Book Review
SA-6 Gainful in Detail
Launcher and Radar Vehicles (G046)
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]


The 2K12 Kub (NATO designation SA-6 Gainful) is a mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, designed for destruction of aircraft, missiles, cruise missiles and assault helicopters at low to medium altitudes.

The development of the 2K12 started in 1958 at the request of the Soviet Union Central Committee. After successful completion of trials, delayed by various technical challenges, the Kub equipment was certified as an operational weapon in 1966, and it turned out to be one of the most successful Russian anti-aircraft missiles. The design of the 2K12 is centered on the use of three rail-launched guided missiles utilizing an optical sight and continuous wave target illuminator. Each 2K12 battery has its own 1S-91 (NATO designation “Straight Flush”) fire control radar, four launchers on an armored carrier chassis, and four transport and support vehicles.

(adapted from:


Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP) is a small publishing company from Czech Republic producing high quality photo reference books covering military tracked and wheeled vehicles, artillery, airplanes, helicopters as well as individual weapons. This review covers one of WWP's latest titles: SA-6 Gainful in Detail (G046). Here are the basic facts:

Title: SA-6 Gainful in Detail (Launcher and Radar Vehicles)
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Code: G046
Authors: Jan Horák and František Kořán
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Pages: 120
Color: full color
Language: English
ISBN: 978-80-87509-46-3
Retail Price: $33 (€27)

The book features photographs of vehicles from Czech Army's 25th Anti-Aircraft Battalion. The book is organized in 3 chapters, color coded for easy navigation:

• Introduction (002-007)
• 2P25M1 Launcher Walkaround (008-071)
• 1S91M1 Radar Vehicle Walkaround (078-120)

The first chapter, introduction, gives a brief background of 2K12 Kub history and development along with some technical details of the system. Several full page photos of the entire vehicle open the 2P25M1 launcher walkaround chapter, showing the general layout of the launcher system, as well as the system rearming procedure using 2T7M rocket transporter. The detailed report on 2P25M1 starts with front hull details (headlights, antenna for communication between the missile guidance radar and the launcher vehicles, rocket operator's hatch, commander's cupola), left and right hull side boxes (battery box, various electronic equipment, air intake for gas turbine, etc. are displayed inside and out as well as in schematic diagrams), rear hull (stowage boxes, spare track links, unditching log, exhaust), hull roof hatches (central hull electro box, fuel tank details, water preheater, engine hatch with several photos and diagrams of V-6R-1 engine). The chassis comes next with wheel and track details. The chapter continues with launcher interior details, showing driver's compartment, operator's compartment and commander's cupola, as well as roof and rear wall in tremendous detail. Rocket launcher carriage details follow, with carriage rails and elevation struts, small front boxes for rocket accessories, side boxes with electronic rocket controls and handle for moving the carriage manually, and rear electronic boxes. Finally, protective carriage railing, rocket hull lockers, as well as 3M9M3E rockets are shown in detail. Altogether this chapter provides a very comprehensive photo report on 2P25M1 launcher. Next up is the chapter on 1S91M1/M2 radar vehicle walkaround. Again, the chapter opens with several full page photos of the entire system, and then delves into detail: front hull (headlights, antenna mounts, air intake), left and right hull side boxes (electronics, air filter, gas turbine access and exhaust outlet, etc. displayed in detail), hull roof (commander's cupola, driver's periscopes, air intake ducts, spare part boxes, toolbox), gas turbine. The chapter then shows the vehicle interior: targeting radar operator's compartment, driver's compartment, commander's compartment, as well as roof details. Finally, the large radar system is displayed with its base drum, search radar, targeting radar, as well as radar folding mechanism. Last but not least, targeting radar insides with electronics are shown.

WWP had a book on SA-6 Gainful system in their catalogue (G015). It featured 72 pages, but went out of print quite some time ago. SA-6 Gainful in Detail (G046) is a revamped, 120-page book, covering the launcher and radar vehicles even more extensively, in about 470 photos and 20 schematic diagrams. The book shows Czech Army vehicles with some specific upgrades (both on the exterior and the interior), slightly differing from the original Russian system. However, the modifications are clearly noted and described. The photos are large and clear, and the information about the system is given in a short and concise form with the brief captions describing various details presented in the photos.


SA-6 Gainful in Detail (G046) is the latest photo reference title from WWP. The book is amazing in every aspect, from the high-quality paper and clear presentation to the incredible amount of large full color photos showing SA-6 in detail, inside and out. Marketed as a photo reference manual for modelers, this book should be an essential companion to Trumpeter's 1/35 scale rendition of SA-6 Anti-aircraft Missile (#00361).
Highs: Large and clear photos showing details of 2K12 system inside and out. Brief and concise information.
Lows: None.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: G046
  Related Link: WWP website
  PUBLISHED: Apr 28, 2016

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About Mario Matijasic (Maki)

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. All rights reserved.


yesterday was the zsu-23-4 "shilka". today the sam-6 "gainful" the ultimate anti-aircraft-missile system of the former soviet air defence network. can defeated any combat aircraft at 50,00 feet.
APR 28, 2016 - 02:17 AM
i'm sorry the correct altitude of the sa-6 gainful is over 50,000ft.
APR 28, 2016 - 11:20 PM
Makes me homesick. Spent many an hour in these.
APR 28, 2016 - 11:44 PM

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