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The SA-18 "Grouse" (also called the Igla 9K38) is a Russian made shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile. It initially became available in 1984 and is now manufactured in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, China, Pakistan and possibly other countries.

The SA-18 fires a 9M39 missile, which is an IR tracking missile and contains a 2 kilogram high-explosive warhead fitted with a contact and grazing fuse. This is an advancement over earlier generation missiles, the Strela 2 (SA-7 Grail) and Strela 3 (SA-14 Gremlin).

The SA-18 has improved target discrimination capabilities, employing counter-countermeasures such as improved protection against electro-optical jammers. A logic unit in the missile causes it to move its aim point just before impact, targeting the middle of the fuselage rather than the engine exhaust port (the source of the IR signature the missile follows). The SA-18 costs between $60,000 and $80,000 on the legitimate market.

Being easy to obtain, relatively cheap and simple to use, the SA-18 became the most effective anti-aircraft weapon used by Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.

These benefits also make this weapon a prime choice for terrorist groups. Officials estimate that there are approximately 750,000 available around the world for a black market cost of US$100,000. The missile weighs only 30-40 pounds and is small enough to be concealed in luggage.

The SA-N-10 (Igla-M) is the naval version of the SA-18.

Specifications:
From www.survivalguide.com:
Guidance: Infrared homing
Propulsion: Solid propellant ejection, booster, and sustainer
Warhead: Blast fragmentation
Maximum Target Speed: 680 meters per second
Engagement Range: 0.5 kilometres to 5.2 kilometres
Engagement Altitude: 10 meters to 3,500 meters
Reaction Time: 13 seconds
Missile Mass At Launch: 10.6 kg



Sources
www.thestar.com
edition.cnn.com/2003/LAW/08/13/missile.sting/index.html
www.aviationnow.com/content/publication/awst/20011001/aw28.htm
www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/missile/row/sa-18.htm
www.survivalguide.com/terrorist_weapons/sa18_grouse.htm

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