Hello, this is XboxAhoy and this is the thirty-second episode of my Black Ops weapon guide. Another one shot down. In this episode we’re covering the Strela-3. It’s a single-shot weapon, unlocked at level 30. The 9K34 Strela-3, also known by its NATO reporting name SA-14 Gremlin – is a Man-portable Air Defense System that originates from the Soviet Union. The Russian name, ‘Strela’, translates as ‘arrow’. The Strela-3 was first introduced in 1974, superceding the earlier Strela-2M. The development of anti-air launchers mirrors the development of countermeasures to defeat such homing missiles, and the Strela-3’s design intent was no different.

With improved thermal tracking hardware, the missile was designed to be more resistant to countermeasures such as flares and infrared jammers used by aircraft of the era. The Strela-3 was ultimately replaced in 1983 by the 9K38 Igla – or ‘Needle’ – a separate design to the Strela series that offered an ‘Identification friend-or-foe’ system, increased effective range, and improved lethality on target. The Strela-3 was exported to over 30 countries, and has seen successful operational use in combat situations. It launches a 75 millimetre diameter missile, bearing a kilogram warhead with infra-red homing seeker head. By default, you’ll be equipped with two such missiles upon spawn – or three total should you have Scavenger Pro equipped. As a lock-on launcher, you cannot employ the Strela in an anti-personnel role. When used against air support, however – it is very effective. A successful missile strike will destroy any aerial target. Enemy helicopters do have countermeasures, however – your first missile launched will be diverted by flares, which will lead the heat-seeking missile the Strela fires off course, resulting in a miss.

Fire again, however – and the helicopter will be vulnerable to a single missile. Handling is universally slow with this weapon – the Strela is sluggish to bring to bear, and will hamper your movement speed to boot – to 80% of maximum speed. Aim time is similarly slow, at half a second – and reloads will take 3 seconds to complete. There are no attachments available for the Strela, so your choice here is simple. Your perks, however, will have some effect on your performance. The first perk slot is arguably the most important – and there are two potential choices here, to maximise the Strela’s capability. The first is Ghost Pro – this will prevent you from being targeted by enemy air support, which can be vital when you’re exposed during the lock-on procedure. Ghost will buy you vital seconds under fire from a chopper gunner, allowing for much easier despatch of such killstreaks. Scavenger Pro is also another worthwhile choice, as you’ll gain an extra missile in reserve, for 3 total.

This gives you the ability to take down up to 3 enemy killstreaks in one life – useful when the enemy has an affinity for the Spy Plane. Also useful in your second slot is Sleight of Hand – This makes successive shots faster thanks to the speedier reload, and reduces the time it takes to aim with the weapon. Paired with Ghost Pro, there’s no better combination for eliminating the top tier aerial killstreaks. The Strela-3 is the single best launcher in Black Ops for tackling enemy air support.

Similar to the M72 LAW, it boasts a guided projectile that can despatch enemy air support in just a single hit. Unlike the LAW, however – you have two missiles by default, and as such can tackle a helicopter solo where the LAW’s single missile cannot. However, the Strela doesn’t offer much in the way of versatility – lacking the M72’s ability to free fire, you cannot use it directly against your enemy.

However, within its role – it cannot be beaten, and when overwhelming enemy air support threatens your chance of victory, the Strela will answer the call. It is a single-purpose weapon, but one that boasts unique focus. When launched at a vulnerable aerial target, this self-guided arrow… will always hit the bullseye. Thanks for watching, this has been XboxAhoy. Join me next time, when I’ll be covering the AK-47. Until then, farewell..

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