December 11 1957 By a decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and USSR Council, the CA-75 “Dvina” anti-aircraft missile system with the 1D (B-750) missile was adopted by the USSR Central Committee and Soviet SM and the USSR Air Defense Forces (for more details: The first Soviet mass ZRK C-75 ).
The S-75 family of air defense systems for a long time formed the basis of the Soviet anti-aircraft missile forces and, after the appearance of the low-altitude C-125 and the long-range C-200, served in mixed brigades. The first Dvina complexes at the end of the 50s were deployed on the western borders of the USSR. At the personal request of Mao Zedong, several missile battalions, together with Soviet specialists, were sent to the PRC. Later they were deployed in the rear areas of the USSR around the administrative and industrial centers, the SA-75 "Dvina" covered Soviet troops in Cuba and in the Warsaw Pact countries.
7 of October 1959 of the year opened its battle score “seventy heels” by shooting down a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft of the American production RB-57D in the vicinity of Beijing. Then, 1may 1960, under Sverdlovsk, they "landed" U-2 Gary Powers, and in 1962, over Cuba, their victim was U-2, Major Rudolph Anderson. Subsequently, C-75 of various modifications took part in numerous armed conflicts, having a great influence on the course and nature of the hostilities, becoming the most belligerent air defense missile system in the world (see details here: Combat use of C-75 anti-aircraft missile system).
The moment of defeat of ZUR B-750 SA-N SA-75 “Dvina” of the American fighter-bomber F-105
According to the results of the hostilities in Vietnam and the Middle East, in order to improve the operational and service and combat characteristics of the C-75 air defense system were repeatedly upgraded. The hardware of the complex was upgraded, new modifications of missiles were adopted, which made it possible to increase the noise immunity and expand the affected area. In order to increase the effectiveness of firing at low-flying maneuvering and high-speed small-sized targets, the 75Я2 rocket was introduced into the C – 5М23 (MH) complexes, which became the most effective missile defense system for the air defense system of this family.
C – 75М, C – 75М2, С – 75М3 attack zones when firing at B – 755, 5Я23
According to foreign estimates, in the first half of the 80's in the Soviet Union, about 4500 launchers of C-75 type complexes were deployed. As of the 1991 year in the USSR, in combat units and in “storage”, there were about 400 S-CN-75 air defense missile systems of various modifications. Production of missiles for these complexes continued until the mid 80-ies.
The issue of introducing solid-fuel or direct-flow rockets into the C-75 was repeatedly considered. Based on the experience of combat use, the military wanted to get a mobile multi-channel anti-aircraft complex with high fire performance and the possibility of firing at targets from any direction regardless of the position of the launcher. As a result, work on a major improvement in the C-75 led to the creation of the C-1978PT mobile air defense system in 300. The 5B55K (B-500K) SAM system with the radio command guidance system ensured the destruction of targets at a distance of up to 47 km. Although the launch range of the first C-300PT missiles was comparable to the latest C-75 variants, the three-hundred-thousand solid-propellant missiles did not require dangerous and complex refueling with liquid fuel and oxidizer. All C-300PT elements were placed on the mobile chassis, the time of combat deployment and coagulation of the complex was reduced many times, which ultimately had an impact on survival. The new complex, which came to replace the C-75, has become multichannel in purpose, its fire performance and noise immunity have significantly increased.
The operation of the C-75 SAMs of all modifications in Russia was completed in the 1996 year. Of course, by that time these complexes in many ways did not meet modern requirements, and a significant part of them had developed a resource. But those who have undergone refurbishment and modernization of the C – 75М2, C – 75М3 and relatively fresh C – 75М4, equipped with a television-optical viewfinder with a duplicate channel of the target and equipment “Doubler” with remote simulators of the CHP, could still, at least, 10 years guard on secondary directions or complement more advanced systems. Probably the longest on duty at the southwestern tip of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, at least on satellite images of a decade ago, missile launchers for positions in the area can be observed. It is possible that the leadership of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation decided that leaving the complexes in positions is less expensive compared to their export to the "mainland".
From the second half of the 80-ies, the C-75 air defense system began to be transferred en masse to “storage” and “be utilized”. After 1991, this process in Russia took a precipitous character. Most of the transferred "for storage" complexes were dismantled, barbarically stolen electronic components containing non-ferrous and precious metals, however, this applied not only to C-75, but also to other military equipment left without proper care and protection. By the beginning of 2000-x most of the complexes C-75, located on the bases of storage, was rendered unsuitable for further use and was divided into scrap metal. A part of the anti-aircraft missiles that carried service in the USSR Air Defense Forces, the fate turned out to be happier, they were converted into target missiles: RM-75, Kite and Sinitsa-23. Re-equipment of combat missiles on a target that simulate enemy cruise and ballistic missiles has reduced costs during training and control shooting of air defense calculations and increased the level of realism during exercises.
In the interests of potential foreign customers at the end of 1990-x - the beginning of 2000-s, Russian developers proposed a number of modernization options that were supposed to increase the combat potential and increase the service life of the C-75 anti-aircraft systems remaining in service. The most advanced version of the Volga-75А C-2-2 modernization was based on the use of unified digital hardware, made using technical solutions implemented in the C-300PMU 1 export ZRS. According to the developer of the Volga C-75 air defense system, Almaz Scientific and Production Association, this modernization is most appropriate according to the “cost-effectiveness” criterion.
During Soviet times, around 800 C-75 of various modifications were supplied abroad. In addition to the direct supply of anti-aircraft complexes and missiles, the Soviet enterprises and mobile teams of specialists carried out medium and major overhaul of equipment and modernization in order to extend the resource and improve combat performance.
Launch of the romanian S-75М3 “Volkhov” missile at the Black Sea Corby range in 2007
The last deliveries of the C-75М3 Volga in 1987 were in Angola, Vietnam, South Yemen, Cuba and Syria. After 1987, only one Volkhov C-75М3 complex was supplied to Romania in 1988. Apparently, the complexes put for export in 1987-1988 are capitally repaired air defense systems, which were previously in service in the Soviet Union. Production of C-75 in our country ended in 1985 after the completion of Syrian and Libyan export orders. Some of these complexes, produced in 80-s, are still in use. So the Romanian C-75М3 “Volkhov” remained the only active air defense systems of this type in Europe. Three anti-aircraft missile battalions (sdn) are still deployed around Bucharest.
Satellite image of Google earth: the position of the C-75 SAM system in the vicinity of Bucharest
The С-75 complexes, which were available in the countries of Eastern Europe after their entry into NATO and in order to “integrate” into a single defense space, were scrapped. Some of those who are more fortunate have taken an honorable place in the exhibition displays of museums.
SAM missiles S-75 at the National Museum aviation and US cosmonautics
Surviving to the XXI century, "seventy-five" were exploited in the Middle East and North Africa. From Asian countries, they remained in the DPRK and in Vietnam (they are currently being replaced by S-300P and Israeli Spider air defense systems). In Cuba, some of the combat elements of the complex, such as the CHP-75 and PU, were transferred to the chassis tanks T-55. However, it raises doubts about the possibility of long-term transportation of rockets in rough form over rough terrain with significant vibration loads. The guidance station on the tracked chassis looks especially comical.
Cuban version of the modernization of the C-75
American aggression in Iraq and a series of internal armed conflicts in Arab countries have significantly reduced the fleet of capable C-75 systems. In 2003, in the course of Operation Iraqi Freedom, due to poor technical condition of the main Iraqi air defense missile system, the destruction of surveillance radars and the destruction of the command and control system, the C-75 anti-aircraft complexes of the coalition aircraft did not launch the aircraft. It was noted that several unguided missiles were launched in the direction of the advancing American troops. Most of the Iraqi air defense weapons were destroyed in the first days after the outbreak of hostilities during the preventive air strikes of American and British aircraft.
In the period from 1974 to 1986, Iraq received 46 C-75M and C-75М3, as well as 1336 B-755 and 680 B-759 missiles to them. According to US intelligence in the 2003, the 12 divisions were operational, and as a result, because of the passivity of the Iraqi command, they all turned into scrap metal.
During 10 years from 1975 to 1985 years from the Soviet Union 39 СРК 75М and С-75М3 and 1374 ЗРК В-755 and В-759 were delivered to Libya for them. From the second half of the 90-x, the Libyan leadership did not pay enough attention to the state of their own armed forces, and the entire air defense system built on Soviet patterns began to decline. In 2010, due to poor technical condition, the combat duty was carried no more than 10 complexes. After the start of the civil war in the 2011 year and the subsequent intervention of Western countries in it, the entire Libyan air defense system was first disorganized and then completely destroyed, failing to provide any noticeable resistance to the means of NATO air attack.
Satellite image of Google earth: the position of the destroyed Libyan ZRK C-75 in the vicinity of Tripoli
The Libyan anti-aircraft missile systems were either destroyed during air strikes and artillery and mortar attacks, or captured by the rebels. Part of the C-125 and Kvadrat solid-propellant missiles was redone for firing at ground targets, but rather cumbersome, requiring refueling with liquid fuel and oxidizer, the C-75 missiles are largely unsuitable for use. It was reported that the powerful 190 kg combat units of the C-75M Volga anti-aircraft missiles, giving more than 3500 debris, were used by the Islamists as land mines.
Syria was another major Middle Eastern C-75 operator. The number of air defense systems delivered to this country from the USSR is unprecedented. The C-75M and C-75М3 ADMS alone from 1974 to 1987 were transferred to 52 units. Also 1918 missiles B-755 / B-759 are supplied to these complexes.
Thanks to the presence of well-trained personnel in the country and the maintenance and repair base established with the help of the USSR, the Syrian air defense missile systems were maintained at a fairly high degree of combat readiness. The hardware of the complexes regularly underwent a refurbishment and a “small modernization”, and the missiles were sent to THAT in specially created arsenals. Before the start of the civil war in SAR, they were on combat duty around 30 S-75M / M3.
Satellite image of Google earth: the position of the Syrian ZRK C-75 in Tartus
Some of them still continue to serve in areas controlled by government forces. Most of the Syrian anti-aircraft systems were either evacuated to bases and airfields controlled by the government army, or destroyed during shelling. Their contribution to the destruction of the Syrian air defense system continues to make the Israeli Air Force, regularly striking at positions of the air defense system and radar in the border areas.
Before the cessation of military-technical cooperation with the Soviet Union, the following were delivered to Egypt: 2 SA-N-SA-75M Dvina, 32-ZRK C-75-Desna, 47 ZRK-75-M-D-NN and 8 Z-K-NNXX-Volga as well as about 75 rockets to them. These complexes have been used for a long time by the Egyptian air defense forces, most of them deployed along the Suez Canal. For the placement of elements of the complexes and combat calculations in Egypt, fortified concrete protective structures were built, capable of withstanding close breaks of large-caliber bombs.
Satellite image of Google earth: the position of the Egyptian air defense system C-75 on the Suez Canal
However, in view of the relations with the Soviet Union that were spoiled, in Egypt, as the air defense complexes developed their resources at the beginning of the 80s, the problem of their maintenance, repair and modernization was acute, which prompted the Egyptians to begin independent work in this direction. The main purpose of the work was the extension of the service life and modernization of the 600D missiles that were outdated at that time, and which had served the warranty periods, at 13. Specialists from the French company "Tomson-CSF" also connected to this topic. The modernized version of the Egyptian C-75 was called, in an oriental way, poeticly - "Thayr Al-Sabah" ("Morning Bird"). At present, approximately 25 upgraded “seventy-fiveyears” are deployed in positions in Egypt. In exchange for samples of Soviet missile and aviation equipment supplied to the People's Republic of China, the Chinese helped launch the production of missiles to Egypt for the existing C-75 air defense systems, which, along with the repair and modernization of the complexes, is the reason for their enviable longevity.
In the second half of January, 2016, a video appeared on the network, which allegedly captured the process of destroying the American drone by Yemeni air defense missile systems C-75. It is not clear where and when the low-quality shots were taken that captured the combat work of the air defense system P-18 radar, as well as the night launch of the missile and debris of unknown origin, issued for the downed UAV.
From 1980 to 1987, the year South and North Yemen (now it is a single state) received the 18 Volga C-75М3 air defense missile system, as well as more 600 missiles to them. Prior to that, 4 CA-75М Dvina and 136 B-750 missiles were delivered to South Yemen, but at the moment these complexes and the Zour are certainly not operational. As of 2010, the year in Yemen in working condition was no more than 10 C-75 ADMS.
Since 2006, fighting in Yemen has been unleashed between armed militants from the Shiite insurgent Ansar Alla movement (aka the Houthis) on the one hand and the pro-government armed forces and Saudi Arabia on the other. During the armed clashes, the Hussites managed to seize a number of key regions of the country and large military bases and seriously press the armed forces of a pro-American government. After a real prospect emerged that the Shiites would establish control over the entire territory of the country under the leadership of Saudi Arabia, an Arab coalition was formed, which launched 25 March 2015 of the year to launch air strikes against targets in Yemen. First of all, the Hussite-controlled air base in Sana and air defense facilities were bombed.
Satellite image of Google earth: destroyed as a result of an air strike Yemen s-radar C-75
Judging by the reports of news agencies and 2015 satellite images of the year, as a result of air strikes in the combat zone, not only the stationary positions of the C-75 and C-125 SAMs, but also the Kvadrat mobile military complexes were destroyed. In the conditions of the desert terrain and full control of the airspace of Saudi aviation, the outdated anti-aircraft complex has little chance of survival. C-75 air defense systems require long-term deployment with the installation of antenna posts and cable docking. Filling and loading missiles for launchers are quite complex and unsafe operations that require stable skills achieved during training. The characteristics of mobility, noise immunity and secrecy of the C-75 air defense system no longer correspond to modern realities. To date, Saudi fighter-bombers F-15SA are the most advanced in the F-15 family, they are equipped with additional weapon systems and EW. In addition, the C-75 air defense system cannot act on its own. For their successful combat work, the necessary means of reconnaissance of the air situation. Naturally, there can be no long-term radar network on the territory that is fighting for 10 years of Yemen. Surveillance radars P-18, delivered in 80-s together with the Soviet anti-aircraft complexes, also outdated and exhausted their resources. Radio intelligence assets available to the United States and the Arab coalition aviation are capable of easily locating such stations with their subsequent destruction.
As it is not sad, but the century of all modifications of the C-75 air defense system built in the USSR ends. Produced over 30 years ago, the complexes are at the limit of their technical resource. Even the newest B – 755 and 5Я23 missiles have many expired storage periods. As you know, after more than 10 years of service of the rocket, fueled by liquid fuel and oxidizer, began to flow and pose a serious danger to the initial calculations, to fix this problem requires repair and maintenance in the factory or arsenals. It is extremely doubtful that the third world countries, where there are still C-75 air defense systems, will find the means for the meaningless modernization of hopelessly outdated complexes, the resources of which have been exhausted. It seems much more expedient to spend money on modern mobile multichannel complexes, the maintenance of which will be much cheaper. It is no secret that the reason for the decommissioning of C-75 and C-200 air defense systems with liquid-propellant rockets in many countries was the high cost of operation, complexity and increased danger when handling toxic fuel and aggressive oxidizer.
Special mention deserve the Chinese version of the C-75 - HQ-2 (details here: Chinese anti-aircraft missile complex HQ-2). The Chinese clone C-75 for a long time was the basis of the PLA air defense troops, and its mass production continued until the end of 80's. According to its characteristics, the Chinese complex as a whole corresponded to the Soviet models with the 10-15 summer delay.
In the People's Republic of China, 100 HQ-2 air defense systems of various modifications and 5000 missiles were built. More than 30 divisions were exported to Albania, Iran and the DPRK, Pakistan and Sudan. Chinese-made HQ-2 air defense systems took part in hostilities during the Sino-Vietnamese conflicts in the 1979 and 1984 years, and were actively used by Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. Albania was the only NATO country where Chinese anti-aircraft complexes with Soviet roots served until 2014.
In China, the NQ-2 SAM system is gradually being replaced by more modern models. Complexes of this type mainly cover objects in the interior regions of the People's Republic of China and on secondary directions. The long service life of the Chinese HQ-2 is due to the modernization measures carried out in the second half of the 90-s, but in any case, this complex, as well as all modifications of the Soviet C-75, is currently outdated. The NQ-2 air defense system can be relatively effective in a local conflict against the aviation of countries that do not have modern means of RTR and EW. The Chinese NQ-2 air defense system is capable of complementing more modern anti-aircraft systems in the conditions of a developed, centralized air defense system, which we actually observe in the PRC.
Google Earth snapshot: passenger airliner flies over the position of the Chinese HQ-2 air defense system in the vicinity of Urumqi
On the basis of HQ-2 in Iran, at the end of 90-s, their own complex was created, which received the designation "Sayyad-1". In the spring of 2001, it was presented at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi. The next version of the Sayyad-2 SAM, created in the 2000, already had a combined radio command and infrared homing system. According to Iranian engineers and the military, this should increase the immunity and flexibility of the anti-aircraft complex.
Iranian anti-aircraft missile "Sayyad-1"
On the basis of C-75 missiles in different countries, work was carried out to create operational-tactical missile systems. Most likely, the Chinese were the first to implement such a project. At the end of the 70-x, the PLA’s DF-7 (M-7) entered into service with the PLA. In the second half of the 80-x began to replace it with more efficient complexes, and Chinese missiles were sold to Iran. Rocket DF-7 had an inertial control system that is resistant to external influences, and warhead weight 190 kg. Currently in Iran there are up to 30 mobile launchers for launching missiles of this type. The Iranian version of the rocket was called the Tondar, it has a firing range of up to 150 km and a warhead increased in comparison with the Chinese prototype.
The creation of similar systems was also carried out in North Korea, but the North Koreans needed a complex capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to a distance of more than 300 km and creating a ballistic missile based on the C-75 SAM missile system, concentrating on upgrading the Soviet 9K72 missiles. Elbrus "with a liquid rocket R-17.
The Indians turned out to be more original, they used the Z-V-750 propulsion system to create a mobile Prithvi-1 mobile missile with a launch range of up to 150 km and a 1000 kg warhead, radically reworking the rocket body, increasing engine thrust and increasing capacity fuel tanks. The next version of the Prithvi-2 with an even more forced engine and a half lightened warhead has a launch range of up to 250 km. These ballistic missiles, created using the technical solutions of 50’s Soviet anti-aircraft missiles, became the first Indian means of delivering nuclear weapons. weaponsnot vulnerable to air defense systems available to Pakistan.
In conclusion, I would like to note that the Soviet air defense systems of the C-75 family, the first samples of which appeared almost 60 years ago, had a great influence on the development of aviation and the course of military operations in the 20th century. The characteristics and modernization potential laid down in 50 by Soviet designers allowed the C-75 air defense system to remain in service with the air defense forces for many decades, as well as to be in demand on the world arms market. However, its time is running out, rockets on liquid fuel are everywhere being replaced by solid-fuel, new anti-aircraft complexes have high mobility, noise immunity and multiple channels on the target. In this regard, after 10 years we will be able to see the honored veteran C-75 only in the museum.