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Russian surface-to-air missile. The Osa concept was for a completely self-contained anti-aircraft missile system, which contained the search radar, missile guidance, and missile launchers all on one vehicle. Development was difficult, and it was over ten years from the beginning of work before the missile entered service.

AKA: 9K33;9M33;Gecko;Romb;SA-8. Status: Operational 1972. Payload: 19 kg (41 lb). Gross mass: 126 kg (277 lb). Height: 3.14 m (10.30 ft). Diameter: 0.21 m (0.68 ft). Span: 0.64 m (2.09 ft).

Antey developed the Osa, Osa-M, and export Osa-AKM surface-to-air missile systems. These were deployed within Soviet tank divisions to provide close-in air defence. Development was begun in October 1960, with the decree designating M M Kosichkin at NII-20 GKRE as the prime contractor for the overall system and the semi-active radar; A V Potopalov at KB-82 Tushkin Machine Works GKAT for the surface-to-air missile; VNII Signal GKOT for the stabiliser for the radar antenna and the electronics for the launcher; and State KB Compressor Machine Works GKAT for the launcher. The Osa and Osa-M were developed simultaneously, the Osa-M being the naval version for the VMF, designed for last-ditch defence of ships against incoming attackers.

Problems occurred early when KB-82 proved unable to develop a surface-to-air missile with the necessary mass and dimensions. State trials were to have begun in the fourth quarter 1963, but instead a new decree was issued in September 1964 assigning development of the surface-to-air missile to Grushin at MKB Fakel GKAT, while at the same time setting more realistic specifications for the rocket. A dual-thrust solid propellant motor provided reduced thrust for the cruise phase, allowing range objectives to finally be met. This engine was developed by OKB-81 GKAT using a telescoping nozzle.

The Osa version for the surface forces began trials in the second half of 1967 under the auspices of the PVO. These were unsuccessful, and in July 1968 further tests were cancelled, and a new schedule was set for tests of a redesigned 9M33 missile to begin in the second quarter of 1970. Meanwhile NII-20 GKAT had been reorganised as NIEMI Minadrioprom, with V P Efremov as the new chief designer, and I M Drize as his deputy. A complete reevaluation of Osa led to development of a new design 9K33 transporter-launcher by Bryansk Auto Works. The redesigned system successfully completed factory trials in March-June 1970, and state trails in July 1970 - February 1971. The missile was finally accepted by the surface forces for production, over ten years after development had begun. Various versions of this missile saw service in the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

Maximum target speed 2160 kph.

Radars: 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. Land Roll target acquisition radar, H band, range 30 km. Land Roll target tracking radar, J band, range 20 km. Thin Skin B high frequency radar. Maximum speed: 2450km/hr. Tracking radar: I. Surveillance radar: G/H. 20 m minimum altitude.


Osa-M Russian surface-to-air missile. Development of the basic Osa system to provide a short-range surface-to-air missile for larger ships.

Osa Saman Russian drone missile. Version of Osa used as a target drone.

Osa-AK Russian surface-to-air missile. In 1971-1974 a modernised version of Osa was developed with improved reliability.

Osa-AKM Russian surface-to-air missile. Version of Osa with improved anti-helicopter capability.

Country: Russia. Agency: Efremov/Grushin.

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