Anti-Armor and Anti-Tank Weapons
Dating back to World War I, anti-tank and anti-armor guns are defined as cannons or guns that are designed to destroy enemy armored vehicles normally from defensive positions. In order to penetrate vehicle armor, these weapons fire anti-tank ammunition from guns with longer barrels to achieve a higher muzzle velocity than other artillery weapons, such as howitzers. The higher velocity and flatter trajectory ballistics provide enough terminal kinetic energy to penetrate a target’s armor at a given contact angle and range. Any field artillery cannon with a barrel length that is in the range of 15 to 25 times longer than its caliber may also fire anti-tank ammunition.
Prior to World War II, there was no real need for anti-tank guns with calibers larger than 50mm. Light weapons, such as the German 37mm, US 37mm, British QF 2-pounder, and Soviet 45mm, could all penetrate the thin armor that was found on most pre-war and early tanks. Germany began to introduce more powerful anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, causing a need for more powerful weapons.
As these towed anti-tank cannons grew in weight and size, they became much more difficult to move and maneuver, and required even larger crews. As the war progressed, the disadvantage of having to handle such heavy artillery under fire caused a major issue. To remedy this problem, a self-propelled, lightly armored “tank destroyer” was developed. This tank destroyer was based on existing tank designs and used either an integrated gun on the hull or a fully rotating turret. These self-propelled anti-armor and anti-tank guns were then deployed as infantry support.
The following are examples of anti-armor and anti-tank weapons available for procurement through UDC USA:
- M40A2 106 mm recoilless rifle
- SPG-9 73 mm recoilless rifle
- 9K11 Malyutka Anti-tank guided weapon
- 9M133 Kornet Anti-tank guided weapon
- 9M111 FAGOT (AT-4 SPIGOT)
- 9M113 KONKURS (AT-5 SPANDREL)
- 9M115 METIS (AT-7 SAXHORN)
- AT-6 Spiral ATGM Launcher
Contact the defense experts at UDC USA for additional information on anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, other defense weapons, military training and education, and defense procurement services.
M40 106mm Recoilless Rifle
Weight: 209.5 kg (462 lbs.)
Length: 3.404 m (11 ft 2 in)
Height: 1.12 m (3 ft 8 in)
Shell: 106x607mmR (HEAT, HEP, HEAP, Canister)
Caliber: 105mm (4.1 in)
Muzzle Velocity: 503 m/s (1,650 ft/s)
Effective Firing Range: 1,350 m (1,480 yd)
Maximum Firing Range: 6,870 m
The M40 106mm recoilless rifle is a portable, lightweight crew-served weapon that was designed by the United States as an anti-tank weapon. Although it is commonly describes as being 106mm, it is actually 105mm. The use of the 106mm designation was to prevent confusion with the incompatible 105mm ammunition that was used by the M27. Fired primarily from a wheeled ground mount, the M40 may also be employed in an antipersonnel role with the use of the antipersonnel-racer flechette round. This breech-loaded and air-cooled single shot rifle fires fixed ammunition and was designed for direct firing only.
The shape of the M40 is simple: a long tube with a M8C .50-caliber spotting rifle above it. The spotting rifle fires a round with the same trajectory as the 105mm round that then gives off a puff of smoke upon target impact. There is an elevating wheel located on the left hand side of the weapon with a trigger wheel in the center. This trigger wheel is used for fine tune adjustments to the elevation and, at the same time, firing the spotting rifle when pulled and the gun when pushed. The M40 is mounted on a tripod with a castor wheel attached to the front leg; on top of the wheel there is a traverse wheel. The rifle may be locked in traverse when the locking wheel is placed down.
Mounting for the M40 may be placed on an M151 Jeep for traveling or mobile use. Other vehicles, such as Willy’s Jeep M28A1, HMMWVs, Land Cruisers, and M274 Mechanical Mules have also been used to transport this weapon system. A special vehicle used by the United States Marine Corps, called the Ontos, has been known to carry six M40s at a time with a special M40 A1C T195E5 mount.
Ammunition for the M40 is issued in one-piece fixed cartridges. With the cartridge case and projectile crimped together, correct alignment may be ensured. This permits for faster loading, as the projectile and cartridge are loaded as one unit. The rear of the cartridge case is perforated, which allows the propellant gas to escape through the vented breech and neutralizes recoil. The M40 can fire many types of ammunition, including HEAT, HEP-T canisters, and High Explosive Anti Personnel.
Contact the defense experts at UDC USA for additional information on the M40 106mm recoilless rifle, other defense weapons, military training and education, and defense procurement services.
SPG-9 73mm Kopye “Spear” Recoilless Rifle
Weight: 47.5 kg (105 lbs.), 59.5 kg (131) with tripod
Crew: 2 (gunner and loader)
Caliber: 73mm (2.87 in) smoothbore
Breech: Interrupted screw
Rate of Fire: 5-6 rpm
Muzzle Velocity: 250 to 435 m/s
Effective Firing Range: 800 m
Maximum Firing Range: 1,200 to 6,500 m
Feed System: Manually breech loaded
The emergence of the tank during World War I as a viable weapon for warfare caused engineers to work tirelessly to come up with methods of stopping them. As the weapons evolved, the tanks did also, leading to the powerhouse offerings of World War II and the Cold War. In 1962, the Soviet Union adopted a new weapon that offered a hard-hitting, man-portable anti-tank solution: the SPG-9 73mm Kopye “Spear” recoilless rifle. This weapon preceded the wide-scale use of Anti-Tank Guided Missiles that is seen today. The SPG-9 replaced the 1950’s B-10 series on the battlefield.
The SPG-9 weighed in at an overall weight of 105 pounds and 130 pounds when mounted to a standard tripod. The smoothbore barrel had a caliber of 73mm and overall length measured 6-feet 11-inches. A crew of two manually loaded the weapon and accessed the breech via an interrupted screw design. Its mounted optics system included either a base of 4xPGO-9 scope or a more specialized PGN-9 IR/passive sighting device. The optional tripod provided an elevation range of -3 to +7-degrees and a traversal reach of 30-degrees. Up to six rounds could be fired per minute by a trained crew with projectiles measuring a muzzle velocity of 1,425 feet per second. A typical crew consisted of two personnel and, despite its “man-portable” classification, this system was transported via a mover vehicle due to the system’s considerable weight and length.
Referred to as a “recoilless rifle,” the SPG-9 dissipated some of the propellant gasses seen during the firing action. This allowed the weapon system to reduce the effects of the violent recoil by allowing the resulting gasses to escape out through ports found at the rear of the weapon. The SPG-9 system was cleared to fire five different projectile types, including HEAT-FS (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank, Fin-Stabilized) rounds for penetrating up to 300mm of armor thickness, FRAG-HE projectiles with TNT filling, HEAT-FS, and FRAG-HE.
Contact the defense experts at UDC USA for additional information on the SPG-9 73mm Kopye “Spear” recoilless rifle, other defense weapons, military training and education, and defense procurement services.
9K11 Malyutka Anti-Tank Guided Weapon
Weight: 12.5 kg
Length: 1,005mm (combat ready)
Effective Firing Range: 3,000 m
Speed: 130 m/s
Guidance System: MCLOS or SACLOS
The 9K11 Malyutka is an anti-tank guided missile system that was developed in the early 1960s by the Soviet Union. It was designed to be a man-portable guided weapon that would be a more capable follow-up for the 3M6 Shmel AT-1 Snapper. The 9K11 is also known by its NATO reporting name of AT-3 Sagger. This weapon system remains in widespread use today as it is a cost-efficient and simple to use modern anti-tank guided weapon.
This anti-tank system is a wire-guided missile with a fairly simple design. The HEAT warhead is located at the front end with an impact fuse. Most of the body is taken up by a solid propellant rocket motor. Its two exhaust nozzles are fitted due to the fact that the wire and control section for the four foldable wings are located at the end. The original and older models of the 9K11 used MCLOS guidance, but later models featured the more effective SACLOS guidance system; these were only used on helicopters and vehicles. This guided weapons system is mainly used from the manpack launch installation and from various vehicles, including the BMP-1 and BMD-1 mechanized infantry combat vehicles, as well as various tank destroyers based on the BRDM-1 and BRDM-2. The 9K11 Malyutka may also be launched from several export versions of the Mi-24 and Mi-8 combat helicopters. Effective against most Cold War-era tanks, the latest versions of the 9K11 have been drastically improved compared to its predecessors.
Considered one of the most iconic Soviet weapon systems, the 9K11 Malyutka was produced in large quantities and used widely throughout the Cold War. It was not only used by the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, but also widely exported across the globe.
Variants of the 9K11 Malyutka include:
- 9M14 Malyutka
- 9M14M Malyutka-M
- 9M14P Malyutka-P
- 9M14P1 Malyutka-P1
- 9M14-2 Malyutka-2
- 9M14-2M Malyutka-2M
- 9M14-2F Malyutka-2F
Contact the defense experts at UDC USA for additional information on the 9K11 Malyutka anti-tank guided weapon, other defense weapons,
9M133 Kornet Anti-Tank Guided Weapon
Weight: 27 kg (29 kg with launch tube)
Length: 1,200 mm
Warhead: 1000-1200 9K135, 1200 E, 1300mm D RHA penetration after ERA with Tandem HEAT Thermobaric
Detonation Mechanism: Impact fuse
Guidance System: SACLOS laser beam riding
Accuracy: <5 m
Operational Range: 5,500 m
A relatively new weapon, the 9M133 Kornet is an anti-tank guided missile that originated in Russia in 1998. This missile carries the GRAU designation of 9M133 and a NATO reporting name of AT-14 Spriggan. The weapon features the missile itself, a tripod support assembly, and an integrated optics fit. The 9M133 Kornet system vastly improved upon the capabilities of previous anti-tank missile system that were currently in service with the Russian Army.
The missile component of the 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided weapon is a fin-stabilized, solid-rocket fuel propellant development that relies on SACLOS (Semi-Automatic Command to Line-of-Sight) last beam-riding guidance. This means that the operator must continually point to the designator at the target for the duration of the missile’s flight. It supports HEAT (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank) or thermobaric (fuel-air explosive) warheads. The overall system weights 29 kilograms (with the launch tube attached) and is 1,200mm long with a diameter of 152mm. The 9M133 Kornet is effective against all manner of armor protection to date, including Rolled Homogenous Armor (RHA) and Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) that are so commonly used in many frontline battle tanks. The weapon is detonated via an impact fuse and range is out to approximately 10,000 meters at its maximum. The 9M133 Kornet system is typically operated by a crew of only two and may be fired from either a traditional tripod assembly or form the cover of an armor vehicle (when the launcher is fitted to the vehicle itself).
There are three notable variants of the 9M133 Kornet system series:
- 9M133-1 – the standard 9M133 missile that is fitted with a thermobaric warhead
- Kornet-D – combats slower moving threats that are land-based or aerial objects (including helicopters)
- Kornet-E – export equivalent of the 9M133
Contact the defense experts at UDC USA for additional information on 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided weapon, other defense weapons, military training and education, and defense procurement services.
9M111 Fagot (AT-4 Spigot)
Weight: 12.5 kg (28 lbs.)
Length: 1,100 mm (3 ft 7 in)
Diameter: 120 mm (4.7 in)
Rate of Fire: 3 rpm
Muzzle Velocity: 80 m/s (180 mph) at launch, 186 m/s in-flight speed
Effective Firing Range: 2,500 m (8,200 ft)
Guidance System: SACLOS
The 9M111 Fagot (meaning “bassoon”) is a second-generation tube-launch anti-tank missile system that was developed by the Soviet Union for use against vehicle and ground mounts. The Tula KBP Design Bureau for Instrument Building developed this system. “9M111” is its GRAU designation of the missile, and AT-4 Spigot is its NATO reporting name. Developed in the late 1960s, this system is more compact and efficient than the previous 9K11 Malyutka system.
The man-portable 9M111 Fagot system uses a reusable ground launcher. The missile is transported in and launched from a container; the missile has a booster charge and sustainer rocket fuel. Launch stability is established with its four small vanes at the front and four large wings in the middle. The 9M111 is wire-guided and features a SACLOS guidance system. Its lightweight tripod launcher (9P135) includes a computing mechanism and an optical sight system, and may also be used with the larger, longer-ranged 9M113 Konkurs missile.
With a ready-to-fire missile ready to fire, the tripod launcher of the 9K111 weights less than 40 kilograms, making it a very mobile system. Infantry forces may even transport the system when the load is divided over multiple persons. However, it is normally transported via vehicle and employed away from the vehicle. A pintle mount may be used to mount the 9K111 Fagot onto various armored vehicles. This gun is typically not used in a naval role or on aircraft.
This system may be used against nearly every armored vehicle with the exception of modern tanks over the frontal arc. Its original missile has a penetration of 400mm RHA with the newest missiles penetrating 600mm RH. The maximum range for the original missile is approximately two kilometers and 2.5 kilometers for the improved missiles.
For more information on the 9M111 Fagot, other anti-armor and anti-tank weapons, military training and education, or for defense procurement services, contact the experts at UDC USA today.
9M113 Konkurs (AT-5 Spandrel)
Weight: 14.6 kg (32 lbs.)
Length: 1,150 mm (45 in)
Diameter: 135 mm
Warhead: 2.7 kg (6.0 lbs.) 9N131 HEAT
Detonation Mechanism: Contact
Engine: Solid-fuel rocket
Operational Range: 4 km (2.5 mi)
Speed: 200 m/s
Guidance: Wire-Guided SACLOS
The 9M113 Konkurs is a SACLOS anti-tank, wire-guided missile developed by the Soviet Union. The missile’s GRAU designation is “9M113” and its NATO reporting name is AT-5 Spandrel. Introduced in 1977, this weapon is the equivalent of the United States’ TOW missile. It is the first of the second generation of air-to-ground missiles developed by the Soviet Union.
This model is similar to the Fagot and the Spigot in most respects, as its launch tube is of a similar shape and has similar dimensions. However, the 9M113 is considerably heavier and is fitted with a blowout cap at the front and is flared at the rear. Five 9M113 Konkurs may be carried on the transversable mount that is located just behind the two front cupolas of the BRDM-2 vehicle. The bowed hatch located in the middle of the roof immediately behind the launcher could be used to allow the mount to be folded into the hull to provide armored protection for crewmembers. It is estimated that an additional ten-reload missiles can be carried inside the vehicle as well. Similar in appearance to the periscope on the AT-4, a rotatable optical sighting and tracking periscope is mounted on the gunner’s hatch on the right front of the vehicle roof.
Unlike the AT-4 Spigot, the 9M113 is intended only for use on vehicles. Currently, the Russian Army uses the BRDM-2 variant for either carrying the 9M113, but it has also been mounted atop the turret of the BMP M1981 variant. This weapon was intended to replace all vehicle-mounted Swatter and Sagger missiles, but the collapse of the Soviet Union made this impossible.
Since its inception, a wide variety of countries have begun to recognize the anti-armor qualities of the 9M113. These include Egypt, Poland, Finland, India, Georgia, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Indonesia, and Georgia.
For more information on the 9M113 Konkurs, other anti-armor and anti-tank weapons, military training and education, or for defense procurement services, contact the experts at UDC USA today.
9M115 Metis (AT-7 Saxhorn) and 9M131 METIS-M (AT-13 Saxhorn-2)
Weight: 5.5 kg (12 lbs.), 6.3 kg (14 lbs.) with container
Length: 740 mm (29 in)
Diameter: 94 mm
Warhead: HEAT shaped charge
Operational Range: 1,000 m (3,280 ft.)
Speed: 223 m/s (732 ft./s)
Guidance System: Wire-guided SACLOS
The 9M115 Metis is a SACLOS wire-guided, man-portable anti-tank missile system designed by the Soviet Union. Developed by Tula KBP, it is very similar in external appearance to the AT-4 Spigot due to its three main fins. The missile is significantly lighter because of the reduced fuel load, which reduces the maximum range to 1,000 meters. During the 1980s, an upgraded missile version was developed, the Metis-M 9M131. It was fired by the same launcher, but was much heavier and larger with an increase range and a larger warhead. The 9M115 Metis is also known by its NATO label AT-13 Saxgorn-2.
As a supplement toe the AT-4 Spigot, the 9M115 Metis missile was introduced into the Russian Army in 1979. This system is lighter than the AT-4 Spigot system due to the addition of a much less complicated tripod launcher and an overall lighter missile. In Russian service, this system is deployed with motor rifle companies (three launchers per company). This missile is operated by a two-man team: the gunner carriers the 9P151 launching post and one missile.
This anti-tank weapon system was designed for firing from the 9P151 launching post that has a simple tripod for support. Although it requires more skill on the part of the operator, it may also be fired from the shoulder. The missile that is launched from the tube to the tube by a booster, rather than the gas generator, uses the AT-4 Spigot system. The 9S816 guidance system is powered by a thermal battery pack that is attached to the launch tube shortly before launch. Its missile may also be fired from the enclosed space, such as a cab or a building, but it requires at least 6 full meters behind the cave.
9M131 Metis-M (AT-13 Saxhorn-2)
A variant of the 9M115, the 9M131 Metis-M is also a Russian anti-tank missile system. Its NATO reporting name is AT-13 Saxhorn-2. This system was designed to augment the combat power of company-level motorized units. The 9M131Metis-M system features significant improvements in range, accuracy, and lethality to the already positive qualities of a man-portable anti-tank guided missile.
Other notable features of this system include:
- Firing rate of 3-4 rounds per minute
- Can be shipped by any type of transport or air-dropped
- A 15-20 second change time from traveling position to firing
- Total system includes the 9M131 (9M131F) ATGM, 9P151 launcher, and 1PBN86-1 thermal sight
For more information on the 9M115 Metis and the 9M131 Metis-M, other anti-armor and anti-tank weapons, military training and education, or for defense procurement services, contact the experts at UDC USA today.
AT-6 Spiral ATGM Launcher
Weight: 30 kg (66.1 lbs.)
Warhead Weight: Up to 10 kg (22 lbs.)
Length: 1.8 m
Range: 5000 m
Warhead: High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT)
Armor Penetration: 600-700 mm
Launching Platforms: Mi-8 and Mi-24
The AT-6 Spiral (NATO reporting name) anti-tank guided missile, or 9K114 Shturm is much larger than its predecessors created by the Soviet Union. This weapon is a tube-launched, SACLOS-guided missile that is mounted atop the Mi-24/HIND E helicopter as a replacement for the AT-2/Swatter variant that was found on previous HIND models. Attachment points may be found on each wing tip of the HIND E for the two Spiral launch tubes. The AT-6 Spiral system was adapted for the Mi-24V helicopter (and was later used on Mi-28 and Ka-29 helicopters) and the missile was titled the 9M1114 Kokon. The weight of the Kokon missile is 31.8 kilograms, and includes a 6-kilogram warhead.
Introduced in 1978, the AT-6 Spiral ATGM launcher is a long-range standoff weapon that was designed for the HIND attack helicopter. It has often been incorrectly labeled as a laser-guided weapon similar to the American Hellfire. This erroneous assessment has caused the AT-6 to be credited with an unrealistic range of 7,000 to 10,000 meters, when in reality it has a maximum range of 5,000 meters. This missile reaches an approximate speed of 450 meters per second. The helicopter must keep the target in its sight throughout its entire flight. The warhead contains two tandem HEAT charges that are effective against 600 to 700 mm of rolled homogenous steel armor.
Unlike the AT-4 Spigot and AT-5 Spandrel, the AT-6 is not wire-guided. The SACLOS system with infrared missile tracking and radio guidance operated similarly to its predecessors sans the wire-guiding system. Instead, the AT-6 Spiral uses radio to transmit commands to the missile from the operator.
Other AT-6 Spiral ATGM launcher models include:
- 9M114 AT-6A – Spiral Shturm SACLOS
- 9M114M – HEAT warhead
- 9M114F – Thermobaric warhead
- 9M114M1 AT-6B – Spiral Shturm SACLOS with 6-kilometer range and 7.4-kilogram warhead
- 9M114M2 AT-6C – Spiral Shturm SACLOS with a 7-kilometer range and 7.4-kilogram warhead
- 9M120/9M120F/9M220O AT-9 Spiral-2 Shturm-VM
For additional information on the AT-6 Spiral, other anti-armor and anti-tank weapons, military training and education, or for defense procurement services, contact the experts at UDC USA today.