Country of origin
1 000 mm behind ERA
Missile launch weight
10 - 12 kg
Range of fire
up to 10 km
Vikhr is a Russian long-range anti-tank guided missile. It is known
in the West as the AT-16 or Scallion. It was developed in the Soviet
Union during the 1980s. At the time Soviets needed a new missiles,
to replace the
9K114 Shturm (Western
reporting name AT-6 or Spiral) system, that
could penetrate contemporary Western main battle tanks with
composite and explosive reactive armor, such as the American
2, and British
Challenger. Prototypes were tested by the Soviet armed forces in
1989. First production missiles were delivered in 1992. During the
same year the Vikhr was first publicly revealed. Since its
introduction sales of the Vikhr missile have been slow, partly
because Russia also uses
missile, developed by another manufacturer, which is similar in
function, but uses different guidance. In 2013 Russian MoD ordered
over 6 000 Vikhr-1 missiles in order to prevent the manufacturer
from going bankrupt. Delivery of these missiles commenced in 2015
and was completed in 2016. The Vikhr has
been exported to Egypt, and possibly some countries.
the Vikhr missiles can be mounted on helicopters, vehicles and
watercraft. This missile is typically used on
Russian helicopters, such as the
Su-25T ground attack aircraft. However much more numerous Russian Mil attack helicopters, such as the
Mi-28 are typically equipped with broadly similar
missiles are used in conjunction with APU-6 and APU-8 aviation
launchers. The APU-6 launcher carries 6 missiles and is used on the
Ka-50 helicopters. The APU-8 launcher carries 8 missiles and is used
on the Su-25T ground attack aircraft.
has a maximum range of up to 10 km. However at night the distance is
reduced to 5-6 km. The missile has a tandem High-Explosive Anti-Tank
(HEAT) warhead, that can defeat Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA). It is claimed that the
Vikhr penetrates up to 1 000 mm of steel armor behind ERA. The missile
detonates on contact, when launched against armored targets. It has
also got a proximity fuse which gives area-effect. This feature
allows to engage other non-armored targets, infantry and
helicopters. So sometimes it is referred as a multi-purpose missile.
The Vikhr is
a laser-guided weapon. The missile follows a laser beam, which is
pointed at the target. The system has got an automatic sight unit
with a TV (day) and infrared (night) channels. Target tracking and
missile control are automatic. This missile is supersonic. The
system allows to launch a single missile, or two missiles
simultaneously against the same target.
A claimed target hit
probability by a single missile is up to 95% against stationary
targets and up to 80% against moving targets. However at longer
ranges this missile gradually looses accuracy, as the laser beam
is stored in a tube, with also acts as its launcher. It has a
warehouse storage life without maintenance of up to 10 years.
The Vikhr is
significantly cheaper, than the US
Hellfire, which is similar in function. Its price is around $28
300 per missile, opposed to $111 000 per AGM-114L Hellfire missile.
is a Russian
Ataka anti-tank guided missile. It was developed during
the same timeframe as the Vikhr and has the same role. Also it has
comparable performance, even though the Ataka was developed by
another company and has an unrelated design and different guidance.
Both of these missiles are competing against each other.
an improved version of the Vikhr. In 2013 Russian MoD ordered over 6
000 of these missiles. This order was in part to prevent the
manufacturer from going bankrupt. Delivery commenced in 2015 and was
completed in 2016. The whole improved system, that uses the Vikhr-1
missiles is referred as Vikhr-M.
Vikhr-K is a
naval version, launched from the watercraft. It has been deployed on