The Russian military recently released a video showing a Russian soldier firing an Igla-S shoulder-fired missile, also known as MANPADS (Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems), at a Chinese air-to-air missile and intercepting it. This was a staged event that used a new Russian air defense radars system that could send accurate alerts to numerous air defense systems and this could be used to give a MANPADS operator fire his missile at the right time to intercept another missile.
The Chinese air-to-air missile is a heat seeker with a range of 8 kilometers and is designed for use by helicopters against other helicopters. This type of air-to-air missile is rarely used, but it is fast, with a max flight time of about 12 seconds. The point of the video was that the Chinese QW-2 MANPADS and several Western MANPADS, including the American Stinger, have never done this before. MANPADS users would shrug because such a situation is unheard of. The Russians were trying to increase export sales for the Igla-S and what better way to do that than stage an event showing the missile doing the seemingly impossible.
At the “Clear Sky” competition in China, a Russian anti-aircraft officer was the only one to hit a Chinese TY-300D target missile with a direct hit.
In the live shooting competition, a TY-300D target missile imitating a high-speed air target at an altitude of 1.5 thousand meters was shot down by an Igla-S MANPADS.
The competition saw participation from six countries: Russia, Belarus, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and China. The Russian team competed in a Typhoon-Air Defense vehicle and used Igla-S portable anti-aircraft missile systems, Kord 12.7mm machine guns and AK-12 assault rifles.
The Chinese side provided other competitors with weapons, particularly the Type-95-1 submachine gun, the QW-2 Vanguard portable anti-aircraft missile system, the 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun, and Type-92A armoured personnel carrier.
As part of the competition program, the anti-aircraft gunners will have another stage, which will take place on September 1 (the “Combined” race).
This year in China, at the Korla Land Forces training ground, three competitions of the International Army Games are being held: “Clear Sky”, in which military personnel of air defense units compete, “Suvorov Onslaught” – a competition of infantry fighting vehicles’ crews and which involves the subdivisions of radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance and “Marine landing.”
The Igla-S is known to NATO as the SA-24 and entered service in 2004. Ifla-S had long been considered one of the most dangerous Russian MANPADS. The SA-24 is a post-Cold War upgrade of a design that was introduced in the early 1980s, at the same time as the American Stinger. SA-24 weighs 19 kg (42 pounds) and fires an 11.7 kg (26 pound) missile for up to 6,000 meters (19,000 feet). The 14.3 kg Stinger fires its 10.1 kg missile out to 8,000 meters, but both systems have similar resistance to countermeasures and a warhead of about the same size (2-3 kg/4.4-6.6 pounds). The SA-24 in the hands of most troops, and even irregulars like Islamic terrorists, can bring down helicopters and small air transports, especially during takeoff. The SA-24 is a heat seeker, but it does not just go for the engine exhaust but rather any part of the aircraft. This makes the SA-24 more dangerous because, if the missile just goes for the engine exhaust, these missiles often only do minor damage to the powerful jet engines used on fighters and larger commercial jets. During the 1980s the United States provided Afghan irregulars fighting Russian occupation forces and, before Russia could develop and install countermeasures, they had to adopt restrictive tactics for their helicopter gunships and transports.