PST 1/72 SA-10 Grumble 'Flap Lid' Radar Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|SA-10 Grumble 'Flap Lid' Radar
|Nicely detailed radar and prime mover
The former Soviet Union was a master at developing air defense systems. From the days of Vietnam where US airmen first encountered the SA-2, through the days of the SA-6 and the Israeli Air Force, these systems exacted a heavy toll in aircraft and crew until tactics and technology could be developed to counter them.
When the US Army started developing the SAM-D air defense system, the Soviet Union began the development of a similar capability that was later NATO-designated as SA-10 Grumble. In fact, the SA-10 was fielded well before the troubled SAM-D program would emerge as the Patriot system.
The SA-10 has been around for a while now though the system hasn't been encountered in combat (yet). A number of SA-10s have been exported around the world and Russian developers have improved the performance of the system to the stage that the latest update was redesignated as SA-20.
According to several sources online, SA-10 air defense system (referred to in Russia as the S-300PMU) system is comprised of an acquisition radar code-named 'Clam Shell', a tracking/guidance radar code-named 'Flap Lid', two types of transporter/erector/launchers (TELs) that carry four canisterized SA-10 missiles each, plus a number of support vehicles. Initially, the system was trailer mounted, similar to the Patriot. However, after several cycles of improvement of the SA-10 system, the decision was to make each of the prime components of the S-300 PMU self-propelled (mounted on a vehicle chassis). This mobile version was designated as SA-10B.
The prime mover for the radar and TELS is based upon the MAZ-7910 8x8 chassis. There are two types of TEL are used with the SA-10B system: a 'smart' TEL with an control booth located between the MAZ's crew cab and the missile canisters; and a 'dumb' TEL that is identical to the smart TEL in configuration except for the control booth. The TELs move their missiles with the canisters stowed in the horizontal position, then launch the missile(s) with the canisters elevated to the vertical.
The SA-10 was first operational around 1980 and has been rumored to be exported in China and several other countries. This is the same system that has been in the news with possible export sales to Iran and Syria.
Who would have thought we'd see a modern Russian air defense system in kit form? The first and only instance (until now) was the Airfix 1/72 SA-2 Guideline that has long since been out of production. Trumpeter has recently released the SA-2 and has announced an SA-6, both in 1/35 scale, but by now these are both old systems. Zvezda has announced a 2S6 which combines a air defense gun platform with the short-range SA-19 missiles, but that has yet to be released. Not to forget DML's SA-9 and ZSU-23-4 kits in 1/35 which are nice representations of older tactical air defense systems.
Here is PST from Belarus (a former member of the Soviet Republic) with the SA-10! Not the early trailer-mounted versions, but the current MAZ-7910 version! What's more, this is the first kit of a SAM fire control radar ever produced in styrene.
This kit represents the phased array three-dimensional radar that is NATO Code-Named 'Flap Lid' (which is appropriate as the radar folds down horizontal when stowed). For those of you who track the article (izdelie) numbers, this kit represents the 30N6E1. It is mounted on the MAZ-7910 chassis, which is has been nicely represented with its eight-wheel-drive power train. The crew compartment is nicely represented with tandem crew seats.
On the deck behind the cab and engine are the power generators and communications support with your choice of stowed or deployed antenna array.
The radar cabin is designed to rotate on the mid-section of the chassis. This cabin houses the radar electronics and the phased array antenna and its lift mechanism are mounted atop this cabin. Like the comm antenna, the radar plate can be positioned in the stowed or operating position.
Immediately behind the radar cabin is the shelter for the radar operators, mounted on the rear of the chassis. With as much of this operator shelter that hangs behind this vehicle, I'm glad I don't have to back this machine into a parking spot!
As you can see in the images to the right, the kit is molded in several colors. Duplicate parts trees are not shown.
While there are no markings provided (nor needed) for this kit, and the instructions indicate a matt green overall color, check out some of the photos of this system online. You might want to use the two-green and brown camouflage to add some interest to this already great kit!
I hope PST won't stop here with the SA-10. For those of us who are interested in air defense systems and have been frustrated by the lack of decent kits, this is a great start! Check out the SA-10 Smart TEL and Dumb TEL kits also reviewed here.
You can find this kit at your local hobby retailer or directly from Squadron Mail Order (www.squadron.com).
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!