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Anti-tank guided missile

Ataka missile

The Ataka is a Russian long-range anti-tank guided missile

Country of origin Russia
Entered service early 1990s
Armor penetration 800 / 950 mm behind ERA
Missile length 1.83 m
Missile diameter 0.13 m
Fin span 0.36 m
Missile weight 42.5 kg
Warhead weight 7.4 kg
Warhead type HEAT, fuel-air explosive, expanding rod
Range of fire up to 10 km
Guidance Radio command link


   The 9M120 Ataka (Western designation AT-9 Spiral-2) is a long-range anti-tank guided missile. It was developed in the 1980s in the Soviet Union as a follow-on to the previous 9K114 Shturm (AT-6 Spiral) system, that was introduced in the late 1970s. Soviets needed a new missiles, that could penetrate contemporary Western main battle tanks with composite and explosive reactive armor, such as the American M1 Abrams, German Leopard 2, and British Challenger. Launchers with Ataka missiles can be mounted on helicopters, vehicles and watercraft. It is basically similar to the previous Shturm, but has longer range. The Ataka missiles are currently used by the Russian armed forces. These missiles have been exported to Algeria, Brazil, India, Kazakhstan, and Slovenia. Some sources report that these missiles have also been exported to Iran and North Korea.

   The Ataka can be fired from existing Shturm launch platforms, such as a Shturm-S anti-tank missile carrier, without any modifications. It is used on attack helicopters, such as the Mi-24, Mi-28, and Ka-52.

   The baseline Ataka missile had a maximum range of 6 km. However later improved versions with a maximum range of 8 and 10 km were developed. This missile is supersonic. It has a Semi-Automatic Command to Line of Sight (SACLOS) guidance, and uses advanced radio command guidance signals. Even though the guidance principle is the same as on the previous Shturm missile, the system has been improved and is more resistant to electronic countermeasures. The gunner has to keep his sight on the target. However at longer ranges this missile gradually looses accuracy. The baseline 9M120 missile has a 65-90% chance of hitting a tank at a range of 4 km.

   The missile is stored in a tube, with also acts as its launcher.

   The following missiles are available:

   - 9M120 is a baseline missile with a tandem HEAT warhead. It is used against tanks and other armored vehicles. It penetrates 800 mm of armor behind ERA.

   - 9M120F with fuel-air explosive (thermobaric) warhead. It is used against infantry in buildings, trenches and fortifications. It has a maximum range of 5.8 km.

   - 9A220O (also referred as 9M220) air-to-air version with expanding rod warhead. It is used against helicopters. It has a maximum range of 7 km.

   - 9M120M improved version with longer range and improved HEAT warhead. It has a maximum range of 8 000 m and penetrates 950 mm of armor behind ERA.

   - 9M120D improved version with a maximum range of up to 10 km.

   Also there is a Russian Vikhr anti-tank guided missile. It was developed during the same timeframe as the Ataka and has the same role. Also it has comparable performance, even though the Vikhr was developed by another company and has an unrelated design and different guidance. This missile can be launched not only by helicopters, but by close support aircraft as well. Both of these missiles are competing against each other.




   Ataka-V is an air-launched ATGW system. It entered service with the Russian military in the early 1990s. This long-range ATGW system is carried by attack helicopters.

   Ataka-T is a vehicle-mounted ATGW system. The first application of this weapon was a Russian BMPT tank support combat vehicle. It was fitted with two launchers either side of the turret.

Ataka missile

Ataka missile

Ataka missile

Ataka missile

Ataka missile

Ataka missile

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