The SA-10 was designed to defeat massed aircraft raids at any altitude and represents a serious improvement over previous theater SAM systems in that it can engage multiple aircraft at different altitudes, is low altitude capable, can engage targets with a low radar cross section, such as stealth aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or cruise missiles, as well as tactical ballistic missiles. Though its primary purpose is the defense of large military complexes and population centers, the SA-10b is a mobile system and is capable of being forwardly deployed on the battlefield and is capable of engaging targets within 5 minutes of vehicle emplacement.
The SA-10 is a low to high altitude vertically launched single stage surface to air missile utilizing track via missile guidance. The FLAP LID radar is capable of engaging six targets simultaneously and can assign two missiles to each target. The SA-10 is armed with a 100 kilogram fragmentation warhead (a low yield tactical nuclear warhead is also possible) with proximity detonation capability. An SA-10 battalion consists of a battery command post and fire direction center, a CLAM SHELL three dimensional continuous wave pulse Doppler target acquisition radar, a FLAP LID A multifunction phased array engagement radar and up to twelve semitrailer erector-launchers, each armed with four tubular missile launcher-containers. A Regimental sized unit will have three battalions as well as the BIG BIRD long range three dimensional surveillance and tracking radar. The SA-10 is capable of engaging targets at any altitude between 25 and 30,000 meters and can engage high altitude targets beyond 90 kilometers. In forested environments the FLAP LID radar can be deployed on a special trailer mounted 24.4 meter extendable platform, which increases the low altitude engagement range from 32 kilometers to 43 kilometers.