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Shershen

Anti-tank guided missile

Shershen anti-tank missile

The Shershen is a Belarusian version of the Ukrainian Skif

 
 
Country of origin Belarus
Entered service 2012
Armor penetration 800 mm / 1 100 mm
Range 5.5 km / 7.5 km
Missile length 1 360 mm
Missile diameter 130 mm / 152 mm
Fin span ?
Missile weight (in container) 29.5 kg / 39 kg
Warhead weight 8 kg
Launcher weight 28 kg
Sight weight 16 kg
Control panel weight 12 kg
Warhead type Tandem HEAT / Fragmentation
Guidance Laser-guided

 

   The Shershen (hornet) is the Belarusian variant of the Ukrainian Skif Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) and by extension a competitor to the Russian Kornet. While both systems appear interchangeable the Skif and the Shershen have slightly different applications. The Belarusian Shershen can defeat tanks and fortifications at ranges comparable to the Russian Kornet.

   Across the border in Belarus the Shershen, which is manufactured by the state-owned joint stock company SRPC, enjoys a broader mission. There’s the basic Shershen and there’s the Shershen-D that utilizes a tandem configuration where two 130 mm missiles are installed side-by-side on a single pivoting mount. The Shershen-D is suited for light vehicles and armored personnel carriers, and even offshore and riverine vessels.

   Another variant of the Shershen is the vehicle specific Shershen-Q whose application is similar to the Kornet-D where it’s deployed by vehicle.

   The Shershen “complex” is made up of a collapsible tripod, a box-shaped control system, the launcher rail, the launch tube, and the command launch unit combining the TV guidance and modular thermal sights.

   In Belarus the Shershen is armed with two types of missile, the RK-2S with a tandem HEAT warhead and the RK-20F fragmentation round for defeating soft-skinned vehicles. The RK-2S’ penetration is more than enough for disabling current-generation main battle tanks. Maximum range of fire is 5 000 meters against stationary targets and 5 500 meters against mobile ones.

   Should the operator prefer the 152 mm P-2B missile for the Shershen the effective range stretches to an impressive 7 500 meters with a frightening penetration of 1 100 mm against rolled homogenous steel and explosive reactive armor.

   Like the Skif the Shershen is fired manually, with the operator directing the missile from the launch unit. Using a portable control panel in a specially designed suitcase the operator can remotely launch and direct the Shershen from distances up to 100 meters away—provided there’s a cable locking the control panel to the launcher. An added stealth feature for the RK-2S is its in-flight elevation above the line of sight. This means the missile rises ten meters above the Shershen’s laser beam to avoid terrain obstacles and detection. As it nears the target the missile descends and, if it were aimed at a tank, strikes at the space between the turret and the hull.

   The Shershen has two modes of firing. The operator can choose to guide it manually with a “see and fire” mode where operator paints the target with a jamming-and-weather resistant laser and guides the missile until impact.

   For remote launches the operator can enable automatic target tracking. Operator simply selects the target and the missile will close in with it while allowing the operator to follow its path and altering its course.

   One of the drawbacks of the Shershen is its slow flight speed. The missile travels for 24 seconds at maximum range. For best results the Shershen often tested well against targets located 3 000 to 3 500 meters away.

   Given its relative newness in the ATGM market the Shershen has yet to make an impact against legacy systems and third-generation upstarts like the Javelin or the Spike. Aside from the Belarusian Army the Shershen’s earliest clients are Turkmenistan and Nigeria.

 

Variants

 

   Shershen-D is a version, that utilizes a tandem configuration where two 130 mm missiles are installed side-by-side on a single pivoting mount. Launcher of this version weights 59 kg. So the Shershen-D is suited for light vehicles and armored personnel carriers, and even offshore and riverine vessels.

   Shershen-Q is the vehicle specific version with four missiles. It is equivalent to the Russian Kornet-D.

   Shershen-L is a lighter version, though with reduced range. Its maximum range of fire is 2.5 km.

 

Miguel Miranda

   Article by MIGUEL MIRANDA

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Shershen anti-tank missile

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Shershen anti-tank missile

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Shershen anti-tank missile

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Shershen anti-tank missile

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Shershen anti-tank missile

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Shershen anti-tank missile

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Shershen anti-tank missile

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