The history of anti-tank guns — ATGM

Second global war was the catalyst for the development of both tanks and anti-tank guns. The principal achievement was the introduction and widespread use of anti-tank guns, rocket and using the principles of dinamoreaktivny throwing projectiles (grenades) with a shaped-charge warhead (KBCH). It is possible to saturate infantry easy and effective instrument of intimate acts.

But all of these funds have a fundamentally common drawback — they are not allowed to deal effectively with the tanks at ranges of more than 500-700 m experience of the last war showed the need for the creation of tools to fight against tanks at huge distances. Solve this puzzle could only-tank missile with KBCH.

First anti-tank missiles (ATGM) appeared in the 50s. Almost immediately there was ordering — light (portable) with range of up to 2-2.5 km, and languid (mounted on armored vehicles, helicopters and other mobile platforms) with a range of 4-6 km. Immediately be mentioned that this division is very conditional. Most of the light systems can be installed in vehicles, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles.

An example is the Russian ATGM "Baby" or the Franco-West German "Milan". At the same time, almost all languid complexes can be transported and consumed from portable launchers (CP) crew of 3-4 people. For example, the Swedes have done even a portable launchers for the U.S. anti-tank "Hellfire", initially intended to equip helicopters "Apache" and weighing about 45 kg. But for the majority of heavy anti-tank systems with the introduction of portable PU is faster rare exception, because in this review, we make out only those complexes that are actually used in the following form.

ATGM "Baby"

All anti-tank systems can be subdivided into generations defined by used in their technical solutions, first by the mechanism of guidance systems.

A distinctive feature of the so-called 1st generation ATRA is the introduction of a manual (three-point) of the process guidance. SUMMARY its subsequent. The gunner must immediately detain the target and the missile in the field of sight, while trying to control knob "impose" a missile at the target. Differences between the control knobs are converted into a special calculator commands to a corresponding deviation of missile control (in most cases this is the aerodynamic control surfaces). Teams on the rocket passed through the wire, which is unwound during the flight with a special coil. This scheme allows to simplify the on-board equipment as missiles and launching device, but significantly complicates the gunner and severely limits the flight speed (less than 150-180 m / s). In addition, on the original site, while the gunner did not catch sight of the rocket in sight, it makes a "hill" and virtually uncontrollable. This leads to the presence of rather large "dead zone", reaching 200-400 m

Big success in the development of this generation anti-tank systems have gained french spices, developed in the 50's of the ATGM "Entak." He was armed with virtually all of the NATO countries, including the United States. The same applies to the generation of Russian anti-tank systems "Baby", which also received the widest distribution. In the late 60's in England was created ATGM "Svingfayr," and who had a portable version. Its main feature was the introduction of an improved method for three points — management speed. Typically up to such time as the control knob turned down to that or other side, respectively, dismissed the handlebars and rockets, and it continues to spread. In speed control, as the deviation of the handle is stopped, the missile will also stop turn and go in a new direction. When you return the handle to the neutral position of the missile vorachivaetsya the line of sight.

Such a way of guidance simplifies the work of the gunner, but he is not spread, because the end of the 60's became widely used automatic or two-point, pointing the way, has become the main feature of the corresponding ATRA 2nd generation.

The main innovation in this process was that the gunner has to look only at the end, constantly keeping the crosshair on it, and the rocket is accompanied by the angular deviation from the strip of sight using a special device (goniometer). Tracking is working or rocket sustainer engine, or special emitters — tracer or xenon source of short-wave infrared radiation. The computing device converts the value of the angular misalignment rocket and strips of sight into commands that are transmitted to the missile through wires.

Although such a method greatly simplifies the work of guidance gunner, dramatically increasing the probability of hitting the target, the introduction of wireless communication bandwidth is not significantly increase the speed of the rocket (which is usually subsonic), which requests the target tracking for quite a huge time. In combat the criteria it dramatically lowers the survival ATRA. To solve this problem it was necessary to get rid of the wired connection between the strip and rocket launchers. It must be emphasized that the first wireless connection between the band and missile launchers appeared in the heavy anti-tank systems (South American "Shilleyla" Russian "Storm"), because it specifically when shooting at great distances (4-6 miles), so even with the moving vehicles (armored vehicles, helicopters), the defects associated with the low velocity missile, are considerable. As for the portable anti-tank systems, when shooting at a distance of up to 3 — 3.5 km need constant maintenance purposes within 13-15 seconds. compensated by the simplicity and low cost of bandwidth wired connection. Because virtually all mass standards such ATRA straight through the 90s used the wireline.

Anti-tank complex "Storm-S"

These include the Russian ATGM "Bassoon", "competition", "Mixed" South American "Dragon" and "Toy", Western European, "Milan," the Chinese "Red Arrow-8".

Local conflicts 70-80s, showing the highest combat effectiveness of anti-tank systems, have revealed the necessity of the upcoming increase in their armor penetration, which led to more massive warhead larger diameter. Detonators were placed on special pins to undermine the warhead on a rational distance from the armor, that at a meeting with the armor of the jet stream is in focus.

ATRA 9K113 "Competition" (PU and the container with the missile) and the rocket 9M111M "factor" in launching container (standing)

It took also make use of the ability of ATRA NIGHT MODE and in the criteria for bad visibility (smoke, dust, etc.). This task in NATO countries has been solved in the 80s, when they were developed thermal imaging sights for anti-tank systems.

At this time the replacement of analog to digital calculators that not only greatly improved the reliability, and allowed to make a better noise immunity at the expense of introducing an additional channel through thermal tracking missiles sight, operating in a
single thermal — spectrum (8-14 microns). Unfortunately, the Russian industry is very lagged behind the West in this regard — in fact applicable thermal sight appeared only in the 90s, right up to the present time in the army because of the smallness of their acquired a lack of money.
Another problem of developers was the emergence of tools for creating optical interference type of Russian "Curtains" (MIDAS
— England, Pomals Violin-Israel). To increase noise immunity took apart two-channel tracking missiles, enter in the 1st channel of the pulse light source with the coding. First occurrence of the 80 active (dynamic) armor developers ATRA has set new tasks. Regular modernized versions have ATGM tandem warheads. The trend has been the use of new explosives (HE), far exceeding even the HMX, and heavy metals (tantalum, molybdenum) for facing KBCH. There was no thought of defeat tanks in the forehead and into the roof of the hull and turret, which is much less than the thickness of armor. For the first time this solution has been used in the Swedish anti-tank systems "Bill" RBS-56, entered service in 1991. His fundamentally difference from all previously-Building ATRA was that the cumulative warhead is oriented at an angle of 30 degrees below the axis of the rocket and the proximity fuse is undermined when flying over the target.

ATGM "Bill" RBS-56

At the current time is still being done modification "Bill 2", albeit in small batches. This includes LAW rocket into the container and trigger with day and thermal imaging sights.

It differs from the basic model the presence of 2-downward HEAT warheads and advanced digital control system. Inflated tracking accuracy is ensured by installing PU gyroscopic sensor that tracks down the gunner's movement when shooting. The angles of the warhead are chosen so that at undermining cumulative jets fall into the same spot on the armor.

Any CU has two fuse — magnetic and optical. Accompanying the rocket is on the laser emitter mounted in the tail, and to send instructions to board the rocket used ordinary wireline.

The digital control system provides three options for the introduction of missiles to be elected before starting with a special switch:
— against armored targets (primary) — missile flies at 1 m above the band of sight, magnetic and optical detonators included — against bunkers, shelters — the rocket flies through the band of sight, magnetic and optical fuses disconnected. Undermining made contact fuze;
— against weakly defended targets — rocket flies, as in the main mode, but included only the optical fuse.

The press noted that, although the anti-tank systems on the tests showed very highest properties, expensive cost limits the ability of its use in other countries. Namely, specifically for this reason, the U.S. gave up its use as a model the crotch, designed to change the ATGM "Dragon" until the end of the development of anti-tank systems "Javelin".

South American fighter fires a FGM-148 Javelin

A typical example of evolution, allowing already almost three decades to support them up to date, is a South American anti-tank systems "Toy" and the Western "Milan".

Seasoned standards ATGM "Toy" appeared in 1969. The missile had a cumulative warhead, solid start and sustainer engines, onboard equipment control, and xenon light source at the bottom. According to test results, it has been improved: increased by 25% (to 3,750 m) distance run by lengthening the wire on the coil and the growth rate of the march, and in 1970 she was accepted into service as part of the complex under the symbol BGM-71A.

BGM-71 TOW, Afghanistan

In 1981 he was accepted into service brand new modification "Superior Toy" (BGM-71C). Its main difference was the installation of the fuse pin on pin, retractable after launch. This ensured undermining warhead on a rational distance from the armor and, coupled with the application of the new BB has significantly raise the armor.

The result is even more profound modernization became a version of "Tou-2" (BGM-71D), put into service in 1986.

Its main difference was the increase in the caliber warhead with 127 mm to 152 mm, which allowed her to increment the weight and armor. The structure of land was introduced PU thermal sight AN/TAS-4, and replaced by a digital analog computer. It is possible to introduce a tracking missile sites in the infrared range and dramatically improve noise immunity.

In 1989, the complex was put missile "Tou A-2", which has a tandem warhead, over a curb massive explosives (LX-14 — an alloy with Estaing HMX), and tantalum liner warhead. This provided an increase in armor penetration up to 900 mm.

In 1996, there was Toe 2B ", which fundamentally different from all the previous presence of 2-arranged vertically and warhead designed to hit a target from above. Moreover, it was noted that no modification to the intended change, modification and supplement A.

The complex "Toy" is in service in 41 countries. Different versions are released (or released) under license in England, land of the rising sun, Egypt, Switzerland and Pakistan. The complex carries a crew of 4 people.

Another example of evolutionary development can serve as a light anti-tank systems, "Milan", made in 1972. The complex comes rocket launchers and in the container.
First 80 years there was an improved modification of the "Milan-2", which has a higher armor at the expense of the latest warhead increased from 103 to 115 mm diameter with a retractable pin, also thermal sight MIRA.

MILAN Bundeswehr equipped with a system ADGUS

Soon there will be a modification with tandem KBCH — "Milan-2T", and in 1996 — "Milan-Z", which has a system of tracking missiles in 2-IR bands and the latest generation thermal sight. ATGM "Milan" is in service in 46 countries and is licensed in the UK, Italy and India. Transferred complex crew of 2 persons.

Wire management system will be perfectly still for a long time used in short-range anti-tank systems, which, in fact, are "heirs" of heavy anti-tank grenade launchers. These include the Russian "Mixed" and South American "Dragon", replacing in 70 years, respectively, 73 mm SPG-9 in the Russian Army, and 90-mm M67 in the U.S.. In ATRA "Dragon" used a very unique control scheme using single pulse thrusters, located in the center of gravity of the rocket. On ATGM she has not given any special advantages, but then came to a very missiles designed to defeat high-speed maneuvering targets in the air and in space.

When short-range (700-1000 m) flying to the target in just 5.4 seconds. even at a very moderate rate, while a wired system remains the most common and cheap. Because the control system of missiles of this type are very limited.
An example would be a rather successful French-Canadian ATGM "Erika", put into service in 1994. This set was created for the French anti-tank grenade launcher spoofing "Apilas" armor that by the end of the 80s was already inadequate.

Apart from France and Canada, this complex is also in service in Malaysia, Norway and Brazil, as in Turkey, it will be executed under license. The complex consists of a rocket launch tube and has repeatedly used the starter with iron sights. Feature of the complex is the so-called "Myagenko" launch, which dramatically reduces noise and other telltale signs of the shot and allows the use of ATRA shelters, but at the same time dramatically decreases and the initial velocity of the rocket (of 17 m / sec). This virtually eliminates the management by means of aerodynamic control surfaces, as has been applied gas jet system differences nozzle propulsion motor, located in the center of the rocket.

The missile is armed with a tandem warhead diameter of 137 mm. NIGHT MODE for shooting in bad visibility criteria can be installed thermal sight "Mirabelle", weighing 3.7 kg.

But constructively solve the problem of increased noise immunity and speed has permitted by way of pointing the laser beam. The rapid development of technology of optical and electrical devices in the 90s led to the widespread introduction of this method of guidance in the light anti-tank systems. Typical their representatives can serve as the Russian "Kornet" and created a consortium of Western companies TRIGAT MR.

Russian ATGM "Kornet" developed a 2-variants — light and heavy. Although the latter is intended for the introduction of a first armored vehicles, and it can be used in a portable version.

ATGM "Kornet-E"

The missile has a tandem warhead and provides the highest of all the samples of Russian armor — 1200 mm. In addition, there is a missile with a thermobaric (obemnodetoniruyuschey) warhead, the TNT equivalent of 10 kg is being sought.

Rocket has the aerodynamic control surfaces and the general assembly is very reminiscent previously made in the late 80's by the same developer (KBP Tula) ATGM "Reflex" that runs from the trunk of the 125-mm tank gun.

It must be emphasized that a rocket developed by the PCU is used to develop an air-dynamic drive control surfaces (UDHR), which is already very well used by anti-tank "Metis-M" and a number of other Russian SD.

Heavy version entered service with the Russian Army just exported to several countries. Light embodiment has several lowest armor (1000 mm) but weighs considerably easier. It will equip the system "Myagenko" launch.

ATRA TRIGAT MR created the UK, Germany and France to spoof ATGM "Milan". Admission missiles into service expected in 2002.
Unlike its predecessor in a complex guidance system used by the laser beam. Other differences are the "Myagenko" launch and use of gas-jet rudders on the entire line of motion of the flight.

The end of the 90s saw the emergence of long-awaited and ATRA third generation, operating on the principle of "fire — has forgotten." The first production prototype of this type was the South American ATGM "Javelin", put into service in 1998. The complex consists of a rocket in a container and sighting device with a thermal imager.

The rocket mounted thermal imaging seeker, in the focal plane that hosts the IR sensor (is a 64×64 matrix of sensitive parts based on cadmium telluride), working in the far infrared range (8-14 microns).

To launch the arrow quite bring sighting device at the target, with all this electrical image of the target and the surrounding background "corresponds" to the GOS, and the rocket is ready for launch. After launch the missile completely autonomous, and the shooter can immediately leave the position. Since the complex is provided "Myagenko" launch, shooting can be carried out of the shelters.

The missile has two modes of attack goal — a "roller coaster" (armored targets) and the line (bunkers, shelters, etc.). In the first case, the rocket after launch rises to a height of 150 meters and later dives at the target, hitting a narrower upper armor. But the cost of such a shot nanochuda comes to eighty thousand dollars depending on the warhead.

It is interesting to note that a similar ATGM "Nag" was developed and used in India. As for the future development of this type of weapon in the coming years, it may be noted here follow the trend.

Probably will not happen complete transition ATRA in its class to introduce guidance on the principle of "fire — forgotten" and the guidance system of the laser beam is still quite a long time to be applied. This is explained first by economic considerations — ATRA with such systems is essential (according to some data, in 2-3 times) less expensive than those that are built on the principle of self-homing. In addition, the homing system can only be used against objects contrast to the surrounding areas, and it is typically not too far away for all purposes on the battlefield. Another argument against the use of thermal imaging seeker is an event that for the "census" of the target image from the thermal sight to GSN takes some time (more than 5 seconds), during which the modern laser-guided missiles have time to fully proparhat 2 — 2,5 km.

To ATRA short-range (up to 1 km) in the coming years will be fully competitive ordinary wire control system.

As for the method of destroying the target (in the forehead or the top), then both of them will grow without exclusion, and complementing each other.

Of mandatory requirement is to ensure "Myagenko" start-up and as a consequence, the application of control with the configuration of the thrust vector engine.
Significant impact on the development of anti-tank systems will in the near future was outlined introduction of active protection of tanks, created for the destruction of anti-tank in the line of motion of the flight. For the first time in the world of such a system, which received the title of "Arena", made by the Russian developers. She's already installed on the new Russian tanks.

Like this post? Please share to your friends: