
|9M37M missile||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
|2||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__|
The 7.62 mm MG on the 10M2 is pretty much an afterthought, given that open-top vehicles are exceedingly rare at this BR. However, it is very handy to have around for clearing small fences or obstacles in front of the vehicle, something other IR SAM vehicles like the Type 93 and Ozelot cannot do. It is not recommended to use this as an offensive weapon against air targets given its limited firing arcs and the fact that the 10M2 already has very nice missiles for that exact purpose.
|7.62 mm PKMB|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
Due to the lack of the supporting vehicles of a common Soviet AA batteries especially a radar vehicle, players will have to rely on the voicelines from the crew, the sound of rotor/jet or visual acquisition of enemy aircrafts; the other flaw that hinders the overall combat capabilities is the short all-aspect lock-on range (at only 3 km), although this is some improvement from previous ZSU-23-4 with barely 2.5 km effective range, it can still make sure enemy aircrafts would think twice before entering the battlefield for CAS operations. At such, the best way to use the 10M2 is as a short-range surprise weapon against enemy aircraft and sometimes helicopters. The missiles cannot reach as far as many of the radar missile-equipped SPAA vehicles you will often be playing alongside, but they have very good overload and do not give the enemy a radar warning. Engaging aircraft that are busy with other targets or just starting to exit the battlefield is the best way to engage, as distracted enemies are less likely to see the missile and dump flares.
The worst enemy of this vehicle is helicopters, at any range. At long range, they are outside the lock range of the 10M2's missile while being well within the range of their own ATGMs. At closer range (below about 1 mile/1.6 km), the missile is often unable to track enemy helicopters due to its launch characteristics. Helicopters around the 10M2's BR also start to get IRCM equipment, making IR lock even more difficult. High-altitude aircraft are more of the same thing, being able to loft missiles and bombs at ground targets from outside the missile's lock-on distance.
Pros and cons
- The missiles have a high overload factor, more than any other ground-launched IR missile
- Small size, it can easily hide behind rocks, bushes, or buildings
- Except for the launcher assembly, the rest of the vehicle is very low to the ground
- Amphibious, can reach a few places other vehicles cannot
- More survivable than it seems due to crew placement and empty space in the rear of the vehicle
- Can't engage most helicopters equipped with ATGMs due to the short all-aspect lock-on range
- No search radar. A 3-mile (10 km) range 9S86 tracking radar is all you get
- Engine suffers on inclines, hills are not your friend
The ZRK 9A35M2 'Strela-10M2' was built to be the successor of the 9K31 'Strela-1' built on the BRDM-2 wheeled chassis, and is able to use the older missile from that platform if needed. Development of the new vehicle began on July 24th, 1969, with the decision being made to continue developing a new IR SAM system in spite of the 9K22 'Tunguska' also being developed at the same time, economical reasons often being cited as the main deciding factor to continue with both. The faster reaction time of the Strela missile system, as well as its immunity to radar jamming, were also highly desired by the Soviet Army's anti-aircraft forces.
Unlike the previous Strela system, being mounted on a lightly-armoured amphibious car, the new vehicle would be mounted on the newer and more mobile MT-LB, an infantry transport vehicle from the late 1950s. This would provide far more room for equipment and extra ammunition, among other things.
The 9M37 missile went through testing from 1973 to 1974, but disappointing results forced a delay while the kinks were ironed out. Designers of the Strela system used this time to introduce improved equipment onto the MT-LB base vehicle, such as more modern radios and provisioning for easier connection to the Soviet integrated air defense system in use at the time.
The vehicle was first introduced in 1976 and has been in service ever since. Combat usage first occurred in 1988 during the Angolan Civil War, with the first large-scale use of the system being Operation Desert Storm, during which it is believed 27 coalition aircraft were hit by Iraqi missiles, with 14 of those being lost.
- Western counterparts
|USSR anti-aircraft vehicles|
|GAZ-AAA||GAZ-AAA (4M) · GAZ-AAA (DShK)|
|Wheeled/Half-tracked||GAZ-MM (72-K) · BTR-152A · ZiS-12 (94-KM) · ZiS-43|
|Radar SPAAG||ZSU-23-4 · ZSU-37-2|
|SAM||Strela-10M2 · 2S6 · Pantsir-S1|
|Other||ZUT-37 · ZSU-37 · BTR-ZD · ZSU-57-2|
|North Vietnam||▂Phòng không T-34|