|Type||Manportable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile|
|Used by||See Operators|
|Wars||Yemeni Civil War|
|Designer||Agency for Defense Development|
|Produced||June 2017 - Present|
The LIG Nex1 AT-1K Raybolt (Korean: 현궁 "Hyungung") is a South Korean man-portable third-generation anti-tank guided missile built by LIG Nex1. It has fire-and-forget capability using an infrared imaging seeker and has a tandem-warhead to defeat explosive reactive armor. The Raybolt has a top attack and direct attack modes. It is the first ATGM to be built by South Korea and entered mass production in June 2017.
Development began in 2007 and began in earnest in 2010, as South Korea's existing anti-tank guided missiles were reaching the end of their 25-year service life. LIG Nex1's priorities during development were world-class performance, weight, export competitiveness through localization of core components, cost-efficiency, and reliability. The development was not completely smooth, and for the first five years there were several failures with "Captive Flight Tests". In a retrospective on the development of the Raybolt, one engineer assessed the greatest challenge as quality assurance.
The Raybolt was developed to replace obsolete anti-tank weapons, such as recoilless rifles and TOW missiles. South Korea's 1970s-vintage TOW missiles lacked tandem-warheads and would not be able to destroy modern North Korean tanks equipped with explosive reactive armor (ERA).
The Raybolt is produced by LIG Nex1 in cooperation with South Korea's Agency for Defense Development, under the auspices of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). About 95% of the Raybolt is made in South Korea.
The Raybolt's most notable feature is an imaging infrared seeker providing fire-and-forget capability. It also has a tandem-warhead and both direct attack and top attack modes. The Raybolt uses a smokeless propellant and can be fired from within a building. The Raybolt missile and Observation and Launch Unit (OLU) can either be vehicle-mounted or carried as a manpack by two men. There are also discussions to mount the Raybolt on helicopters. The OLU has day/night capability via a thermal sight. The missile uses a soft launch to escape the barrel before activating the main flight motor. It is scheduled to be acquired over the 2018-2022 timeframe.
The Raybolt system weight about 20 kg (44 lb), which its manufacturer describes as lighter than peers. The Raybolt's range is 2.5 or 3 km. The Raybolt's HEAT tandem warhead can penetrate 900 mm of RHA beyond defeating ERA, which is described as "excellent performance" by DAPA.
The missile can be carried by a two-man crew or fitted to fire from vehicles. The South Korean Army uses an anti-tank version of the Kia Motors 4×4 Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV) called the K-153C; the roof is equipped with a launcher turret with two missiles ready to fire and four additional missiles carried inside the vehicle.
- "Medium Range Infantry Missile Raybolt" (PDF). www.lignex1.com. 26 September 2016.
- "S Korea's Raybolt ATGM Set To Compete Against Israeli Spike, US Javelin". www.defenseworld.net. 2 June 2017.
- Lee Seok-jong (22 October 2014). "빛과 같은 화살로 날아가 '꽝'대전차 임무 지형도가 바뀐다". kookbang.dema.mil.kr (in Korean).
- "Medium Range Infantry Missile Raybolt" (PDF). LIG Nex1 Magazine (in Korean). January–February 2014. pp. 6–15.
- Dagyum Ji (1 June 2017). "Seoul to mass-produce indigenous anti-tank guided missile: DAPA". NK News.
- Arthur, Gordon (7 December 2016). "Korea ignites Raybolt missile". www.shephardmedia.com. Hong Kong.
- South Korean Raybolt ATGM missile in service with Saudi Arabia army. Army Recognition. 1 October 2018.
- Kelvin Wong (12 September 2018). "DX Korea 2018: RoKA unveils 4×4 K-153C ATGM carrier - Jane's 360". Jane's International Defence Review. Archived from the original on 2018-09-12.
- "True Dream Partner - LIG Nex1". www.lignex1.com. 28 March 2016.
- Jeremy Binnie (26 June 2018). "South Korean Raybolt spotted in Yemen". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 2018-07-02.
- "Opinion: South Korea – the next big defence exporter?". www.shephardmedia.com. 19 September 2018.