As much as 30% of Israeli fighter formations were shot down by this missile on their first encounter - 30 aircraft in the first day of the war alone. The Israelis and their American backers were not aware of and had no electronic countermeasure for the Kub's continuous-wave illuminating radars. The only effective solution was to fly the aircraft directly at the approaching missile, and then descend under it at the last moment.
The Kub 2K12 surface-to-air missile system (export name Kvadrat) had been accepted by the Soviet land forces for production in 1966. This had been developed by V V Tikhomirov at OKB-11 GKAT (later NIIP Priborostroeniya named for V V Tikhomirov). Development had begun under Tikhomirov in accordance with a decree of July 1958. He directed the work until 1962. From then his deputy Ya N Figorovskiy was responsible, with the project development being led by his first deputy, V K Grishin. The Ulyanovsk Mechanical Works began series production in 1967. By 1971 the missile had been exported to 22 countries.
The system consisted of two associated vehicles: the 1S91 SURN (self-propelled vehicle, developed by A A Rastov at OKB-15 GKAT) with the search and tracking radars) and the 2P25 self-propelled launcher, developed by A I Yaskin, at SKB-203 GKAT, later known as KB Compressor Machinery) which carried three beam-riding missiles. A battery consisted of one 1S91 and four 2P25 - a total of twelve missiles which could be brought to bear on a range of targets.
The 3M9 surface-to-air missile was developed by KB-82 Factory 134 GKAT (later GosMKB Vympel) under the direction of A l Lyapin. The all-moving wing aerodynamic scheme controlled flight by movement of the four deployable wings, with stability provided by four fixed fins aft. The semi-active, self-guiding homing head was developed by I G Akopyan at OKB-15.
Maximum target speed 2160 kph. Reaction time from track to launch 28 seconds. System can be active 5 minutes after arrival at site and deactivated in the same time in 'shoot and scoot' mode. One target can be tracked at a time. Three missiles per launcher.
Radars: P-12/1RL14 Spoon Rest early warning radar, A band, range 275 km. P-40 Long Track early warning radar, E band, range 175 km. P-15/1RL13 Flat Face target acquisition radar, C band, range 250 km. Score Board A target acquisition radar. 1S91 Straight Flush target tracking radar, G band, range 75 km. 1S91 Straight Flush high frequency radar, H band, range 25 km. Thin Skin B height finding radar.
Standard warhead: 59 kg (130 lb). Maximum range: 24 km (14 mi). Boost Propulsion: Integral rocket/ramjet. Maximum speed: 2,160 kph (1,340 mph). Minimum range: 3.70 km (2.20 mi). Initial Operational Capability: 1967. Floor: 50 m (164 ft). Surveillance Radar: Long Track/E. Tracking Radar: Straight Flush C/G/H/I.
AKA: 3M9; SA-6; 2K12; Gainful; Kub; 3M9M / 9M9.
Gross mass: 580 kg (1,270 lb).
Payload: 59 kg (130 lb).
Height: 5.80 m (19.00 ft).
Diameter: 0.34 m (1.10 ft).
Span: 1.24 m (4.06 ft).
Apogee: 14 km (8 mi).