An old Article from Janes
JANE'S MISSILES AND ROCKETS - DECEMBER 01, 2004
]Russia develops fire-and-forget Kornet
Russia has developed new fire-and-forget versions of the Tula KBP Kornet-E (AT-14) anti-tank missile, writes Doug Richardson. According to former commander-in-chief of the Russian Ground Forces, General of the Army Nikolay Kormiltsev, these are third-generation variants of the missile.
In an interview given to the Russian military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda a few weeks before his resignation in late September, Gen Kormiltsev said that the new missiles can be equipped with "a thermal or radio-locating homing head", and could be used against enemy anti-tank missile systems.
Kornet had become a "powerful and efficient weapon" with many advantages over foreign equivalents, he suggested, and was "very simple to use".
In its basic form, the Kornet missile is fired from a tripod-mounted single-round firing post designated the 9P163-1. This includes a standard day sighting and guidance device, but can be fitted with a 1PN79-1 thermal-imaging night sight. A 9P163-2 firing post was developed for vehicle-mounted Kornet systems.
The 9P163-1 missile currently in service is fitted with a tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, while the 9M133F-1 carries a thermobaric warhead. Both are laser beam-riding missiles that use semi-automatic command to line-of-sight (SACLOS) guidance. The gunner has to keep his sight on the target until the missile impacts.
With the new third-generation system, the gunner is only required to aim the missile, then give the fire command once lock-on has been obtained.
The 'thermal' pattern of homing head will be a passive-homing seeker able to detect and home onto the infrared (IR) energy emitted by the target. This would make the third-generation Kornet the first Russian fire-and-forget anti-tank missile. There had been reports that an IR terminal-guidance seeker was developed for the command-guided 9M17 Skorpion (AT-2 'Swatter') but not put into service.
In Russian military terminology, the phrase 'radio-locating' is normally used to indicate radar. To be useful against tanks and other small tactical targets, an active-radar seeker would have to operate in the millimetric region.
In the early 1980s, Hughes developed alternative IR and millimetric-wave seekers for the 200 mm-diameter AGM-124 Wasp, while in the 1990s the UK fitted an active-radar millimetric seeker into the 178 mm-diameter Hellfire to create the MBDA Brimstone air-to-surface missile. Russia is known to have studied millimetric guidance systems for missiles, but cramming this technology into the 152 mm fuselage diameter of the Kornet-E would be a difficult undertaking for Russian industry.
Gen Kormiltsev gave no further details of the upgraded system and did not indicate if it was in service, or if it could be fired from upgraded versions of the current ground and vehicle-mounted firing posts.
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