Country of origin
Total weight with launcher
were a renaissance for anti-tank weapons. Not only did the fusion of
miniaturization and optoelectronics amplify the infantryman’s
firepower, but advances in missile technology meant tanks and
armored vehicles could be dispatched with relative ease at superb
ranges. Until then
infantry used crew-served anti-tank and recoilless rifles, i.e. the
Carl Gustaf, for
anti-armor role. The few anti-tank missiles that existed were often just
short-range guided rockets, designed in the 1950s.
The period was especially
fertile for ATGM’s from either side of the Iron Curtain. In
circumstances that remain baffling until today, companies like the
Soviet Union’s Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) were able to create
imitations of Western ATGM’s whose capabilities were even better
than the originals. This was exactly the case with the 9K115 Metis
(Western designated the AT-7 Saxhorn). In form and function it shared striking
similarities with the Franco-German
MILAN, albeit with smaller
Like the Milan, the Metis was deployed as a two-man system.
One carried the launcher that had an integrated collapsible tripod
while his partner carried two launch tubes with missiles.
These containers were water proof and lightweight. A third soldier
might even carry an extra pair of missiles.
The original Metis’ range, penetration, and warhead were
similar to the MILAN’s. Both were wire-guided SACLOS systems and
brought additional firepower down to the company level alongside
machine guns, light mortars, and rocket launchers.
In the greater scheme of things, the Metis was for the Soviet
footsloggers while the heftier
Konkurs was employed in their battle
taxis like the BMP-2. The original Metis didn’t enjoy the export
success of previous Soviet ATGM’s and this undeserved state
consigned it to near-obscurity.
Metis was deployed in three-man teams. One carried the launcher that
had an integrated collapsible tripod while his partners each carried
two launch tubes armed with missiles. These containers were water
proof and lightweight.
By 1992 KBP introduced a new variant called the Metis-M or
(AT-13 Saxhorn-2) and 20 years later the even more capable Metis-M1
arrived. Both had larger 127 mm missiles with greater range and
penetration. This meant the original Metis is now obsolete and can
not defeat any type of
armored vehicle currently in service.
The Metis-M proved itself during the brief 2006 war between
Israel and Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon. In a conflict that was
almost decided by the widespread use of ATGM’s, Hezbollah managed to
inflict frustrating losses on IDF armor using their stocks of
Kornet, and Metis-M’s. Even their
RPG-29’s managed to pose a serious threat to
Israel’s tanks and armored vehicles.
Years later the Metis-M would leave its mark during the
Syrian Civil War where a startling variety of ATGM’s are employed by
the warring factions.
Unlike its earlier iteration the 9K115-2 Metis-M has proven
itself as an export. Multiple former Soviet republics as well as
client states possess stocks of the Metis and Metis-M. Bulgaria
openly advertises the fact that it sells surplus Metis ATGM’s.
Countries like Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Croatia, Indonesia,
Iran, Malaysia, and South Korea have purchased the Metis-M and M1’s
for their armies.
original variant that entered service in 1979 was a relatively small
SACLOS ATGM with a 93 mm 9M115 missile suited for hitting targets at
a range of up to 1 kilometer.
Metis-M, Introduced in 1992, the Metis-M features a larger
127 mm missile with tandem HEAT warhead and enhanced performance. It
has a range of 1.5 km and penetrates 800 mm of rolled homogenous
armor behind Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA).
Metis-M1, A further improvement of the Metis-M. It uses the
127 mm 9M131M missile on the 9P151 launcher that now has the
1PBN86-V1 thermal sight. This configuration is suited for
all-weather operations. It has a range of 2 km and penetrates 900 -
950 mm of armor behind ERA. Missile of the Metis-M1 can be also
fitted with a thermobaric warhead for use against lightly armored
vehicles, fortifications and enemy troops.
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