Andy Baumgart (dtowncracka) obviously has an interest in military equipment from the (former) Soviet Union and its allies. After building his cracking ZSU-23 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery, he has turned his attention to something a bit more obscure: the Cuban T-55 mobile SA-2 Guideline launcher.
The SA-2 Guideline is a Soviet surface-to-air missile developed in the nineteen-fifties, which was exported to Soviet allies all over the world. During the Vietnam war, North Vietnamese SA-2s were used to shoot down close to 200 US aircraft, known as Yankee imperialist air pirates in contemporary propaganda. Before then, SA-2s gained notoriety when they were used to shoot down Francis Gary Powers’ CIA U-2 spy-plane over the Soviet Union in 1960 -an incident which caused great embarrassment to the US government- as well as a U.S. Air Force U-2 flying over Cuba during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.
By now the SA-2 is an old clunker. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, however, Cuba has been unable to buy more modern and more mobile air-defense equipment. By mounting an SA-2 and its launcher on top of an obsolete T-55 tank chassis, Cuban engineers have managed to come up with a slightly more mobile version. To me it doesn’t look as though it can do much damage except to Cuba’s roads, but it is a great choice for a LEGO model, expertly built by Andy.