MOSCOW --- The Russian Defense Ministry is finalizing the tests of the Kornet-EM (AT-14 Spriggan) antitank guided missile (ATGM) system, according to the Izvestia daily.
The Kornet ATGM system is equally effective against ground and aerial threats, including helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that are hard to spot and hit. The latest ATGM system from the Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) in Tula is designed to defend S-400 (SA-21 Growler) air defense missile systems on the march, when they are very vulnerable to enemy commandos, armor and drones.
The tests have been passed, and the Tula-developed missile system has cleared all of the hurdles, a Russian Defense Ministry officer close to the trials explained. The weapons system is demonstrating a high degree of readiness. Hence, the remainder of the work is expected to be wrapped up soon.
The High-Precision Systems Holding Company, which subsidiary KBP is, has confirmed the fact of the testing to the Izvestia daily.
According to High-Precision Systems, the Russian Aerospace Force leadership praised the real-life operation of the Kornet-EM during the Keys to the Skies phase of the Army Games in August this year.
During an exercise at a specialized proving ground in Yeisk, the Kornet ATGM and Pantsir (SA-22 Greyhound) AD missile/gun systems repelled attacks by commandos and combat helicopters of the notional enemy.
The Kornet-EM mobile ATGM system mounted on the Tigr armored car was unveiled to the public during the Victory Day Parade in Red Square on May 9, 2015.
The Kornet’s operating principle is simple enough. The launcher paints the target with a laser beam seen by the missile’s seeker. Riding the beam, the missile hits the target, expert Dmitry Kornev explained. The launcher is equipped with not only the thermal imager, but the autotracker as well, which keeps the target illuminated by the laser until it is destroyed.
According to the expert, since the ATGM system’s laser illumination system is very quick and accurate and the Kornet’s organic missile, 9M133, flies at more than 320 m/s, the new system will easily destroy not only armor, but fast combat helicopters and highly maneuverable UAVs as well.
The technical philosophy of the Kornet is rather simple - a ‘smart’ launcher and a lethal high-velocity missile, Kornev explained. The solution is characteristic of the school of thought of Academician Arkady Shipunov, the founder of KBP. However, most of the present-day ATGM systems embody the opposite approach. At the same time, it is the high effectiveness of Shipunov’s school of thought that has been proven by the lessons learnt from contemporary wars and armed conflicts.
The export versions of previous-generation Russian-made ATGM systems have earned a combat record. In particular, Yemeni TV channel Al-Masirah has shown several videos of a Yemeni Army attack on the Saudi positions, during which antitank missiles wiped out several combat vehicles, including an M1A2 Abrams regarded as one of the best-protected tanks in the world.
Now that the battlefield lacks a clear-cut frontline and the mobility of units has increased by many times, the scenario when an S-400 or S-300 (SA-20B Gargoyle) battalion on the march is attacked by not just enemy commandos, but by lightly armored combat vehicles and armored cars supported by attack helicopters is quite feasible, expert Andrei Frolov stressed. The Kornet packs eight missiles ready for launch in addition to those carried in the vehicle, with the ATGMs outfitted not only with armor-piercing warheads, but high-explosive and fuel-air explosive ones as well. Therefore, the Kornet will handle a wide range of targets, according to the Izvestia daily. -