The Libyan National Army (LNA) have captured two 9K32M Strela-2M man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADs) from forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA).
Libyan sources released a photo of the two Soviet-made missiles, which were seized near the coastal city of Sirte. The LNA imposed control over the city earlier this week after a successful rapid attack.
— Mohamed Mansour 🇪🇬 (@Mansourtalk) January 9, 2020
The 9K32M Strela-2M is the second generation of the original 9K32 Strela-2, with an improved infrared homing system, a more effective warhead and engine as well as an updated detection system. The updated missile’s top firing range is 4,200 m.
Last month, GNA forces used a Strela-2-type MANPADs to shot down a MiG-23 warplane of the LNA’s air force over the city of Zawiya, to the west of the Libyan capital Tripoli.
GNA forces are operating other types of MANPADs, including Chinese-made FN-6. The modern missile has a maximum firing range of 6,000 m.
Unlike the FN-6, which may have been supplied to GNA forces by Turkey or Qatar, the 9K32M Strela-2M MANPADs were likely looted from the former Libyan Army’s depots following the 2011 NATO-led intervention in the country that led to a state of chaos.