Surface-to-Air Missile

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A SAM installation in Area 69.
SAM redirects here. For the mission in Grand Theft Auto III, see S.A.M.

The Surface to Air Missile, or SAM, is an unmanned guided weapon system in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

If the player flies an aircraft over the Area 69 military base, which is a no-fly zone, they will obtain an instant wanted level of 5 stars. When this happens, several heat-seeking SAM missiles will fire at the player from the three launchers dotted around the base. The aircraft carrier at the Easter Basin Naval Station also has two SAM sites, but these will be permanently deactivated after the completion of the mission Vertical Bird.

The missiles are also launched if the player uses the jetpack to fly over the base, as the game considers the jetpack as an aircraft.

These missiles can severely damage the airplane's wings or engine (or the player, when using a jetpack), making it harder to fly, and a few will destroy it and kill the player if they do not eject. Some aircrafts, like the AT-400 and Cargobob, are less susceptible to damage from the missiles. Although, once the aircraft has absorbed more than enough damage from the missiles, it will eventually explode.

The launchers can be temporarily destroyed; but will respawn once the player is far enough away from them.

Like other missiles, the SAMs can deterred by using the Hydra's secondary fire, which launches flares.