Country of origin
1 000 mm
1 200 mm
Total weight with launcher
Its fearsome reputation
is derived from its extreme range that’s far beyond current
anti-tank missiles. The
FGM-148 Javelin, for example, can only deliver
its lethal top attack warhead 2.5 kilometers away while the original Kornet-E developed by the Instrument Design Bureau
(KBP) had a maximum
range of 5.5 km.
To outdo rival systems, KBP upgraded the Kornet. Improved Kornet-EM has twice
the maximum range of its predecessor.
The Kornet’s tandem HEAT warhead is just as intimidating for
its size. With a 152 mm diameter it is one of the largest ATGM’s ever
built. This feature is meant to defeat the threat posed by Explosive
Reactive Armor (ERA) on
The 9M133 Kornet (Western designation AT-14 Spriggan) was first introduced in 1994 and has
since inspired subtle, albeit persistent, demand from many
countries—including states that weren’t traditionally customers of
Russian hardware. This missile was adopted by the Russian Army in
Meant as a replacement for the ubiquitous
(Western designation AT-5 Spandrel), which enjoyed widespread use in the Soviet
Army and the Warsaw Pact, the Kornet’s appearance and operation
was a complete departure from its Cold War ancestors.
As an ATGM for ground forces, the Kornet is deployed by a
two-man team. But depending on the circumstances a single person can
assemble and fire it. The two-man setup involves one carrying the
launch tube loaded with a missile while the other carries the fire
control system and day/night sight on its adjustable tripod. The
Kornet was designed to conceal its operator who could aim it while
either crouched or lying prone behind cover. This is why the launch
tube is mounted above the fire control system.
The first reported instance of the Kornet engaging hostile
forces was in Iraq during the US-led 2003 invasion. Although
no photographic evidence exists of these incidents, Iraqi Kornets
were able to disable two
M1A1 Abrams tanks and an
M2 Bradley IFV. US
forces were then ordered to seize any samples of the Kornet for analysis by military intelligence.
The Kornet achieved further notoriety during Israel’s 2006
invasion of Southern Lebanon. Like in Iraq, there is documentary
evidence of its use although video and photographic corroboration is
unavailable. According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the militant group Hezbollah
acquired Kornet’s via Syria and used these to disable Israeli
As recently as 2015 Hezbollah fighters were reported to have
used Russian-made ATGM’s against IDF units in circumstances that
suggest Kornet’s were fired.
In 2014 reporters and eye witnesses in Ukraine found
spent launch tubes printed with information identifying they
contained Kornet missiles made in Russia. It deserves mention that
Ukraine’s losses during the military conflict were crippling—hundreds of its
armored vehicles were knocked out by the Russian and separatist forces using
anti-tank missiles and artillery.
The ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen are also
theaters were Kornet’s are deployed. In the case of Syria, Kornet’s
are in use by both regime and opposition groups and photographic
proof of their deployment is available online.
The Kornet’s impressive combat record reflects its growing
importance in modern warfare where ordnance for demolishing vehicles
and structures (and even low-flying aircraft) is badly needed. With
the Russian military adopting a new generation of armored fighting
vehicles based on the
Armata chassis the Kornet is finding a broader
niche to prove itself.
International customers of the Kornet include Algeria,
Eritrea, Greece, Iran, Iraq, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Peru,
Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. All production is confined
Upgraded Kornet ATGM with laser beam riding guidance system and a
range of 8 or 10 km. There are two different missiles. A standard
anti-tank missile with tandem HEAT warhead has a range of 8 km. It
penetrates 1 100 - 1 300 mm behind ERA. The second missile has a
thermobaric warhead and a range of 10 km.
Kornet-D, anti-tank missile carrier with long-range Kornet-EM
ATGM’s. It is based on
4x4 utility vehicle carrying 8 Kornet EM’s on two separate
launchers. This missile is also used on the new unmanned turrets of
Armata heavy IFV,
Kurganets-25 IFV and
Kornet-T, An ATGM carrier based on the chassis of the
Kornet-T is armed with twin missile launchers.
Kliver, a KBP-designed remote weapon station equipped with a 30 mm cannon and
a cell carrying four Kornet-EM’s.
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