Kornet Anti Tank Missile Of Russia – 9M133 – AT-14 Spriggan
Kornet Anti Tank Missile Of Russia – 9M133. AT-14 Spriggan is the NATO reporting name of Kornet Anti Tank Missile of Russia. It is a modern Russian man-portable anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) intended for use against main battle tanks. It was first introduced into service with the Russian army in 1998.
The Kornet (Cornet) is a Russian anti-tank guided weapon. Western reporting name of this weapon is AT-14 or Spriggan. Its fearsome reputation is derived from its extreme range that’s far beyond most current anti-tank missiles. The FGM-148 Javelin, for example, can only deliver its lethal top attack warhead 2.5 kilometers away while the original Cornet-E developed by the Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) had a maximum range of 5.5 km. However despite significantly longer range the Russian Kornet is not that advanced in terms of guidance as the US Javelin.
To outdo rival systems, KBP upgraded the Kornet. Improved Cornet-EM has twice the maximum range of its predecessor.
The Cornet’s tandem HEAT warhead is just as intimidating for its size. With a 152 mm diameter it is one of the largest and most powerful ATGM’s ever built. This feature is meant to defeat the threat posed by Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) on modern tanks.
The 9K133 Kornet was first introduced in 1994 and has since inspired subtle, albeit persistent, demand from many countries—including states that weren’t traditionally customers of Russian hardware. This missile was adopted by the Russian Army in 1998.
Meant as a replacement for the ubiquitous 9K113 Konkurs (Western reporting name AT-5 Spandrel), which enjoyed widespread use in the Soviet Army and the Warsaw Pact, the Kornet’s appearance and operation was a complete departure from its Cold War ancestors.
As an ATGM for ground forces, the Kornet is deployed by a two-man team. But depending on the circumstances a single person can assemble and fire it. The two-man setup involves one carrying the launch tube loaded with a missile while the other carries the fire control system and day/night sight on its adjustable tripod. The Kornet was designed to conceal its operator who could aim it while either crouched or lying prone behind cover. This is why the launch tube is mounted above the fire control system.
The first reported instance of the Kornet engaging hostile forces was in Iraq during the US-led 2003 invasion. Although no photographic evidence exists of these incidents, Iraqi Kornets were able to disable two M1A1 Abrams tanks and an M2 Bradley IFV. US forces were then ordered to seize any samples of the Kornet for analysis by military intelligence.
The Kornet achieved further notoriety during Israel’s 2006 invasion of Southern Lebanon. Like in Iraq, there is documentary evidence of its use although video and photographic corroboration is unavailable. According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the militant group Hezbollah acquired Kornet’s via Syria and used these to disable Israeli Merkava tanks. As recently as 2015 Hezbollah fighters were reported to have used Russian-made ATGM’s against IDF units in circumstances that suggest Kornet’s were fired.
In 2014 reporters and eye witnesses in Ukraine found spent launch tubes printed with information identifying they contained Kornet missiles made in Russia. It deserves mention that Ukraine’s losses during the military conflict were crippling—hundreds of its armored vehicles were knocked out by the Russian and separatist forces using RPG’s, anti-tank missiles and artillery.
The ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen are also theaters were Kornet’s are deployed. In the case of Syria, Kornet’s are in use by both regime and opposition groups and photographic proof of their deployment is available online.
The Kornet’s impressive combat record reflects its growing importance in modern warfare where ordnance for demolishing vehicles and structures (and even low-flying aircraft) is badly needed. With the Russian military adopting a new generation of armored fighting vehicles based on the Armata chassis the Kornet is finding a broader niche to prove itself.
International customers of the Kornet include Algeria, Eritrea, Greece, Iran, Iraq, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. All production is confined to Russia.
Variants of Kornet Anti Tank Missile
Kornet-EM, Upgraded Kornet ATGM with laser beam riding guidance system and a range of 8 or 10 km. There are two different missiles. A standard anti-tank missile with tandem HEAT warhead has a range of 8 km. It penetrates 1 100-1 300 mm behind ERA. The second missile has a thermobaric warhead and a range of 10 km. Though it seems that the Kornet-EM is available only in a vehicle-mounted form.
Kornet-M is an improved version. It is available both in man-portable vehicle-mounted configurations. This anti-tank weapon uses improved tripod launcher and improved sights. Unspecified number of these missiles were ordered by the Russian Army.
Kornet-D, anti-tank missile carrier with long-range Kornet-EM ATGM’s. It is based on Tigr 4×4 utility vehicle carrying 8 Kornet EM’s on two separate launchers. This missile is also used on the new unmanned turrets of the Armata heavy IFV, Kurganets-25 IFV and Boomerang APC.
Kornet-D1 is an improved anti-tank missile carrier, fitted with improved Kornet-M system. Several of these vehicles were demonstrated in 2015.
Kornet-T, An ATGM carrier based on the chassis of the BMP-3. The Kornet-T is armed with twin missile launchers.
Kliver, a KBP-designed remote weapon station equipped with a 30 mm cannon and a cell carrying four Kornet-EM’s.