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Ataka

Anti-tank guided missile system

Ataka missile

The Ataka is a Russian long-range anti-tank guided missile

 
 
Country of origin Russia
Entered service early 1990s
Missile
Armor penetration 800 mm behind ERA
Missile length 1.83 m
Missile diameter 0.13 m
Fin span 0.36 m
Missile weight 42.5 kg
Warhead weight 7.4 kg
Warhead type tandem HEAT, fuel-air explosive, expanding rod
Range of fire 6 km
Guidance Radio-guided

 

   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 M1 Abrams, German Leopard 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 Mi-24, Mi-28, and 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 has a 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.

   The missile is stored in a special fiberglass tube, with also acts as its launcher.

   The 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.

   - 9A220O (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.

   - 9M120D improved version with a maximum range of up to 10 km.

   Worth noting 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 method. 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.

 

Variants

 

   Ataka-V is an air-launched anti-tank missile system. It entered service with the Russian military in the early 1990s. This long-range missile system is carried by attack helicopters.

   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.

 

 

Ataka missile

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Ataka missile

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Ataka missile

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Ataka missile

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Ataka missile

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Ataka missile

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