SA-75M Dvina missile systems

MILITARIA JOWITKA
http://milparade.udm.ru/28/101.htm
Commenting on this victory at a meeting with a Soviet delegation and senior officials from among Soviet military specialists, held on February 7, 1973, in Hanoi, Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense, General of the Army Wo Nguyen Ziap said: “But for the victory of the air defense missile (ADM) forces over B-52s near Hanoi, the Paris negotiations (between North Vietnam and the USA) would have delayed and the peace agreement would not have been signed. In other words, the victory of the ADM forses was also a political victory.”

After the United States launched regular bombings of North Vietnam, the Soviet Union began to supply North Vietnam’s Air Defense Forces with SA-75M Dvina missile systems. Vietnamese combat crews were trained largely at Soviet training centers and military schools. In addition, the USSR sent its military specialists to North Vietnam to render practical assistance to its troops.

Vietnam’s anti-aircraft missile troops first saw action on July 25, 1965, shooting down three U.S. aircraft in a day. Soon the anti-aircraft missile troops began to play a major role in Vietnam’s united Air Defense Forces and Air Force. They ended the war with a major victory, downing 31 U.S. B-52 strategic bombers near North Vietnam’s capital Hanoi from December 12 to 29, 1972.

Fragment of a US B-52 bomber shot down in Hanoi on December 26, 1972

Commenting on this victory at a meeting with a Soviet delegation and senior officials from among Soviet military specialists, held on February 7, 1973, in Hanoi, Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense, General of the Army Wo Nguyen Ziap said: “But for the victory of the air defense missile (ADM) forces over B-52s near Hanoi, the Paris negotiations (between North Vietnam and the USA) would have delayed and the peace agreement would not have been signed. In other words, the victory of the ADM forses was also a political victory.”

After the war, the government of North Vietnam gave the highest assessment to these troops, awarding them the title Heroic Arm.
Between 1965 and 1972, 95 air defense missile systems and 7,658 missiles were delivered to North Vietnam. By the end of the war (January 1973), 6,806 missiles had been expended or found faulty. There remained 39 combat-ready missile systems.

SA-75M Dvina was the first mobile ADM system. It was designed by the Almaz Research and Production Association (General DesignerA. Raspletin). The missile was designed by the Fakel Design Bureau (General Designer P. Grushin). The system was ordered and supplied by the Defense Ministry’s 4th Main Directorate headed by Air Force Colonel General G. Baidukov.
By the time the Vietnam war began, the system’s combat characteristics were not high enough to combat U.S. warplanes. However, at the initial stage of the war, Dvina shot down many U.S. tactical and shipborne aircraft. In 1965, the per taget missile rate was very low v one or two missiles per downed plane. The high efficiency was due to the surprise factor.
To reduce losses, the Americans began to adapt themselves to the situation. As they revealed Dvina’s shortcomings, they took tactical and then technical measures, such as approaching target areas at low altitudes, maneuvering in zones of fire, and using more intensively protection jamming from EB-66 jammer-carrying aircraft. The measures produced good results. By mid-1966, Vietnamese troops already fired three or four missiles to shoot down a U.S. plane. By 1967, the Americans had developed and installed on attack aircraft the interference equipment which worked on ADM systems’ channel frequency. The move reduced the Dvina system’s efficiency still further. Things grew worse by the end of 1967 when the United States began to install on its attack aircraft additional missile guidance channel jamming equipment which caused missiles to go out of control and fall down.

Table 1. Firings against different types of targets in 1972
B-52 F-4 F-105 A-6 A-7 F-111 Recon.
drones
Others
Number of engagements 223 574 28 145 140 5 20 20
Number of missiles fired 443 1,070 50 222 220 7 27 20
Number of planes shot down 51 223 9 59 57 1 6 15
Average missile expenditure 8.6 4.7 5.5 3.7 3.8 7 4.5 1.3

The efficiency of the ADM forces was reduced also after U.S. aviation attacked their positions with high-explosive and pellet cassette bombs and projectiles of the Shrike type sensitive to electronic emissions.

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