9M120 Ataka-V

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9M120 with tandem HEAT warhead

The AT-9 Spiral-2 is the NATO reporting name for the 9M120 Ataka-V SACLOS radio guided anti-tank missile system of the Soviet Union \ Russia [1]. It is the next major generation in the 9K114 Shturm (AT-6 Spiral) family. This system is often confused with the 9K121 Vikhr system.

The missile has been designed to defeat tanks with composite armour.

Development[edit]

The missile was designed by KBM, Kolomna. The missile entered service some time in the 1990s. It was first mentioned in Russian documents around 1992. It appears to be an evolutionary development of the AT-6 Spiral system - heavier and faster. Range and accuracy have reportedly been increased as well.

The missile has often been confused in the west with the 9A1472 Vikhr dual-purpose laser beam riding missile used on the Kamov helicopters and Sukhoi attack aircraft (as well as some Ukrainian Mi-24/35 upgrades). These systems are completely unrelated in their design and are in fierce competition.

Description[edit]

9M120 rear view

The missile is stored in a glass reinforced plastic tube, which also acts as its launcher. The missile is reported to be considerably faster than the AT-6 Spiral, with slightly longer range than the original version. It still uses radio command guidance, but the system has been improved when compared to the earlier 9K114 Shturm.

There are three main missiles that are compatible with the launch system. The first is a two-stage anti-armour weapon. Second is a missile termed 9M120F that has a thermobaric warhead for use against infantry positions. Finally, there is a the 9M220 with a proximity fused expanding rod warhead, which provides the system with a limited air to air capability.

The system is carried by the Mil Mi-28 and Mi-35M versions.[2] It is also offered in vehicle (Ataka-T) and ship launched versions.

General characteristics 9M120 (AT-9 Spiral-2)[edit]

  • Length: 1,830 mm (with standoff probe)
  • Wingspan: 360 mm
  • Diameter: 130 mm
  • Launch weight (including container): 49.5 kg [3]
  • Speed: 550 m/s
  • Range: 1,000 m - 5,800 m [4] \ 8 km for the 9М120М model
  • Guidance: Radio command link SACLOS
  • Warhead: shaped charge (probably 5–8 kg) tandem HEAT 800 mm vs RHA after ERA / 900 mm vs RHA after ERA for the 9М120М

Variants[edit]

  • 9M120 Ataka-V "AT-9 Spiral-2" SACLOS radio command guidance missile. [5] [6]
    • 9M120 with tandem HEAT warhead.
    • 9M120F with thermobaric warhead for use against buildings, bunkers and caves.
    • 9M220O with expanding rod warhead, for use against helicopters.
    • 9M120M improved version.

Operators[edit]

 Azerbaijan
 Cyprus
 Russia
 Venezuela
 Brazil
 Indonesia
 India
 Iraq

References[edit]

  • Hull, A.W., Markov, D.R., Zaloga, S.J. (1999). Soviet/Russian Armor and Artillery Design Practices 1945 to Present. Darlington Productions. ISBN 1-892848-01-5.
  • www.airwar.ru