BRDM-2 TEL (Kentron)

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Introduction:

During the early 1980’s the war in Angola was still ongoing between the SADF (South African Defence Force) and FAPLA (Forças Armadas de Libertação de Angola) coming face to face in numerous battles. It would also be during these battles in which Angola vehicles and equipment would be captured by the SADF, some of which being air defence systems like the SA-9 and SA-13 from Russia. However after evaluation was done by the SADF, the anti-air systems would be used again, this time against FAPLA. One such example being a captured SA-9 used by the South African Special Forces in Angola 1985, in which the SA-9 was used to shoot down a An-12 used to supply FAPLA forces during the war. After the war, the South African defence firm Kentron set out developed a cost-effective upgrade package for the SA-9 system. The upgrade program integrated the SA-13 (Strela-10) missile on to the SA-9 BRDM-2 TEL (Transport Erector Launcher). This upgrade allowed the vehicle to be equipped with both the Strela-1 (9131M version) missile and the Strela-10 (9M37M version) missile. The idea behind the upgrade was to use the Strela-1’s against easier targets and the more expensive and sophisticated Strela-10’s against difficult targets. The loadout would consist of two SA-9 containers-launchers mounted on the inner rail stations and two SA-13 containers-launchers mounted on the outer rail stations. In addition to the two SA-9 and SA-13 containers-launchers, an additional SA-9 and SA-13 containers-launcher could be carried on the sides of the vehicle. As part of Kentron’s upgrade package the missiles could also be equipped with infra-red (IR) seeker types. As of writing this forum post, the BRDM-2 TEL with the upgrade package is stored at the South African Air Force Museum in Pretoria.

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Specifications:

Armament: two Strela-1 (9131M) missiles and two Strela-10 (9M37M) missiles

Ammunition: six anti-air missiles

Crew: 3 (driver, commander, gunner)

Engine: GAZ 41 V-8

Horsepower: 140hp

Weight: 7t

Drivetrain: 4x4

Top Speed: 100 Km/h

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Primary Sources:

(Kentron BRDM-2 TEL) Jane’s Land-Based Air Defence 1992-93

Various SADF Military Operations (page 52): http://parabat.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/SADF-Military-Operations.pdf

War in Angola (1985 An-12 crash): http://www.warinangola.com/Default.aspx?Tabid=1124

Secondary sources:

Tank Encyclopaedia (9K31 Strela-1): 9K31 Strela-1 (1968)

Army Recognition (SA-9 Gaskin): https://www.armyrecognition.com/russia_russian_missile_system_vehicle_uk/sa-9_gaskin_9k31_strela-1_ground_to_air_missile_system_technical_data_sheet_specifications.html

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