Surface to Air missile (SAM’s for short) are missiles shot or deployed from the ground or surface. They are used to destroy other missiles or possibly enemy aircraft. SAM’s were first used during the World War II but they lacked any operational systems, which meant, they must have had lackluster performance, but still do a good enough job to have forced the other major world forces into getting their own Surface to Air missiles for proper Air defense. The SAM’s are basically used for defense against unwanted air objects, like an incoming missile, an enemy aircraft or any unknown aircraft that wonders into another territory. {Best Surface To Air Missile In The World}.

Although SAM’s were first used during World War II, it wasn’t until the 1940s and 1950s that they were further developed or evolved into having operational systems for even better efficiency. These new and improved SAM’s were introduced in the middle of the 1950s by the major forces in the war. Every side scrambled to get a highly functioning SAM in other to buff one’s defenses. Later on, with more attention and work put into Surface to Air Missiles, more portable and sizeable operational systems were created. These came in portable sizes but were just as effective, even more than the older systems.

SAM’s have come to be a necessity for proper defense and they have proven to be truly effective when used right and properly. So, this list comprises the top ten best Surface to air missiles in the world.



The S-400 missile system is widely regarded as the most effective and sophisticated surface to air missile in the world, which earns it the number one spot on this list. The S-400 missile system, formerly known as S-300 PMU-3, is a surface to air missile created in the 1990s. It was developed by the Almaz Central Design Bureau from Russia and served as an upgrade from the S-300 family.

S-400 MISSILE SYSTEM- best surface to air missile in the world

The missile has been in service of the Russian Armed Forces since 2007 and makes use of four missiles. The S-400, for full performance, is equipped with four missiles. There is the short-range 9M96E with forty-kilometer range, then a medium range 9M96E2 which have a mid-range distance of 120km. After this, it is further equipped with a long range 48N6 with a distance of 250km and then finally, a very long range 40N6 with a huge 400km. These four various missile slots are part of the reasons that ensure the S-400’s superiority on this list. It has an amazing tracking speed and targeting. The Economist, a top weekly magazine, described the S-400 as one of the best surfaces to air missiles currently being made.


The David’s sling also known as the “magic wand”, is a surface to air missile system created by and for the Israel Defense Forces. It was also jointly created by the American Defense Contractor known as Raytheon. This SAM, just like other, was created to intercept and destroy drones, enemy plane, and the likes. The David’s sling has been designed to fire at ranges from 40km to 400km. It has one of the most tracked speed records of any SAM. It’s tracking speed is up to Mach 7.5.

DAVID’S SLING MISSILE SYSTEM- one of the best surface to air missile in the world

The name is a derivative of the popular bible story of David and Goliath. It paints imagery of a tiny looking missiles built in a way that it can take down ballistic missiles and large enemy planes.




  1. M1M-104 PATRIOT

Coming third on the list of top 10 best surface to air missile in the world, the M1M-104 Patriot. The American Defense Contractors Raytheon can be credited for this masterpiece in the surface to air missile system. After its development, it produced groundbreaking results and ended up replacing the Nike Hercules system. As a result of this, it has come to be the US army’s major medium and long-range surfacing to air missile system. As a result of effective use in the field, the Patriot is expected to remain in use or in the field until around least 2040. They are the major anti-ballistic missiles used by the US Army.

FSAF SAMP/T- one of the best surface to air missile in the world

This missile is part of the Aster missile family. It is a new generation missile and was developed by the European Consortium This was formed by the MBDA France, MBDA Italy and Thales. The surface to air missile system is stacked with over 8 to 48 missiles. Its effectiveness is in its numbers and in its ability to target various objects It has top tracking speed and great targeting. The FSAF SAMP/T makes use of the Aster batteries.

  1. HQ-9
HQ-9- among best surface to air missile in the world 2018

The HQ-9 is china’s medium to long-range missile system. It is very similar to the Russian S-300 and the American Patriot SAM’S. It boasts N Anti-radiation system called the FT-2000. Its engine is made of two-stage propellant rickets. Its operating system is inertial guidance with a mid-course update and or with a terminal active radar homing system. The HQ-9 is one of China’s most primary surface to air missile system. It has proven to be very effective in test runs and should do just as well in the field. They are among China’s new generation missile systems.

  1. 9K37 BUK

This surface to air missile was created by the Soviet Union and was designed to intercept and destroy smart bombs, unmanned aerial vehicles (with an absent passenger) and other unwanted air crafts. Its missiles are comprised of a group of medium-range missiles for medium range targeting. This means that although they are highly ineffective for long-range shots, the 9K37 Buk will be very effective and perfect for medium range distances.

  1. BARAK 8

Also known as LR-SAM, the Barak 8 is the birth child of an Indian-Israeli surface to air missile. This SAM was created by both The Indian Research and Development Organization and the Israel Aerospace Industry. It is used by the Indian Navy, the Indian Air Force and The Israeli navy with a twist stage smokeless pulses rocket motor for an engine. It is a long-range surface to air missile, which means it would be terrible for medium to low range defense.

  1. NASAMS 2

This is a Norwegian surface to air missile. This air defense system has been operational since 2007, the land is a major upgrade from its predecessor, NASAMS. It is a medium to the long-range surface to air missile system which means it serves dual purposes further increasing its usefulness and need. The NASAMS are among the very few Surface to Air missiles owned by Norway. In fact, there are only two presently, which are NASAMS and it’s successor NASAMS 2. But only the NASAMS 2 is still being fielded by the Norwegian defense forces.


  1. 2K11 KRUG

This is another top-notch surface to air missile created by the Russians. This makes two of Russian SAM’s on our list. It is a medium range, and a medium to long range SAM with very strong engines and fast-tracking speed. The development of this SAM started as far back as 1957 and has undergone various upgrades. But it’s the duration and ability to stand the test of time in the field are what truly make the 2K11 Krug a surface to air missile to be reckoned with. It is decked out with a powerful V59 V-12 water-cooled diesel, has an operational range of 780 kilometers and a speed of 35 kilometers per hour. These powerful features are among the list of things that make the 2K11 Krug get a spot on our top 10 list despite its long development.

  1. TYPE 03 CHŪ-SAM

Finally, capping out our list is the Japanese developed Type 03 CHŪ-SAM which is the primary SAM currently in use by the Japanese Army. It was designed by the Mitsubishi Electrics, the same company behind the world-famous cars. The engines are state of the art and unique to the Type 03 CHŪ-SAM. It can target a very wide range and is notorious for engaging fighter jets and other aircraft is considered to be possible threats. Its top-notch system can track up one hundred targets simultaneously and has medium to long-range distance capacities. It boasts a Mitsubishi Rocket engine and an AESA radar guidance system. 



Surface to air missiles has come to be a necessity for most of the world major forces in order to ensure maximum and tight defenses against drones, smart bombs, unmanned aerial vehicles, fighter jets, ballistic missiles and other forms of an air assault. This defense mechanism has proven to be highly effective since the 1950’s when the Germans used them in the world war.

So, to gain a 100 percent, or close to 100 percent, air defense system, the surface to air missile system must be included in any well laid out and structured military defense. To round this up, here are some facts to note. Nike Ajax produced by the United States was the first operational “guided” missile systems and the S-75 Devina by the then Soviet Union, are the most produced surface to air missiles ever.

Tags: best surface to air missile in the world