Russian Igla-S missile outperforms Chinese-made QW-2 MANPADS in drills

An operator of a Russian-made Igla-S (NATO reporting name: SA-24 Grinch) man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) Sergey Mayenkov has become the only participant of the International Army Games’ Clear Sky competition to successfully intercept a Chinese-made target missile. The Igla-S is specifically designed to intercept missiles and drones among other targets.

“During the competition in the area of live shooting the air defense officer has become the only participant of the competition who struck with a direct hit the Chinese TY-300D target missile, imitating a high-speed aerial target at an altitude of 1,500 m”, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported. The competition was held in China.

The Russian team operated the Typhoon-PVO wheeled mine-resistant ambush-protected armoured vehicle fitted with the Igla-S MANPADS and a Kord 12.7 mm heavy machinegun.

Other competitors, namely, those from the PRC, Egypt, Venezuela, Belarus, and Uzbekistan, operated the Chinese-made QW-2 MANPADS.


The Igla-S MANPADS is intended to provide the close-in air defence. According to the High Precision Weapons’ KBM company, the developer and producer of the Igla-S, the major features of the system include the increased weight of explosive warhead (1.5-fold, compared to the basic Igla (SA-18 Grouse) missile), the introduction of a proximity fuse in addition to the existing impact fuse, an improved missile accuracy, night-fire capability with a night sight, and a firing range increased from 5.2 km to 6 km.

The Igla can work under conditions of thermal interference and performs friend-or-foe identification. The latest variant, the Igla-S, has been improved to hit small targets, including cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The training system for Igla-S

The Tula-based Training Systems company at the ARMY 2021 expo unveiled the specially designed field simulator for training the Igla family MANPADS operators. It can be used both at special air defense testing grounds and in the unprepared areas under various weather conditions.

The system provides the instruction from the preparation of the MANPADS to the launch, teaches to identify targets, their state affiliation, and parameters of movement. The launch of the missile is imitated on both collision and persecution courses, in automatic and manual modes. The simulator allows the simultaneous training of three servicemen.

Igla offer to India

In 2020, Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Dmitry Shugaev reported plans to introduce the Igla-S system to India.

“I hope that in the near future an agreement will be signed for the production and supply of Igla-S to India, especially because we have won the tender unconditionally,” he told Russian media at the Army 2020 defence show held recently in Moscow.