Country of origin
800 mm behind ERA
tandem HEAT, fuel-air explosive, expanding rod
Range of fire
The Ataka (Attack) (Western
reporting name AT-9 Spiral-2) is a long-range anti-tank guided
missile system. It was developed in the 1980s in the Soviet Union as
a follow-on to the previous
Shturm (AT-6 Spiral) system,
that was introduced in 1976. Soviets needed a new missiles, that
could defeat contemporary Western main battle tanks with
composite and explosive reactive armor, such as the American
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 and is more resistant to
electronic countermeasures. 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
Ka-52, though it can be also carried by transport helicopters.
In terms of
role the Ataka is closest to a US
AGM-114 Hellfire, though guidance method of the Ataka is
completely different. This missile can be used to engage enemy tanks, armored vehicles,
enemy infantry, buildings, bunkers and fortifications. There is even
a version of this missile for use against helicopters.
The baseline Ataka
missile had a maximum range of 6 km. However soon after its
introduction improved versions
with a maximum range of 8 and 10 km were developed. This missile is supersonic. It
Semi-Automatic Command to Line of Sight (SACLOS) guidance, and uses
advanced radio command guidance signals. Even though the guidance
method is the same as on the previous Shturm missile, the system
has been improved and is more resistant to electronic
countermeasures. Once the missile is launched, the gunner has to
keep a crosshair 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.
is stored in a special fiberglass tube, with also acts as its launcher.
following missiles are available:
- 9M120 is a
baseline missile with a tandem High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead. It is used against
tanks and other armored vehicles. It has a range of 6 km and penetrates 800 mm of armor
behind Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA).
- 9M120F with
fuel-air explosive (thermobaric) warhead. It is used against
infantry in buildings, trenches, bunkers and fortifications. It has a maximum
range of 5.8 km.
(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.
improved version with a maximum range of up to 10 km.
that the Russian military also uses a
Vikhr anti-tank guided missile,
which has the same role. It was developed during
the same timeframe as the Ataka. 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.
is an air-launched anti-tank missile system. It entered service
with the Russian military in the early 1990s. This long-range
system is carried by attack
Ataka-T is a
vehicle-mounted anti-tank missile 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. It was
also installed on
Armata heavy infantry fighting vehicle.