At the RAE 2013 autumn international exhibition of arms in Nizhny Tagil and at the recently held in New Delhi DEFEXPO 2014 multipurpose rocket complex "Cornet" aroused great interest among international buyers. According to the annual publication of the British International Institute for Strategic Studies MilitaryBalance, at least 12 countries of the world are armed with the Russian Cornets. It is noteworthy that this list includes Turkey and Jordan, focusing in their purchases more on Western models of weapons and military equipment.
For five years, the holding company “OJSC“ High-Precision Complexes ”has taken a worthy place in the international and domestic markets for weapons and military equipment. Such products of an industrial association, such as the Pantsir anti-aircraft missile and cannon complex, the Bumblebee flamethrower, and others have taken a firm place in the arsenals of many countries of the world, as well as the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Thus, by their anniversary the employees of the holding company achieved high results. Let us hope that in the near future, "High-precision complexes" will achieve even greater success in the development, production and export of the latest types of weapons and military equipment.
Over the past 15 years missile system Tula KBP managed to participate in several wars and military conflicts. During the second Lebanese war in July-August 2006, the Kornety was successfully used by Lebanese militants from the Hezbollah movement against the Israel Defense Forces. The targets for the operators of the complexes were not only Merkava family tanks, but also Puma heavy armored personnel carriers converted from Centurion and even armored bulldozers used by the Israeli military to fight fortifications during city cleansing.
According to many foreign experts analyzing the experience of using Israeli armored vehicles in the second Lebanon war, it was the active use of the Kornet anti-tank missile systems and their unexpected effectiveness for the Israeli army that forced the Israel Defense Forces command to equip the Trophy active defense complex as soon as possible. ".
According to unconfirmed reports, the Cornets were used by Iraqi troops against the US Army during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 year - in the so-called first part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Such information is contained on the US GlobalSecurity website, in particular, the article states that two main battle tanks M-1 Abrams and one BMP Bradley were victims of the Cornets. True, there was no official confirmation from the Pentagon, but in the memoirs of the commander of a tank company of the 3 Infantry Division, Captain Jason Conroy, “Heavy Metal. A tank company in the battle of Baghdad "indicates that the" Cornet "was perceived by American tank crews as one of the most dangerous threats on their way to Baghdad.
In the warring Syria, the "Cornets" use not only government troops, knocking out insurgents from buildings and fortifications, but also rebels, destroying tanks and armored vehicles of government forces. Judging by the photo and video chronicles, rocket complexes are equally effective both against structures and against armored objects. It should be borne in mind that the level of training of Syrian operators, compared with their colleagues from Hezbollah, is not the highest.
ATGWs are also effectively used in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. If in the Ground Forces use portable versions of ATGM, then in the Airborne Forces there is a mobile version of the anti-tank missile system on the chassis of the BTR-D armored personnel carrier.
What makes the "Cornet" so attractive to buyers and what new models of the missile system will we see?
Thunderstorm tanks and fortifications
Work on the anti-tank "Cornet" began in the Tula KBP at the beginning of the 90-s, and in 1994-m the first parties began to enter into service with the Russian army. ATGM was created on the basis of a controlled tank complex. weapons "Reflex", included in the ammunition of the main Russian and Soviet battle tanks of the families T-72, T-64, T-80, as well as self-propelled anti-tank units "Sprut-S" and "Sprut-SD".
"Anti-tank missile systems of the previous generation were controlled either by wire, unwinding a rocket, or radio teams," Vitaly Moiseev, editor-in-chief of the Internet project "Courage-2004", explained to the newspaper "VPK".
At the same time, the Cornet’s management is similar to high-precision aviation means of destruction. A laser emitter is mounted on the launcher to illuminate the target of the rocket. The reflected beam is perceived by a laser photodetector mounted on a rocket, and the guidance system, using four thin folding wings, corrects the flight, focusing on the readings of the photodetector.
“In the past-generation ATGM, the accuracy of the hit depended on the operator, his eye, and the coordination of movements. Focusing on the light tracer installed in the tail section of the rocket, he corrected its flight by radio control or by wire, using a joystick or, as the military say, a joystick. I made a mistake in calculating the trajectory, jerked a little to the side - and the missile would pass by the target, - the officer of the missile and artillery armament service of the Ministry of Defense told our correspondent.
According to the interlocutor of the publication, "Cornet" is deprived of such shortcomings.
“The wire could break, clinging to an obstacle or as a result of an unsuccessful maneuver. Radio control can drown out interference. The laser can also be suppressed theoretically by placing smoke from the tank and closing the “picture” to the operator, but, as experience shows, at a sufficiently high speed of the standard “Cornet” rocket, it still manages to hit the target, ”the Defense Ministry spokesman said.
Designers of the Tula KBP, creating the "Cornet", immediately focused on the fight against tanks equipped with dynamic protection, which became an obligatory attribute of most modern combat vehicles in the middle of the 80-s. Therefore, the 9М133 rocket received a tandem warhead, where the first charge was destroyed by elements of dynamic protection - iron boxes with explosives, when undermined, the anti-tank ammunition is thrown to the side or destroyed, and the second charge hits the tank directly. It is noteworthy that to create an effective cumulative jet of the second, the main one, the rocket charge is in the tail section, the engine equipped with oblique nozzles is in the middle, and the control system is located in the tail section of the rocket.
As the experience of modern wars and military conflicts shows, anti-tank guided missiles are increasingly becoming a means to combat fortifications and the enemy entrenched in buildings. ATGM “Milan” was effectively used against the fortifications of the Argentine military by British marines and paratroopers during the short conflict over the Falklands in 1982. Soviet anti-tank special forces "Phagot" beat out the fortified caves of the "spirits" in Afghanistan, and the 21-I Sofrinsky operational brigade of the MIA, storming Grozny in the winter of 1999 – 2000, effectively beat out firing points of militants in residential buildings and industrial buildings. Over the past 30 years, such examples have accumulated more than enough. But we must bear in mind that, unlike armored vehicles, the cumulative warhead is not so effective against enemy manpower. Therefore, in the arsenal of "Kornet" there are missiles with a thermobaric warhead that allows you to effectively destroy firing points, engineering structures, as well as the enemy hiding in them.
Multi-purpose missile system
According to Vitaly Moiseev, now the world is abandoning anti-tank missile systems guided by operators: “They were replaced by ATGM with missiles equipped with homing heads. For example, the American "Javelins" and Israeli "Spikes", acting on the principle of "let and forget." Such complexes are also called the third generation.
The rockets of the American and Israeli anti-tank missile systems of the third generation detect and take on the support of armored vehicles using the reference image embedded in the guidance system and the heat emanating from the targets.
“The main problem of Javelina is the high cost of the rocket, reaching 120 – 130 thousands of dollars apiece. This is a very expensive pleasure that not all countries of the world can afford. Now India is developing a promising infantry fighting vehicle armed with Javelin, the estimated cost of its ammunition is approaching the price of the BMP itself, ”explained Moses to the publication.
The expert also noted that, compared with the second-generation anti-tank systems, the third-generation missile systems are much smaller.
“The Javelin rocket flies to a range of about 4700 meters, but its homing head effectively works only on 2500 meters, and then the efficiency drops significantly. For example, the already mentioned promising Indian infantry fighting vehicle will reach the effective launch range of the Javelina, it will be destroyed, ”Vitaly Moiseyev said.
The source also noted that modern battle tanks hit targets at a distance of 3 – 3,5 thousands of meters.
There are problems with the use of third-generation complexes in urban environments.
“During active fighting in Iraq in 2003, in the open area, the Javelins effectively destroyed Iraqi tanks, armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles. But here in settlements, the cases of their use are unknown to me. The Americans have now equipped their ATGMs with manual control. The Israelis also acted with their “Spike,” said Vyacheslav Tseuyko, an independent military expert, one of the authors of the book “Aliens Wars”, told our correspondent.
In addition, according to the expert, the US Army and Marine Corps in urban battles were actively used by the second-generation Tou-90 anti-tank missile systems of the second generation installed on the Bradley, Stryker armored personnel carriers and advanced vehicles. patency "Hummer."
“The Delta’s special forces officers went to storm the building, in which Saddam Hussein’s sons sat down, only after about a dozen Tou-2 missiles were fired at the building,” explained Tsyluyko.
In Tula, the KBP went the other way, having equipped the Kornet ATGM with automatic target tracking. “The operator visually detects the target, brings a launcher at her and puts a mark. Further PU itself corrects the flight of the rocket to the target, without human intervention. The accuracy of the target guidance and target tracking system makes it possible to effectively hit complex targets, even such as a helicopter and an unmanned aerial vehicle, ”says a RAV officer in the Ministry of Defense.
According to the interlocutor of the publication, such a decision not only reduces the cost of the complex itself, but also makes it more multifunctional, without losing tactical and technical characteristics.
“With the new Kornet missiles, it can hit targets at a range of up to 8 thousands, and in some cases even up to 10 thousands of meters. At the same time, the effectiveness of the guidance system is maintained throughout the entire flight distance of the rocket, ”explained the source.
An upgraded version of the ATGM is supplied to the Armed Forces of Russia under the symbol “Cornet-D”, and exported as “Cornet-EM”. It is noteworthy that the newest ATGMs were transferred to the chassis of an armored car of off-road "Tiger". The presentation of the updated version of the Cornet was held at last year’s international arms exhibition in Nizhny Tagil.
The Kornet was highly appreciated in the Airborne Forces, having not only a portable version of the ATGM, but also on the landing gear of the BTR-D armored personnel carrier.
“The peculiarity of the use of airborne and airborne assault units of the Airborne Forces is the action in isolation from its main forces, often in the rear of the enemy. Therefore, one cannot count on the support of his artillery and tanks. "Cornet" can not only effectively deal with enemy armored vehicles, but also destroy its fortifications. With a relatively small weight of the ATGM launcher and its ammunition “Cornet” does not reduce the mobility of paratroopers performing the combat mission, ”argues the officer of one of the divisions of the Airborne Forces.
The source also noted that the ATGM increases the firepower of the paratroopers several times. “ATGMs on the BTR-D can be parachuted, just like regular BMDs. This machine is floating, quite passable. At any moment he will support the paratroopers with his fire, ”the paratrooper stressed.
The Cornets have found their place in the Air Force and in the Aerospace Defense Forces.
“Now“ Cornet ”is considered as an addition to the newest Pantsir anti-aircraft missile and gun systems. Due to the high characteristics of the sighting system, as well as the power supply and maneuverability of the anti-tank missiles, the anti-aircraft complex can easily knock down a UAV or enemy helicopter. “Pantsir” detects the target, transfers its coordinates to “Cornet”, and it already destroys it, ”the Russian Air Force officer familiar with the newest complex explained to the newspaper. According to him, the range of destruction of targets with Kornet’s missiles is much larger than with the Pantsyr automatic cannons: “The UAV is a complex and unobtrusive target. In principle, it can be shot down with a regular Pantsir anti-aircraft missile, but it is an order of magnitude more expensive than a “Kornet” missile. It should be borne in mind that the drone, which is not always well marked for the homing head of an anti-aircraft missile, can effectively evade, tearing the grip. But visually, the UAV for optics and the Cornet thermal imager is clearly visible, and the high-precision tracking machine will bring the rocket exactly to the target. ”
True, our interlocutor refused to explain at what stage the work on adopting the multifunctional Kornet missile system for the Russian Air Force was at its disposal.
The “Cornet” is also considered as the weaponry for the latest boats purchased for naval special forces fleetas well as patrol ships.
Almost in 20 years since its inception, Cornet has gone from an advanced, but highly specialized anti-tank missile system to a multi-functional system capable of fighting the enemy not only on land, but also at sea and even in the air.
Cornet and export
According to Vitaly Moiseev, Kornet has a large export potential, which is proven by its customers: “By the criterion of“ cost-effectiveness ”in its class, it now has no equal”. It’s hard to disagree. "Cornet" occupied a niche between the complexes of the third generation, which it exceeds in cost, range of destruction of targets and universality, and complexes of the second generation, inferior to "Cornet" in autonomy.
“Not all countries are willing to lay out thousands of dollars for a Javelina rocket at 120 – 130,” said Moses.
True, the "Cornet" has a strong competitor in the face of the Israeli "Spike" company "Raphael", which is much cheaper than the American counterpart, but inferior to him in tactical and technical characteristics. Now the Israeli complex is in service in almost 20 countries of the world, including Italy, Finland, Germany. It is noteworthy that the British armed forces procuring the Javelins from the Americans actively use Spike, which received the British name Exector. Even the Pentagon conducted a series of tests of the Israeli anti-tank complex in the middle of the 90-s.
But the newest Kornet-EM multifunctional missile system has a very good export potential and the ability to significantly press the Israeli Spike from the international arms market. The example of Israelis proves that the demand for third-generation ATGMs in the world is huge, but even the rich developed countries of the world are not ready to overpay for complex homing headpieces. The sighting system with the Kornet assault rifle is an order of magnitude cheaper than that used in the Israeli Spike, not inferior to the latter in performance. A number of foreign directories indicate that the effective range of the Israeli ATGM is almost 25 thousand meters, which, to put it mildly, is puzzling, given the size of the rocket itself. True, at the latest arms exhibitions at the Rafael manufacturer’s booth and in a number of publications, a more modest figure is indicated - eight thousand meters. The combat unit of the Russian “Kornet” missile weighing almost five kilograms is heavier than the three-kilogram Israeli, and taking into account the spaced design of the charges, the Tula missile will be much more effective. But the main thing in the multifunctionality of the Russian missile system is that the buyer gets a system that can not only hit armored vehicles, strengthen the enemy, but also shoot down his helicopters and even unmanned aerial vehicles. Apply the "Cornet" for sea and river operations. The Israeli Spike, which remains an advanced anti-tank missile system, does not have such capabilities. In the current armament market, such a multifunctional system is supplied only by the Russian holding company High-Precision Complexes. Moreover, the “Cornet-EM” is not an experienced promising machine, work on which is only underway, not a technical concept, but a full-fledged rocket system that has been tested and supplied to the Armed Forces of Russia.
Chief Editor of Arsenal of Fatherland Magazine Viktor Murakhovsky made a forecast about possible buyers of the newest Kornet-EM multifunctional missile system: “If you evaluate the military threats from different countries of the world, then Cornet-EM will be interesting to the countries - neighbors of China, which has a large tank the park and significant forces of army aviation, and the neighbors of Pakistan, which also has strong enough armored forces. "
According to the expert, in the Middle East "Cornet" should be interested in Algeria and Syria.
“The complex will also be interesting to Egypt, especially since now the volume of military cooperation with this country is increasing again,” said Victor Murakhovsky.
Also, the chief editor of the magazine Arsenal of the Fatherland expressed the opinion that the Cornet would also be interested in the armed forces of the countries that purchased the Pantsir anti-aircraft missile system.
For several years, the Tula Instrument Engineering Design Bureau, which is part of the High-Precision Complexes holding company, has achieved amazing results by creating a unique Kornet missile system capable of destroying the enemy both on the ground, in the sky and in the sea. The multifunctional missile complex has a large export potential, which is also claimed by the Russian military. It remains only to congratulate the creators of "Cornet" on the anniversary and wish not to stop there.