New Ca­pa­bil­i­ties of An­ti­tank Guided Mis­sile Sys­tems

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AN­TI­TANK GUIDED MIS­SILE SYS­TEMS (ATGM) have been de­vel­oped and pro­duced glob­ally for al­ready half a cen­tury. Since then they be­came the most pop­u­lar and wanted type of high pre­ci­sion weapons (HPW) thanks to their us­abil­ity and rel­a­tively low cost.

ATGM sys­tems to­day are not just a spe­cial­ized anti-tank weapon, they are also ef­fi­ciently used to en­gage a wide range of other small di­men­sion tar­gets like lightly ar­moured and soft-skinned ve­hi­cles, var­i­ous for­ti­fi­ca­tions, man­power and el­e­ments of en­emy’s in­fra­struc­ture.

The IIIrd gen­er­a­tion Kor­net-E sys­tem de­vel­oped by KBP and adopted in 1998 fea­tures a laser beam rid­ing guid­ance sys­tem. It was the first ATGM sys­tem com­pletely jam­ming proof and ca­pa­ble of fir­ing on the move. As of to­day the Kor­net-E ATGM sys­tem with a fir­ing range of 5500 m is the most state-of-the-art spec­i­men of mul­tipur­pose tac­ti­cal short range weapon sys­tem which uses mis­siles with tan­dem shaped charge war­heads for en­gage­ment of pri­mar­ily heav­ily pro­tected tar­gets (tanks, pill­boxes and the like) and mis­siles with high ex­plo­sive war­heads for en­gage­ment of a wide range of tar­gets pos­ing threat on a bat­tle­field.

A fu­ture ATGM sys­tem must be a ver­sa­tile de­fen­sive-of­fen­sive guided weapon, whose por­ta­ble and com­bat ve­hi­cle trans­portable mod­i­fi­ca­tions en­sure a wide range of ap­pli­ca­tions in close range tac­ti­cal zone in var­i­ous com­bat en­vi­ron­ments.

A KBP-de­signed ver­sa­tile Kor­net-EM ATGW meets the lat­est re­quire­ments to a fu­ture ATGM sys­tem. Its state-of-the-art en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions en­dow Kor­net-EM sys­tem with a se­ries of new qual­i­ties .

The use of tech­ni­cal vi­sion with au­to­matic tar­get tracker makes it pos­si­ble to ex­clude an op­er­a­tor from mis­sile guid­ance process and in fact im­ple­ments the “fire-and-for­get” prin­ci­ple with­out us­ing ex­pen­sive seekers in the mis­sile. This gives a 5-times in­crease in ac­cu­racy of tar­get track­ing dur­ing real com­bat use and high hit prob­a­bil­ity at any sys­tem op­er­at­ing range which is twice higher than that of the Kor­net-E ATGM sys­tem.

En­gage­ment of tar­gets in au­to­matic mode re­duces psy­chophys­i­cal stress to oper- ators, re­quire­ments to their skills and du­ra­tion of their train­ing.

The block-mo­du­lar prin­ci­ple of sys­tem de­sign tra­di­tion­ally used for the Kor­net fam­ily makes it pos­si­ble to in­stall both one and two au­to­matic launch­ers onto a wide range of rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive low load bear­ing ca­pac­ity plat­forms of var­i­ous ori­gin (1 - 1.2 tons for sin­gle launcher ver­sion and 1.7 - 1.9 tons for dou­ble launcher ver­sion).

The com­bat ve­hi­cle with two launch­ers en­sures si­mul­ta­ne­ous salvo fir­ing against two tar­gets, this sig­nif­i­cantly in­creas­ing the sys­tem’s fir­ing rate and num­ber of tar­gets han­dled. Sim­i­lar to Kor­net-E, the Kor­netEM sys­tem re­tains salvo fir­ing ca­pa­bil­ity with two mis­siles in one beam against one tar­get to get over ac­tive pro­tec­tion sys­tems.

The sys­tem’s fir­ing range was al­most dou­bled – up to 10 km.

In­crease of fir­ing range and ac­cu­racy and use of au­to­matic tar­get tracker make it pos­si­ble to track both slow ground tar­gets and faster tar­gets. This helps the Kor­net-EM sys­tem meet re­quire­ments es­sen­tially new for an­ti­tank guided weapon sys­tems – en­gage­ment of small size aerial tar­gets (UAV, he­li­copters and at­tack­ing air­planes).

Ef­fi­cient en­gage­ment of aerial tar­gets by Kor­net-EM sys­tem is en­sured by com­bi­na­tion of au­to­matic high pre­ci­sion guid­ance sys­tem and guided mis­sile with ther­mo­baric WH with im­pact and prox­im­ity tar­get sen­sor and flight range of up to 10 km.

The use of prox­im­ity tar­get sen­sor guar­an­tees re­li­able en­gage­ment of aerial tar­gets at any range. Com­bined with pow­er­ful high ex­plo­sive war­head the prox­im­ity tar­get sen­sor makes it pos­si­ble to com­pen­sate pos­si­ble misses by de­struc­tion of UAV (or he­li­copters) by over­pres­sure.

The max­i­mum flight range of the mis­sile be­ing equal to 10 km en­sures Kor­netEM sys­tem’s ad­van­tage in fight­ing he­li­copters as it en­ables the sys­tem to fire from a stand-off dis­tance.

The Kor­net-EM sys­tem in­cludes: com­bat ve­hi­cle with two au­to­matic launch­ers and op­er­a­tor’s panel with a dis­play.

Au­to­matic launcher with four readyto-fire guided mis­siles thereon is fit­ted with TV+IR sight in­cor­po­rat­ing high res­o­lu­tion TV cam­eras and third gen­er­a­tion ther­mal im­ager, built-in laser range-finder and laser mis­sile guid­ance chan­nel and an au­to­matic tar­get tracker with lay­ing drives; guided mis­sile with HE war­head with im­pact and prox­im­ity tar­get sen­sor and an an­ti­tank guided mis­sile with fir­ing range of up to 10 km; an­ti­tank guided mis­sile with a max­i­mum fir­ing range of 8000 m and shaped charge war­head ar­mour pen­e­tra­tion of 1100 - 1300 mm which en­ables the Kor­net-EM sys­tem to en­gage con­tem­po­rary and fu­ture tanks bear­ing in mind the ten­dency to growth of their ar­mour pro­tec­tion.

The Kor­net-EM mis­siles are com­pat­i­ble with por­ta­ble 9P163M-2 launcher with vari­able mag­ni­fi­ca­tion sight­ing chan­nel (12x and 20x), fit­ted with a third gen­er­a­tion ther­mal im­ager.

Com­par­a­tive anal­y­sis of the Kor­net-EM sys­tem per­for­mance spec­i­fi­ca­tions with those of its for­eign coun­ter­parts shows that in the ag­gre­gate the for­mer 3.0 - 5.0 times ex­ceeds the lat­ter in terms of com­bat ef­fi­ciency at the same time be­ing sim­pler in use and main­te­nance and fea­tur­ing 3 - 4 times cheaper am­mu­ni­tion which as an ex­pend­able com­po­nent to great ex­tent de­fines army op­er­at­ing costs.

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