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The Khrizantema ( ; ) is a Russian anti-tank missile. Khrizantema was designed to deal with current and future generations of main battle tanks, such as the M1A2 and Leopard 2 and can also be used to engage slow and low flying aerial targets like helicopters. The missile carries the GRAU designation 9M123 and the NATO reporting name AT-15 Springer.

Development

The Khrizantema anti-tank missile was first unveiled in July 1996 by the Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashynostroyenia (KBM) Engineering Design Bureau. The missile had started development in the 1980s and was designed as an all weather, multi-purpose missile system that could defeat current and future armoured units equipped with advanced armour protection like explosive reactive armour (ERA). Khrizantema was invisaged as a replacement for a variety of different types of anti-tank missile that remained in service with the Sovietmarker military, such as the 9K114 Shturm and the 9M120 Ataka-V. The system was expected to enter service with the Russian armed forces in 2004.

Description

The 9M123 missile itself is supersonic, flying at an average speed of 400 m/s or Mach 1.2 and a range of between 400 and 6000 meters. Propulsion is by way of a single solid fuel rocket motor with two exhausts on either side of the missile. The off-set exhausts cause the missile to spin during flight with guidance control provided by two pop-out control surfaces at the rear of the missile (four additional surfaces help stabilise the missile during flight). The Khrizantema is unique among Russian anti-tank guided missiles as depending on the variant the missile can either be guided by laser or radar. The radar guidance mode uses radio command guidance and a millimeter wave radar to track the target and the missile while generating guidance commands, this allows fully automatic target engagement. When guided using the a laser, targets need to be continually illumiated, a sensor in the rear section enables the missile to ride the laser beam to the target, this is a SACLOS guidance system. The guidance system allows two missiles to be fired at two separate targets at once with one missile guided by laser and the other by radar. Each missile carries a tandem HEAT with a reported penetration of 1100-1250 mm RHA behind explosive reactive armour (ERA), alternatively a thermobaric warhead can be carried to engage soft-skinned targets, fortifications and manpower.

The 9M123 missile together with its associated guidance system forms the 9K123 missile system. It is currently only launched from the 9P157-2 Khrizantema-S tank destroyer, based on the BMP-3 chassis. The 9P157-2 carries two 9M123 missiles on launch rails which are extended from a stowed position, the radar is also stowed during transit. Missile are re-loaded automatically by the tank destroyer from an internal magazine with 15 rounds (missiles are stored and transported in sealed canisters) and can also accept munitions manually loaded from outside the vehicle. Three 9P157-2 tank destroyers are credited with being able to engage 14 attacking tanks and ensuring destruction of no less than 60% of the attacking force. The dual guidance system ensures protection against electronic countermeasures and operation in all climatic conditions, day or night. NBC protection is provided for the crew (gunner and driver) of each 9P157-2 in addition to full armour protection equivalent to the standard BMP-3 chassis and entrenching equipment.

Variants

  • 9M123 - Laser guidance with tandem HEAT warhead.
  • 9M123-2 - Radar guidance with tandem HEAT warhead.
  • 9M123F - Laser guidance with thermobaric warhead.
  • 9M123F-2 - Radar guidance with thermobaric warhead.


Operators

See also

AT-14 Kornet

External links



References




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