9M133 Kornet

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9M133 Kornet
Корнет - Контрольная проверка курсантов Учебного центра боевого применения ракетных войск и артиллерии 05.jpg
9M133 missile with launcher
Type Anti-tank missile
Place of origin Russia
Service history
In service 1998–present
Used by See Operators
Wars

Iraq War

2006 Lebanon War
Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Syrian Civil War
Iraqi Civil War (2014–present)
War in Donbass
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi-led intervention in Yemen (2015–present)
Sinai insurgency
Production history
Designer KBP Instrument Design Bureau
Designed 1988-1998
Manufacturer Degtyarev plant
Produced 1994–present
No. built 35,000 (2009)
Variants See Variants
Specifications (9M133)
Weight 27 kg (29 kg with launch tube)
Length 1200 mm
Diameter 152 mm
Warhead 1,000–1,200 (9K135), 1,200 (E), 1,300 (D) mm RHA[1] penetration after ERA with Tandem HEAT, Thermobaric
Warhead weight 4.6 kg (10 lb) HEAT[2]
Detonation
mechanism
Impact fuze

Wingspan 460 mm
Propellant Solid-fuel rocket
Operational
range
  • Kornet
    100–5,500 m
  • Kornet-EM[3][Note 1]
    8,000 m (anti-tank),
    10,000 m (thermobaric)
Guidance
system
SACLOS laser beam riding
Steering
system
Two control surfaces
Accuracy <5 m
Launch
platform
Individual, vehicles, Kornet-T, Kornet-D, Bumerang-BM

The 9M133 Kornet (Russian: Корнет; "Cornet", NATO reporting name AT-14 Spriggan, export designation Kornet-E) is a modern Russian man-portable anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) intended for use against main battle tanks. It was first introduced into service with the Russian army in 1998.[4]

The Kornet is among the most capable Russian ATGMs. It is not intended to fully replace previous systems, due to its high cost.[5] The Kornet comes in variants with thermobaric warheads for use against soft targets. It was further developed into the 9M133 Kornet-EM, which boasts increased range, fire-and-forget capability, and an improved warhead.

The Kornet has been widely exported and is produced under license in several countries. It was first used combat in 2003 and has since been used in many conflicts.

Development[edit]

The Kornet anti-tank missile was unveiled in October 1994 by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau.[6] The missile started development in 1988 as a modular, universal system able to engage any target from a mix of platforms using a reliable laser beam guidance system that was simple to use. It is a heavy ATGM, superior to the earlier 9K111 Fagot (NATO: AT-4 Spigot) and 9K113 Konkurs (NATO: AT-5 Spandrel) wire-guided ATGMs, but not to replace them (due to the cost).[7] The missile entered service in the Russian army in 1998.[4] Its export designation is the Kornet-E.[5] The 9P163M-1 Kornet-T tank destroyer entered service in 2012.[8]

North Korea has developed a clone of the Kornet known as the Bulsae-3, which was first revealed on February 27, 2016 publicly during a demo test.[9][10]

Description[edit]

The 9M133 missile together with its 9P163-1 tripod launcher and 1PN79-1 thermal sight forms the 9K135 missile system,[11] which can be carried and operated by a two-person infantry crew. The transfer to the firing position takes less than one minute, and preparation and production of a shot in at least one second.[12] In addition to an infantry portable version, the 9K133 system has been integrated into a variety of other vehicles and weapons systems as either an upgrade package or a new weapon system. The 9K133 has been fitted into a BMP-3 to form the 9P163M-1 tank destroyer and is similar in function to the Khrizantema missile system. The 9P163M-1 carries two 9M133 missiles on launch rails, which are extended from a stowed position during transit. Missile are re-loaded automatically by the tank destroyer from an internal magazine with 16 rounds (missiles are stored and transported in sealed canisters).[13] NBC protection is provided for the two crew (gunner and driver) of each 9P163M-1 in addition to full armour protection equivalent to the standard BMP-3 chassis. The guidance system of the 9P163M-1 allows two missiles to be fired at once, each operating on different guidance (laser) channels.

The 9K135 Kornet can be broken down and carried by two men.

The KBP Instrument Design Bureau has also marketed the 9M133 missile as part of the Kvartet system for mounting on vehicles and boats; the system has four missiles on ready to launch rails along with associated guidance and sighting system all packaged in a single turret; the guidance system also allows two missiles to be fired at once. The turret has space for an additional five rounds and is operated by a single individual.[14] Another upgrade possibility is the Kliver missile and gun turret, seen as an upgrade option for the BTR series of APC, BMP-1 IFV and patrol boats. It has similar capabilities as the Kvartet turret, but also carries a 30 mm 2A72 cannon; turret weight is 1,500 kg.[15] Finally the 9M133 is also available in the BEREZHOK turret upgrade also made available by KBP.[16] Since 2014, its serial production has been resumed for the domestic market with the designation B05YA01.[17][18]

Kornet-EM[edit]

Kornet-EM missiles on a Kornet-D launcher.

The 9M133 Kornet-EM is an improved variant introduced in 2012 that is designed to defeat vehicles with explosive reactive armor (ERA), is jamming resistant, and uses an automatic target tracker which essentially turns it into a "fire and forget" missile. The “fire and forget” capability allows a vehicle equipped with twin launchers to attack two different targets at once, increasing its rate of fire, decreases the number of vehicles needed for a mission, and can defeat vehicles equipped with an active protection system through salvo fire.[19] The system's use of an autotracker can make it effective against low-flying aerial threats like helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).[20][21]Kornet-EM can fire in salvo two missiles simultaneously to defeat active protection systems or at two different targets.

Kornet-EM is mainly used on the Kornet-D system.[22][23] Iran also produces a licensed copy of the Kornet-D under the name Pirooz, albeit with a different launch vehicle.[24]

The Kornet-EM first entered service with the Russian Army;[25] its first export customer was Bahrain.[26] It has also been exported to Algeria.[27] It is built under license in Saudi Arabia[28][29] and Iran.[24]

Combat history[edit]

Kornet launch

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Kornets were used by some groups of Iraqi special forces to attack U.S. armored vehicles, disabling at least two Abrams tanks and one Bradley infantry fighting vehicle in the opening week of the war.[30][31]

The second verified episode of the Kornet ATGM in combat use occurred during the 2006 Lebanon War, where the missiles, reportedly supplied by Syria, were used by Hezbollah fighters to destroy up to four Israeli Merkava tanks.[32] Kornets pierced the armor of 24 tanks in total.[33][34] One of the first detailed accounts of IDF's successful capture of Kornet ATGMs on Hezbollah positions in the village of Ghandouriyeh appeared in the Daily Telegraph article, which also reported that the boxes were marked with "Customer: Ministry of Defense of Syria. Supplier: KBP, Tula, Russia".[35] Several months after the cease-fire, reports have provided sufficient photographic evidence that Kornet ATGMs were indeed both in possession of, and used by, Hezbollah in this area.[36][37]

Israel claims that Russian weapons were smuggled to Hezbollah by Syria, and Israel has sent a team of officials to Moscow to show Russia the evidence of what they say can only be Syrian weapons transfers.[38] Despite initial public denials by the Russian officials that any proof of actual use of Kornet by Hezbollah has been presented,[39][40] the Russian government in fact has moved to tighten control over the use of Russian-made weapons by the importing states, suggesting that the visit of the Israeli delegation did bear fruit, although it might have nothing to do with Kornet.[41] On 6 December 2010, a Kornet launched from the Gaza strip penetrated the outer armour of a Merkava Mark III tank on the Israeli side of the border, but it caused no injuries.[42]

On 7 April 2011 Hamas claimed responsibility for a missile strike on an Israeli yellow school bus which killed a 16-year-old boy, Daniel Viflic,[43][44] and wounded another civilian (all the other children who were on the bus got out few minutes earlier). According to Israeli military spokesman, the bus was hit by a Kornet missile.[45]

Kornet in Russian service.

During the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in the summer of 2014, of the 15 anti-tank missiles which launched on Israeli tanks that were intercepted by the Israeli active protection system "Trophy", most were of the Kornet type. In some cases the Kornet launchers were destroyed after the "Trophy" system had detected the launch and directed the tank's main gun to the launcher position.[46]

In the summer of 2014 the armour of Iraqi Army M1A1 Abrams tanks were penetrated 5 times. Kornet missiles were responsible for at least some of these penetrations.[47] In September 2014, the Iraqi Army used Kornet missiles against Islamic State militants for the first time. Iraqi security forces claimed five IS-operated vehicles along with fighters were destroyed in Diyala Province. Three Iraqi Army squadrons have been trained to use the Kornet anti-tank missile.[48]

In the January 2015 Shebaa farms incident, Hezbollah fired some Kornet anti-tank missiles against two Israeli Humvees. A soldier and an officer were killed. In 2015 Iran succeeded in reverse-engineering the Kornet. Iran arms Hezbollah and there is speculation Iranian Kornets were used against Israel in a border attack on the 29th Jan 2015.[49]

After the 2011 Libyan civil war the Gadaffi regime's stockpiles were looted and many weapons, including Kornet missiles, proliferated through the region. Many of the Kornet missiles fell in the hands of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis in Egypt's Sinai penninsula. In the Sinai insurgency, Kornet missiles become a key weapon in attacking Egyptian Armed Forces. Ansar Bait al-Maqdis has used the missile on M1A1 and M60 tanks[50], helicopters (AH-64)[51][52] and a navy ship.[53] The group has since became a branch of ISIL, renaming itself ISIL-Sinai Province.[54]

Reuters have found remains of used Kornet missiles in Ukraine in the context of the 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine. Since Ukraine is not a known operator of Kornet, Reuters quoted the International Institute for Strategic Studies that the missiles were most likely sent into Ukraine by Russia.[55][56][57]

Russia has sent over 1,000 Kornet-9M133 third-generation anti-tank guided missiles to the Syrian Government who have used them extensively against armour and ground targets to fight Jihadists and rebels.[58][59][60] In 2016, a Syrian Army Solntsepyok TOS-1 was destroyed by a Kornet missile from unknown Syrian opposition forces.[61][citation needed]

In October 2016, the ISIL-linked Amaq news agency released a video that depicts a destruction of a U.S.-made Abrams M1 main battle tank near Mosul, Iraq. The battle tank was reportedly blown up with the Kornet ATGM. The event took place at the Qarayyah crossroad, south of Mosul.[62]

In January 2017, the German newspaper Die Welt reported that ISIL fighters used Kornets to destroy 6 Leopard 2 tanks used by the Turkish military in Syria.[63][64] An ISIL propaganda video released in March 2017 showed ISIS fighters capturing two Kornets being transported in Syria, which show the manufacturing year of 2016.

Missile variants[edit]

[65] 9M133-1 (Kornet/Kornet-E) 9M133M-2 (Kornet-M/Kornet-EM) 9M133F-1 (Kornet/Kornet-E) 9M133F-2 (Kornet-M/Kornet-EM) 9M133F-3 (Kornet-M/Kornet-EM)
Diameter
160 mm body / 460 mm wingspan
Length
1.1 m missile / 1.21 m tube
Weight (including container) 29 kg (64 lb) 31 kg (68 lb) 29 kg (64 lb) 31 kg (68 lb) 33 kg (73 lb)
Speed >250 m/s 300 m/s >250 m/s 300 m/s 320 m/s
Range (daytime) 100–5,500 m 150–8,000 m 100–5,500 m 150–8,000 m 150–10,000 m
Warhead 152 mm tandem HEAT
1,000–1,200 mm RHA penetration after ERA
3–3.5 m of concrete
152 mm tandem HEAT
1,100–1,300 mm RHA penetration after ERA
3–3.5 m of concrete
Thermobaric 10 kg (22 lb) TNT equivalent Thermobaric 10 kg (22 lb) TNT equivalent Thermobaric 7 kg (15 lb) TNT equivalent

Operators[edit]

Map with 9M133 operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

  •  Algeria – 3,000 missiles ordered in 2006.[66][67] 340 Berezhok turrets were ordered in 2014 to equip BMP-1s and BMP-2s.[68] Kornet-EM also ordered.
  •  Armenia[69] – 50 launchers, 200 missiles received in 2013.
  •  Azerbaijan[70]
  •  Bahrain – Kornet-EM ordered[71][72]
  •  Ethiopia[73]
  •  Eritrea – 80 Kornet-E's were delivered in 2005[67]
  •  Greece – 196 launchers with 1,100+ missiles, in service as of 2008[74]. All Humvee-mounted
  •  India – 3,000 missiles including over 250 launchers were delivered between 2003 and 2006.[67]
  •  Iran – Licensed local production under the name "Dehlavie" (دهلاویه)[75][76][77]; 9M133-1 Kornet-E, 9M133F-1 (Kornet-EM),[78] and Kornet-D[79] systems known to be produced
  •  Iraq – reported since 2014[80]
  •  Ivory Coast – reported[73]
  •  Jordan – 200 Kornet-E launchers with 2,000 missiles.[4]
  •  Kuwait[81]
  •  Libya – Used in 2011 Civil War by Qaddafi loyalists[82]
  •  Morocco – 80 Kornet missiles ordered in 2000.[15][67]
  •  Namibia – unknown number ordered in 2014.[83]
  •  North Korea – Unknown, reversed engineered Kornet-E under designation of Bulsae-3 [84]
  •  Peru – 288 missiles and 24 launchers plus training simulators and technical support. The contract (worth US$24 million) was signed in 2008. All missiles delivered in January 2010. As of June 2013, it is currently negotiating the purchase of additional units.[85]
  •  Qatar[86]
  •  Russia[87] (2009). 540 Berezhok turrets were ordered in 2017 to equip BMP-2 and BMD-2 vehicles.[88]
  •  Saudi Arabia Kornet-EM produced under license[89]
  •  Sudan[90]
  •  Syria – 100 Kornet-E launchers with 1,000 missiles as of 2013.[91] Received about 1,500 more between 2002 and 2006.[67][92]
  •  Turkey – 80 launchers with 800 missiles[93]
  •  UAE[73]
  •  Uganda – 1,000 Kornet-E missiles ordered in 2010 and delivered between 2012 and 2013.[67]

Non-state operators[edit]

Potential operators[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kornet-EM missiles are compatible with the Kornet launchers.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]