Skif (anti-tank guided missile)

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Skif
Stugna-P, Kyiv 2021, 01.jpg
A Stugna-P on a tripod.
TypeATGM
Place of originUkraine
Service history
In service2011–present[1]
Used bySee Users
WarsWar in Donbass
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Production history
Designer"Luch" State Kyiv Design Bureau
VariantsSee Variants
Specifications
Mass97 kg (214 lb); full system including missile 104 kg (229 lb)
Diameter130 mm, 155 mm
Detonation
mechanism
Impact fuze

Operational
range
  • Day: 5/5.5 km
  • Night: 3 km
Guidance
system
Laser beam riding with target tracking in TV or thermal imaging channels in manual or auto mode[2]
Steering
system
Manual or automatic
Launch
platform
Tripod, vehicle mount on remote weapon station (RWS)

The Skif or Stuhna-P (Ukrainian: Стугна-П) is a Ukrainian anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system developed in the 2010s by the Luch Design Bureau.[2][1][3] The guidance device (ПН-С) of the Skif is developed and manufactured by Belarusian design bureau Peleng based in Minsk while the Stuhna-p uses a domestic Ukrainian one.[4][needs update] Skif is the Ukrainian word for Scythian and Stuhna is the name of a local river.

The Skif is designed to destroy modern armored targets with combined carried or monolithic armor, including explosive reactive armor (ERA). Skifs can attack both stationary and moving targets. They can attack from both long range (up to 5 km in the daytime) and close range (100m). They can attack point targets such as weapon emplacements, lightly armored objects, and hovering helicopters. The Skif has two targeting modes: manually steered, and automated fire-and-forget that uses no manual tracking of a target.[2][5] In 2018, an upgraded export variant of the Skif was tested by the Ukrainian military.[6]

Design[edit]

The Skif consists of a tripod, missile container, PDU-215 remote control panel, guidance device, and thermographic camera (thermal imager).[2][1]

The PDU-215 control panel is a briefcase-like laptop computer with a control panel, holding a small joystick and a flat-panel display, that is connected to the firing unit by a cable, allowing it be used at distances up to 50 metres away. Two firing modes are available: manual, and fire-and-forget. Fire-and-forget provides automatic control of the missile flight using a targeting laser beam.[1]

A three to four-person team is optimal for deploying the Skif. Operators require specially-made backpacks. Once the missile is fired, the operator controls the Skif and corrects the aim when needed, by using the joystick on the remote control. The Skif's system has a shelf life of 15 years. The missiles have a 10-year shelf life.

The system comes complete with 130 mm and 152 mm caliber missiles in transport and launching containers. Tandem charge high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) RK-2S warheads might be able to counter medium weight main battle tanks such as the T-90A with penetration of 800 mm behind ERA. RK-2M-K warheads might be able to counter heavy main battle tanks such as M1A2 Abrams with their penetration of 1100 mm behind ERA. The system also includes high explosive (HE) fragmentation RK-2OF and RK-2М-OF warheads to attack infantry positions and light armored vehicles. The system can use all four types of missiles with no modification. The system's thermal imager can be used during night operations.[2][1] According to a 2014 article, SLX-Hawk thermal imaging camera produced by Selex ES can be installed for use at night and in poor visibility conditions.[7]

Variants[edit]

The system has four types of missiles in two different calibers.[2][1]

130 mm missiles[edit]

Stugna-P firing from a concealed position by remote control

System configuration with 130 mm missiles using RK-2S and RK-2OF warheads. This or a very similar version is fielded by the Ukrainian armed forces as the Stuhna-P (Stugna-P).[8][9]

  • Missile caliber: 130 mm
  • Firing range (day): 0.1–5 km
  • Firing range (night): 0.1–3 km
  • Full system weight: 97 kg[3]
  • Missile in container weight: 30 kg
  • Warhead penetration:
  • Container length: 1360 mm

152 mm missiles[edit]

Stugna-P and Aselsan Eye-Lr S thermal imaging camera

System configuration with 152 mm missiles using RK-2M-K and RK-2М-OF warheads:

  • Missile caliber: 152 mm
  • Firing range (day): 0.1–5.5 km
  • Firing range (night): 0.1–3 km
  • Full system weight: 104 kg[3]
  • Missile in container weight: 37 kg
  • Warhead penetration:
  • Container length: 1435 mm

SERDAR[edit]

SERDAR is a stabilized remote controlled weapon station (RCWS). The system was developed jointly by the Luch Design Bureau, Turkish company Aselsan Spets, and Techno Export, part of Ukraine’s Ukroboronprom enterprise. The system carries two (in some versions four) 130 mm or 152 mm missiles with RK-2S or RK-2M-K tandem-charge HEAT warheads. The system is also equipped with 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm caliber machine guns.[10] A joint company for the production of Skif missiles was established in Turkey and production began in early 2020.[1]

Shershen[edit]

Shershen is a Belarusian ATGM based on Skif. It also has different types of 130 mm and 152 mm missiles.[11]

Operational history[edit]

A Ukrainian three-man anti-tank team moving on foot in a winter maneuver, carrying Stugna-P ATGM

The missile system was used during the pre-2022 Russo-Ukrainian War by Ukrainian forces following first deliveries in 2018.[12] However, it gained wider prominence against Russian Army forces during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine beginning in February alongside anti-tank systems provided by NATO countries such as the FGM-148 Javelin (US), NLAW (UK), and Panzerfaust 3 (Germany).[13] On April 5, 2022, Ukrainian forces used the missile system to down a Russian Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopter.[14]

As the war has moved to the Donbas and fighting has changed from wooded areas to open plains, the missile has been fitted to light vehicles to make it mobile. The Stugna-P is being used in the same way US forces used the TOW missile system in the 1980s and the Gulf War Desert Patrol Vehicle. Its increased range gives it an edge over the NLAW and Javelin missiles. On 25 April, near Izyum, during one engagement four tanks were destroyed or damaged in 4 minutes by the same Stugna-P operator.[15][16] The Skif missile is also some three times cheaper to manufacture than the Javelin missile.[17]

Many of the missiles were to be exported to Middle Eastern countries. However, upon the outbreak of war these export models were used by Ukrainian soldiers.[18][19] According to Ukrainian soldiers one Skif missile has hit a Russian tank at 5,300 meters. 300 more than the maximum range of 5 kms.[20]

Users[edit]

Armored car Otokar Cobra of the Azerbaijani army, equipped with ATGM Skif

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Skif Anti-Tank Guided Missile". Military-Today.com. Archived from the original on 2017-07-08. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  2. ^ a b c d e f ""SKIF" man portable antitank missile system". www.luch.kiev.ua. Archived from the original on 2017-12-10. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  3. ^ a b c "Luch, State Kyiv Design Bureau" (PDF). State Kyiv Design Bureau, Luch. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 November 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  4. ^ "ЦАМТО / Главное / Украина рассчитывает на увеличение экспортных поставок ПТРК "Скиф"". armstrade.org. Archived from the original on 2021-05-06. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  5. ^ "Skif – Trojan". Archived from the original on 2018-03-25. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  6. ^ "Ukraine Tests New Anti-tank Guided Missile System 'Skif'". www.defenseworld.net. Archived from the original on 2021-12-28. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  7. ^ "Стугна-П. Противотанковый ракетный комплекс". Defense Express (in Russian) (10). October 2014.
  8. ^ "STUGNA-P". Archived from the original on 26 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Постріл з протитанковою керованою ракетою "СТУГНА"". Luch Design Bureau. Archived from the original on 2022-03-24. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  10. ^ "Ukrainian-Turkish SERDAR Anti-Tank Missile Launching System Passes Qualifying Trials". DEFPOST. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Shershen". Military-Today.com. Archived from the original on 9 December 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  12. ^ Axe, David (11 January 2022). "Ukraine's Homemade Anti-Tank Missiles Have Been Blasting More and More Rebel Vehicles". Forbes. Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Starstreak, Javelin, NLAW: 200,000 items of weaponry sent to Ukraine from West's war chest". Archived from the original on 15 March 2022.
  14. ^ "Video shows Ukrainian troops shooting a Russian helicopter gunship down with an anti-tank missile". Business Insider. 5 April 2022.
  15. ^ "VIDEO: Four By War: Four Russian Tanks Destroyed In Four Minutes". 27 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Ukrainian Battle Buggies Are Out To Kill Russian Tanks". 28 April 2022.
  17. ^ "See Why Ukraine's Tank-Busting Stugna-P Missiles Are Proving So Effective". 27 March 2022.
  18. ^ "Ukraine uses an ATGM Skif/Stugna-P made for an Arab customer". 21 March 2022.
  19. ^ "Stinging With Stugna – Ukraine's Home-Grown ATGMs Complement Javelins & Stringers To Wreak Havoc On Russian Tanks". 30 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Stinging With Ukraine-made ATGM destroyed a Russian tank at a 5.3 km distance". 1 August 2022.
  21. ^ Mitzer, Stijn; Oliemans, Joost (17 October 2021). "Azerbaijan's Emerging Arsenal Of Deterrent". Oryx.
  22. ^ "Algerian army acquired the Skif ATGM from Ukraine". Menadefense.net. Archived from the original on 8 February 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  23. ^ "Украина поставила военной техники в СА на $24,2 млн - СМИ". LIGA. December 28, 2018.
  24. ^ "SIPRI Trade Register". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Archived from the original on 2010-04-14. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  25. ^ "Le Maroc teste de nouveaux missiles antichars Ukrainiens". ledesk.ma. Archived from the original on 26 April 2022. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  26. ^ "Катар показал боевой модуль турецкой ASELSAN с украинскими ПТУР "Скиф" на 31 бронеавтомобиле - T34 — КОНТ". cont.ws.
  27. ^ a b The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2022), The Military Balance 2022 (in German) (1st ed.), London: Routledge, ISBN 978-1-032-27900-8