PDF Russian Aviation & Military Guide, 2016
Russian Aviation & Military Guide 05(06) September, 2016
Against Any Tanks

Against Any Tanks

The best in the world Kornet-EM multipurpose missile system

As of today the IIIrd generation Kornet-E portable/transportable laser beam-rider system developed by KBP and adopted in 1998 is the weapon defini-tively complying with the concept of advanced ATGW, being state-of-the-art specimen of multipurpose tactical short range weapon system allowing engage-ment of virtually any small-size target within the system's line of sight. Aiming for further enhancement of Kornet-E ATGW combat capabilities, KBP Instrument Design Bureau developed a new multipurpose missile system Kornet-EM.

Antitank guided missile systems (ATGM) have been developed and produced globally for already half a century. Since then they became the most popular and wanted type of high precision weapons (HPW) thanks to their usability and rela-tively low cost. A future ATGM system must be a versatile defensive-offensive guided weapon, whose portable and combat vehicle transportable modifications ensure a wide range of applications in close range tactical zone in various combat environments.

The weapon is designed as an automatic combat system, incorporating, besides the firing unit itself, both reconnaissance and control assets, and ensuring full automation of all combat operation constituents target detection and distribution, issuing and processing of target designation, missiles' guidance. The operator's task within such system is limited to supervision of its proper functioning and launch of missiles.

The open architecture of the system in terms of data exchange with higher-rank and peer units along with its combat capabilities makes it a vital element of Army network-centric system.

Kornet-EM multipurpose missile system provides for engagement of modern and future tanks , various fortifications (pillboxes, bunkers) and low-velocity aerial targets (helicopters, assault aircrafts and UAVs) in day&night and adverse weather conditions under enemy ECM and optical jamming at ranges up to 8-10 km.

The Kornet-EM system comprises:
  • combat vehicle with two automatic launchers and operators panel with a display;
  • battery commander's reconnaissance and control vehicle, equipped with combined surveillance system including TV, IR and radar reconnaissance aids, navi-gation, communication and data exchange systems, automated control suite and weapon system (Kornet-EM ATGM and PKTM machine-gun),
  • guided missile with HE warhead with impact and proximity fuses and fir-ing range of up to 10 km;
  • an antitank guided missile with a maximum firing range of 8000 m and shaped charge warhead armour penetration of 1100-1300 mm which enables the Kor-net-EM system to engage modern and future tanks bearing in mind the tendency to growth of their armour protection.

Due to implementation of state-of-the-art but, however, low cost technical so-lutions, Kornet-EM acquired a number of new features, allowing significant broaden-ing of its combat capabilities to counter both conventional ground targets, as well as non inherent to this class of systems ability to engage lowe-velocity aerial targets:
the use of computer vision along with automatic target tracker makes it possi-ble to exclude an operator from missile guidance process and in fact implements the fire-and-forget principle, thus giving a 5-times increase in accuracy of target track-ing during real combat.
  • engagement of targets in automatic mode reduces psychophysical stress to operators, requirements to their skills and duration of their training.
  • automation of guidance process along with automated target detection and distribution, target designation commands generation and processing result in virtu-ally fully automatic combat system, limiting the operator's task to supervision of its proper functioning and launch of missiles.
  • combat vehicle with twin-launcher ensures simultaneous salvo firing at two targets, thus significantly increasing the systems firing rate and number of targets han-dled and at the same time allowing two-fold reduction of combat assets required to com-plete a mission. Such performance specifications endow Kornet-EM with the highest target handling capability among similar existing and future systems - min. 3-4 tar-gets per minute at ranges up to 5 km. Thus, in case the weapon systems are posi-tioned at a stand-off range from enemy tanks (more than 4 km) a single Kornet-EM battery of 9 combat vehicles is able to repulse an attack (i.e. destroy min. 50% of tar-gets) of enemy tank (12 class) battalion (58 tanks). Actually, such mission may be accomplished by two battery salvos, destroying 32-34 tanks, i.e. 55-60% of the battalion. The time required to accomplish the mission will not exceed 1 minute, al-lowing to avoid casualties, since the enemy tanks will not be able to to reach their ef-fective firing distance.
  • new capability for ATGW effective engagement of small-size aerial targets - reconnaissance and reconnaissance-attack unmanned aerial vehicles being the en-emys crucial and mass combat support tool, as well as helicopters and assault air-crafts.

UAV on a reconnaissance mission lets enemy well in advance disclose de-fence, give accurate target designation for firing over-the-horizon munitions, record and transmit information on army relocations both during operations near the line of contact with enemy and in the rear. This results in significant increase in casualties and possible failures of combat mission performance. From the point of view of en-gagement, UAVs are difficult targets due to low altitude of flight. Moreover, in case of mass application they are a teaser for the air defence assets, causing high consump-tion of expensive surface-to-air missiles.

Attack helicopters and tactical aircrafts are by now the highest threat for land forces, as they can inflict maximum damage in minimum time. For example, a heli-copter is able to destroy a company of armoured vehicles (10-14 armoured vehicles) with one ATGM load.

To efficiently counter the UAVs, attack helicopters and tactical aircrafts the air defence assets should be available right in the combat formations, because attack or reconnaissance flights are performed at low altitudes, impeding due-time detection with medium and short range air defence systems which are usually stationed deep in the home front. Kornet-EM is the system able to efficiently accomplish low-velocity aerial threats repulsion tasks.

Another distinctive feature of modern combat operations is deployment of so-phisticated surveillance and networking technologies in the tactical units. Wide appli-cation of integrated surveillance aids (various combinations of optical, radar, TV and IR systems), sophisticated automatic assets of tactical units operation control, com-munication and navigation allows continuous monitoring of the battlefield, real-time reception of reconnaissance data (both from peer and higher level units) overlaid on the digital maps and automatic or semiautomatic generation and transmission of tar-get&firing data to the fire units, thus, determining the efficiency of high-precision tac-tical weapons and ATGW employment.

Availability of surveillance systems providing detection of wide range of tar-gets and automatic battery operation control aids is a vital need for Kornet-EM with its versatility of combat applications and ability to effectively counter aerial targets. Timely submission of aerial targets data to the fire units (Line Kornet-EM combat vehicles) directly influences both the efficiency of ATGW counteraction to aerial threats, as well as casualties in the units under air raid.

To provide operational surveillance/data exchange and control of Kornet-EM battery combat operation, a battery commander's surveillance&control vehicle is de-signed based on standard line Kornet-EM CV.

The Surveillance&Control vehicle is special-purpose unit combining both re-connaissance/control and fire unit functions.

The control vehicle comprises:
  • Integrated surveillance system featuring TV, IR and radar aids;
  • navigation aids;
  • communication and data exchange system;
  • automated control suite;
  • weapon system.

Employment of radar in the control vehicle allows target detection at rabges significantly exceeding the firing range of line combat vehicles weapon systems. This provides efficient control of Kornet-EM battery combat operation along with wide sector surveillance by Kornet-EM control vehicle.

Provided with such surveillance capabilities the task of the control vehicle lim-its to target detection, friend-or-foe identification and target distribution among the line vehicles in order to avoid multiple firing at a single target.

The battery commander's control vehicle capabilities by day/night time and under any weather conditions are the following:
  • detection, identification and tracking of moving or stationary air and ground targets, automatic measurement, generation and processing of the detected targets' coordinates;
  • friend-or-foe identification;
  • generation and transmission of target designation data from the anti-tank bat-tery commander to line combat vehicles;
  • maintaining radio communication within the battery, as well as with higher-rank and peer unit commander's;
  • real-time control of battery fire, relocation and firing pattern planning in case of changing deployment area with data overlaying on the digital map.

These capabilities allow:
  • reduction of ground targets detection time for line combat vehicles by 2-3 times at daytime and by 6-10 times at night (if compared to target search using IR sight), aerial targets more than 10 times;
  • automatic determination and firing primarily at the most threatening target;
  • maintaining balanced target load on the combat vehicles to avoid multiple fir-ing at a single targets by several vehicles;
  • timely readjustment of battery firing pattern in case of casualties.

As a result, the Surveillance&Control Vehicle is able to double the combat ef-fectiveness of Kornet-EM battery while countering enemy tanks attack in properly arranged defence formations, or increase it by 2.5 times in case of entering the com-bat (from march) without prior area survey and missing information about enemy forces.

In case of countering aerial threats (UAV, helicopters) the combat efficiency of ATGW battery will increase by 2.5-5.0 times due to reduction of target detection time and increase of detection probability.

Main Performance Specifications of the System

Firing range, m:
- minimum
- maximum
10 000
Guidance system
automatic, beam riding guidance
Jamming immunity
Number of targets engaged simultane-ously by a salvo
Armour penetration by shaped charge warhead, mm
TNT equivalent of high explosive war-head
Ammunition load, pcs
including ready-to-fire missiles
Change-over from traveling to combat configuration, seconds

Main Performance Specifications

Flight range
150 8000
Armour penetration, mm
1100 1300
Maximum flight speed, m/s
Weight with launch-tube, kg
Length of launch-tube, mm
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