The Mobile SAM is the most advanced anti-aircraft weapon available, relying on its surface-to-air missiles to intercept incoming enemy aircraft and nuclear weapons. It defends all friendly units in its tile and adjacent tiles from air units, damaging or destroying them before they strike. Nukes launched from Missile Silos and Nuclear Submarines have a chance of being shot down if they target a tile within a Mobile SAM's defensive radius, and if a bomber is delivering a nuke within 1 tile, the attack will fail if the Mobile SAM does at least 50% of the bomber's HP in damage.
Like all the neat weapon systems, the Germans were first with the idea for a surface-to-air missile; in 1941 AD Friederich Halder proposed a “flak rocket” to counter Allied bombers, but scientific infighting delayed any serious work until 1943, and although several prototype systems were developed none were ready for deployment by the end of World War II. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy, spurred by the success of Nazi glide bombs and the Japanese kamikaze assaults, produced the SAM-N-2 Lark, a ramjet-powered antiaircraft missile for use at long distances … it too was operationally unused when the war ended. While the Allies puttered along with SAM designs, the Soviets created the S-75 Dvina, the first successful (it knocked down a Taiwanese bomber over China in October 1959) one. The Vietnam War was the first modern war in which SAMs figured prominently, leading to the “man-portable antiaircraft missile” (MANPADS), by the 1990s pervasive in guerrilla and terrorist operations around the globe.
- The Mobile SAM's model is based on the 9K31 Strela-1 (better known in the West as the SA-9 "Gaskin"), a surface-to-air missile system developed by the Soviet Union.