SAM "Osa"

SAM "Osa"


The Osa anti-aircraft missile system is an automated air defense system that is used to repel enemy air attacks at short ranges. Its technical characteristics provide cover from air strikes of a motorized rifle or tank division. The missile system operates both on the march and during the battle.


The development of the OSA "Osa" in 60-ies. XX century was due to the fact that aviation, avoiding anti-aircraft guided missiles, tried to attack the enemy at ultra low altitudes. As a result, the air defense system, which were in service in those years, turned out to be almost useless. If their tactical and technical characteristics were excellent for dealing with high-flying air targets, then for low-flying they posed practically no danger.

LAW "Osa" -1

As the new attack strategy of aviation was rapidly spreading around the world, many developed countries sought, as quickly as possible, to meet the challenges of designing new air defense systems that would effectively counter low-flying targets. However, the technical level of development even of such a powerful state as the United States of America did not allow developing an air defense system that would successfully hit low-flying targets. In this regard, they were far ahead of the Soviet designers, who made a breakthrough in the creation of new types of weapons.


The history of the OSR "Osa"


According to the decree of the Council of Ministers and the Central Committee of the CPSU from 27.10.1960, work on the development of a new air defense system began in the same 1960 year. Responsible for the development of NII-20 of the USSR State Committee on Radio Electronics. The whole process was led by Taranovsky, who Kosichkin replaced in the near future.

LAW "Osa" -2

To this day, before the Soviet designers did not set so much the difficult task of creating an autonomous air defense system. As planned, the new anti-aircraft missile system should combine on a single basis such devices:

  • Means of detection and tracking of various types of air targets.
  • Means of navigation.
  • Topography tools.
  • Launcher, which would be responsible for launching anti-aircraft guided missiles.
  • Independent sources of power supply.

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Plus, the new air defense complex must also be floating. After several attempts at development, it became clear to specialists that one scientific research institute-20 could not cope with such a task. Therefore, the development of air defense missile systems was assigned to a number of research institutes and design bureaus:

  • Responsible for the entire project, as already indicated above, was the Scientific Research Institute-20 of the State Committee for Radio Electronics. In addition, this research institute was entrusted with the development of a combat vehicle.
  • Design Bureau No. XXUMX was appointed to design and test the anti-aircraft guided missile. Chief designer responsible for the creation of the rocket - A. Potopalov.
  • Kutaisi Automobile Plant was responsible for the development of self-propelled chassis.
  • The All-Union Scientific Research Institute for Electrical Equipment was responsible for creating a common power supply system for the anti-aircraft missile system.


Together with the development of the self-propelled air defense system "Osa", the development of a similar system "Osa-M", the main task of which was to ensure the protection of ships of the Navy from various types of low-flying air threats.


Since military intelligence in 60. Successfully worked in the United States, the USSR government was aware that a potential adversary was engaged in developing its own autonomous and mobile air defense system, which is located on a self-propelled chassis. It was a novelty, referred to as "Mauler." Her task was to protect American troops from low-flying air targets at a distance of ten to fifteen kilometers.

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As a result, the creation of the Soviet air defense system was carried out fast themes. But over time, it became clear that such a panic was in vain, because the American project failed - it was curtailed in the summer of 1965.


Difficulties in developing the OSA "Osa"


The development of the OSA "Osa" in the USSR also progressed rather slowly. The designated design bureaus and research institutes could not cope with the tasks. Some of the main designers responsible for the development of different units were replaced by others, but this measure did not help.

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In the autumn of 1964, a new developer was appointed, which was the Fakel SAM-BANK. Then the chief designer of this enterprise was Grushin. The development of a floating self-propelled chassis was also transferred to another company - the Bryansk Automobile Plant.


The chief designer of the air defense system became Efremov, director of the National Research and Development Institute of the USSR Ministry of Radio Industry.


After such a large-scale reshuffle, the creation of the Osa air defense system went much more successfully and in the 1970 year, the first prototype of the complex entered the Emby polygon. There he successfully passed all the tests.


In the autumn of 1971, the ZRK was commissioned by the USSR Army, and a year later it entered into service with the air defense of the Ground Forces. The public first saw the OSA Osa at a military parade held in November 1975 of the year on Red Square in Moscow.

Description and characteristics of the air defense system "Osa"

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The air defense system "Osa" is able to independently follow motorized rifle and tank divisions in different weather conditions. Thanks to its unique chassis design, it has excellent buoyancy and visibility. It is also highly efficient and has good noise protection.


The composition of the mobile self-propelled SAM "Osa":

  • Charging machine.
  • The machine 9А33Б, equipped with guidance and launch missiles.
  • Intelligence systems.
  • Guided missile 9М33.


Both the loader and the combat vehicle are located on the BAZ-5937 floating chassis. This three-axle chassis has excellent cross-country ability in off-road conditions and can overcome water obstacles. In addition, it is equipped with the following devices:

  • Navigation
  • Power takeoff generator.
  • Life support systems.
  • Power supply systems.


This complex, in addition to being able to move independently, can be transported by rail or IL-76 cargo planes. The powerful engine provides the Osa air defense system with a maximum speed of up to 80 kilometers per hour along the highway. On dirt roads, the complex moves at speeds up to 55 kilometers per hour.


If necessary, the air defense system can dust at a speed of up to 10 kilometers per hour. In this case, the engine provides the operation of a special water jet. As for the chassis, it is capable of towing trailers up to 7 kilograms.


A powerful radar station is responsible for detecting enemy targets. It detects aerial targets, both in motion and in place. In addition, the air defense missile system can identify targets on the principle of "your - someone else's".


Serial production of the Osa anti-aircraft missile system took place at two enterprises:

  • Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant was responsible for the production of the combat vehicle itself.
  • Kirov Machine-Building Plant was responsible for the production of anti-aircraft guided missiles.

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It is worth noting that before 1975, the OSA “Osa” was made without major upgrades. And only this year, the upgraded Osa-AK air defense system entered into service with the Army. The following changes occurred:

  • Instead of 4 9М33 missiles, 6 9М33М2 missiles appeared.
  • The affected area has increased. Now the complex could hit planes whose speed reached 500 meters per second (the base model could shoot down planes only if their speed did not exceed 420 meters per second).
  • The location of electronic equipment has changed. Most of it was placed on the new element base. Thanks to this innovation, it was possible to reduce the weight of the kit, increase overall reliability and reduce energy consumption.
  • Rockets with new fuses. Their design has changed, making it possible to reduce the minimum height of destruction of targets from 50 meters to 25 meters.


As you can see, the upgraded air defense missile system significantly exceeded the basic model in the above-listed characteristics.


Modification of the Osa-AKM air defense missile system

The next modification of the air defense system was "Osa-AKM". She entered service in 1980 year. The main difference of the modification was the increased ability to combat military aircraft. Since, starting with 1970-x. military helicopters were massively equipped with anti-tank missiles, the air defense system had to be modified to reflect these nuances.

The Osa-AKM air defense system successfully attacked not only moving, but also “hovering” targets in the air. The missiles received a modernized fuse, so that the target could be destroyed almost at zero heights. At the same time, the distance to the air target should not be less than two kilometers. The maximum damage range is up to 6,5 kilometers.

Modifications "Wasp", developed in other countries

In addition to the above modifications, there are others that have been made in Poland and Belarus.


“Osa-1T” is a modification that was created in Belarus. Modernization works have been going on since 2001. After all the improvements of the complex, it was demonstrated in Polish Klce and Minsk. Specialists made the following improvements:

  • They have introduced a modern optoelectronic system, the main task of which is target tracking. This system is designed so that it can be operated even with full radio-electronic suppression.
  • The complex's protection against interference has been modernized, its range has increased.
  • Thanks to the modifications, the complex was able to hit air targets flying at an altitude of up to seven kilometers at a distance of up to twelve kilometers.
  • The upgraded complex can hit targets that fly at speeds up to 700 meters per second.

Maintainability and overall resource of the anti-aircraft missile system have been significantly increased.


The next modernized machine was built on the basis of the Osa anti-aircraft missile system - T-38 Stilet. It was also developed in Belarus. The main difference between this upgrade is the presence of a two-stage T-382 rocket. If problems arise with the production of two-stage rockets, the complex will be able to use the 9М33М3 model rockets, which are included in the Osa-AKM kit.

Another modification - Polish SA-8 Sting. It is not much different from the Belarusian "Osa-1T". Here is a joint development with Belarus.

Tactical and technical characteristics of the OSR "Osa" (base model)

  • Combat weight - 18 kg.
  • Body length - 9140 mm.
  • Case width - 2750 mm.
  • Height with lowered radar - 4200 mm.
  • Crew - 5 man.
  • The firing range is from 1500 to 10 m.
  • Armament - 4 guided missiles 9М33.
  • Engine power - 300 l / s. Maximum speed on the highway - up to 70 km per hour; off-road - 35 km per hour. In addition, the complex can move even swim. Its speed in this case is up to 10 km per hour.

The wheel formula 6х6 provides to a complex quiet movement in the conditions of lack of roads.


The “Osa” air defense missile system and its modifications are now included in the armament of the Land Forces of the Russian Federation and many other countries, and this despite the fact that modern air defense systems surpass them in many characteristics. While the army does not plan to get rid of them.

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