The Russia Southern Military District soldiers train in Short-Range Air Defense (SHORAD) and showcase the modernized Strela-10 Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) at Yeysk in southern Russia. Yeysk is located at Azov seashore in Russia. The 726th Army Air Defense Training Center is located in Yeysk region and was established on November 1, 1992 on the facilities of the Army Air Defense Armament Storage Base and Antiaircraft Artillery Training range. The Range allows live firing tasks using missile and artillery weapons of short-range air defense systems at training air targets.
The 9K35 Strela-10 (Arrow) is a highly mobile, visually aimed, optical/infrared-guided, low-altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system. “9K35” is its GRAU designation; its NATO reporting name is SA-13 “Gopher”. The 9K35 is the successor of the 9K31 Strela-1 (SA-9 “Gaskin”) and can also use the Strela-1’s missiles in place of the 9M37. Rather than being mounted on an amphibious but lightly armoured BRDM chassis like the 9K31, the 9K35 is mounted on a more mobile tracked, modified MT-LB, with more room for equipment and missile reloads. Provision for amphibious capability is provided in some variants in the form of polyurethane-filled floats.
Development of the system continued throughout the years through Strela-10M, -10M2 and -10M3 variants introducing among other things improved radio communications and provision for better integration to the Soviet integrated air defence system air picture data. The Strela-10 system was originally designed to use the 9M37 missile as its primary weapon, but its launch system was designed to be also backwards compatible with the 9M31M missile of the earlier 9K31 Strela-1 (SA-9 “Gaskin”) system. The ranges define the zone of target intercept, minimum and maximum launch distances are longer for approaching and shorter for receding targets, depending on the target’s speed, altitude and flight direction.
The Russian Armed Forces will receive 72 advanced mobile “night” short-range anti-aircraft missile complexes “Strela-10M4″ by 2016. In 2014, the Russian Airborne Troops received the first batch of 18 “Strela-10M4″ vehicles. Modernization of equipment extends the “life” of an air defense system for 3–5 years. The SA-13 Gopher Strela-10M is expected to be replaced by the Sosna anti-aircraft missile system. The system is based on the MT-LB chassis consisting of 2×6 Sosna-R 9M337 (SA-24) beam rider missiles with a range of 10 km and altitude of 5 km.