The creation of an anti-aircraft missile and weapons complex in the USSR was thought of in the early 1970s. The development was entrusted to the Tula Instrument Design Bureau. It was created in cooperation with other companies in the Soviet defense industry.
By the end of 1980, the Tunguska prototypes were ready. Ground tests have begun. They showed excellent results, and in September 1982 the complex was put into service. And at that time it turned out to be the best in the world in terms of the sum of its characteristics. All the equipment of the complex (weapons and fire control systems) is located on the tracked base of the 2S6 combat vehicle.
Two twin 2A38 30mm automatic cannons could bring down an avalanche of fire not only on air targets, but also on ground targets. In addition, 8 guided anti-aircraft missiles with radio command guidance through an optical channel along the missile tracer. For the first time in the world, a combination of two types of weapons (cannon and missile) with a single radar complex and instruments for them was achieved. The radar-optical fire control system receives primary information from a surveillance radar with a target detection range of 18 km. There is also a target tracking radar with a range of 13 km. The total rate of fire of the weapons is up to 4800 shots per minute. The maximum duration of a continuous burst is 100 shots, after which a short break is required for forced cooling of the barrels.
The 9M311 anti-aircraft guided missile with a length of 2.56 m weighs 42 kg. The booster motor in a plastic case with a diameter of 152 mm, after the development of solid fuel, accelerates the rocket to 900 m / s and separates about 2.5 seconds after launch. Also, the rocket flies by inertia. The absence of a main engine eliminates smoke and allows the use of relatively simple guidance equipment with an optical line of sight to the target. The rocket warhead has a mass of 9 kg, equipped with contact and proximity fuses.
In 2003, a radically modernized Tunguska-M1 anti-aircraft gun and missile system was put into service.
The most noticeable external difference of this option from the previous ones is the aerial surveillance radar antenna, which has an oval shape.
The range of destruction of air targets by missiles is up to 8 km, at height – up to 3.5 km. Cannon shots at height – up to 3 km, at range – up to 4 km. In the special operations zone, the Tunguska successfully hit all kinds of air targets, including drones and cruise missiles.
If necessary, with the fire of their four 30mm cannons, they will work on ground targets no worse than the Terminators.