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Skif

Anti-tank guided missile

Skif ATGM

The Skif is a Ukrainian anti-tank guided missile

 
 
Country of origin Ukraine
Entered service 2011
Armor penetration (behind ERA) 800 / 1 100 mm
Range 5 km / 5.5 km
Missile length 1 091 mm
Missile diameter 130 / 152 mm
Fin span ?
Missile weight (in container) 29.5 / 38 kg
Warhead weight 8 kg
Launcher weight 32 kg
Sight weight 15 kg
Control panel weight 8-10 kg
Warhead type Tandem HEAT
Guidance Laser-guided

 

   Thanks to its sprawling Soviet-era manufacturing base Ukraine inherited a complete arms industry with a growing list of customers. Aside from the usual small arms and armored vehicles a recent breakthrough is the Skif Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM). Not to be mistaken for a re-branded surplus Konkurs, the Skif was developed in the mid-2000s by the Luch State Design Bureau in Kiev. After a slow prototype and testing schedule the system was adopted by Ukrainian armed forces in 2011 as the Stugna-P and subsequently made available for export by UKROBORONPROM as the Skif.

   Judging by its performance characteristics and dimensions the Skif is broadly similar but not interchangeable with the fearsome Kornet. It’s capable of hitting targets within 100 meters but its range extends to an impressive 5 000 meters. During the night time this is reduced to 3 000 meters. The Skif’s missile can reach its target—either an armored vehicle or any fortification—in 10 seconds flat although its total flight time spanning its maximum range is 25 seconds.

   Skif operators have a choice of two missile types, the 130 mm RK-2S (tandem HEAT), RK-2OF (HE-FRAG), the 152 mm RK-2M-K (tandem HEAT), and RK-2M-OF (HE-FRAG). The RK-2M-K’s stated armor penetration is 1 100 mm behind Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) suggests it could burn through most tank armor like a hot knife on butter. The Skif’s own product literature implies it’s superior to rival ATGMs like the Israeli Spike-LR, ergo other “Western” systems as well.

   The Skif is recognizable for its simplicity of design. Both the missile launch tube and fire control system are mounted on a launcher unit stabilized by a small collapsible tripod. The Skif’s fire control system is a box-like 15 kilogram TV channel guidance unit married to an SLX-Hawk thermal imaging camera. The addition of a thermal sight is actually offered on an optional basis for Skif customers.

   True to the heritage of Soviet ATGMs the Skif has a separate control panel in a suitcase. Rather than fire the system manually, a soldier can deploy the Skif and then command it from as far as 50 meters away—a featured shared with its cousin from Belarus, the Shershen.

   The Skif’s PDU-215 control panel is a laptop married to a control panel, including a small joystick, and a flat screen display to assist the missile’s guidance. Skif operators have the advantage of two firing modes for engaging targets; these are manual guidance when used in concealment and a fire-and-forget option for ambushes.

   When used by ground forces a typical three-man team is the ideal arrangement for deploying the Skif. Using specially made backpacks the Skif team are divided among the operator carrying the remote control, another soldier carrying the guidance device. Both are also holding either part of the launcher unit. The third soldier is responsible for humping the missiles.

   Skif operators can expect a 15-year shelf life for the system while its missiles last 10 years.

   Owing to its recent debut the Skif’s performance in actual combat is thin. This may change soon with Kiev’s renewed focus on modernizing its military-industrial complex for domestic arms requirements and foreign sales, the latter being a proven method for earning foreign exchange.

 

Variants

 

   Shershen - Designation of the Skif system in Belarus. It uses a different collapsible launcher and is mounted on several vehicles. It appears that both systems are interchangeable.

 

Miguel Miranda

   Article by MIGUEL MIRANDA

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Skif ATGM

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Skif ATGM

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Skif ATGM

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Skif ATGM

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Skif ATGM

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Skif ATGM

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