The Strela -2 is a Soviet-designed first-generation Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS), surface-to-air missile (SAM) system that can be operated and fired by a single operator. Its Western designation (NATO, Defense Intelligence Agency) is SA-7 GRAIL. The closest U.S. equivalent is the FIM-43 Redeye. Besides Russia, the Strela-2 has been produced under license in China, Egypt and Pakistan.
The Strela-2 was designed to target low-flying aircraft such as helicopters, transport aircraft and fighter jets.
Development of the Strela-2 began in 1959, with the missile entering operational service with the Russian army in 1966. Since entering service, the system has widely exported to numerous military forces around the world; especially former Soviet client states. The Strela-2 has also been found in use with various guerrilla/terrorist/criminal groups around the world.
The first use of the Strela-2 in combat occurred in 1971 during the Suez conflict between Egypt and Israel. This resulted inwhen combat firing
The Strela-2 system consists of three main components; The launch tube; missile; a gripstock; and cooling unit. The launch tube is made of fibreglass and contains the missile. The missile consists of a launch engine; a 1.8 kg high explosive/fragmentation warhead with an impact/grazing fuze; and IR guidance system. The IR guidance system uses an uncooled PbS (lead sulfide) seeker that operates in the 2 micron IR band.
The detachable gripstock mounts to the bottom-front of the missile and is re-usable. The circular cooling unit mounts in front of the gripstock.