The divisions and brigades of the Airborne Forces will be the first in the Russian armed forces to completely switch to the Kornet anti-tank missile systems (ATGM), sources in the Ministry of Defense told Izvestia. The paratroopers will receive them in portable and mobile versions. The armament is considered one of the most advanced missile systems in the world. Despite the name “anti-tank”, these are universal missiles. They are capable of striking not only armored vehicles, but also destroying fortifications, buildings and even individual soldiers. Also ATGM can shoot down drones, helicopters and light aircraft. Thanks to the new product, the Airborne Forces will receive unique firepower and mobility, experts say.
Rockets for mobile
The principal decision on large-scale deliveries of Kornet anti-tank systems to the Airborne Forces has already been made. Rearmament will start next year, sources in the Ministry of Defense told Izvestia. The paratroopers will receive both a portable version and mobile launchers on a wheeled and tracked chassis, which will completely replace the anti-tank missile systems they currently have in service. The capabilities of the Kornets make them universal and can be used in a variety of roles, from fighting armored vehicles to destroying helicopters and drones.
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In units and formations of the Airborne Forces, portable models of “Cornets” have already entered service. But for now, the main anti-tank weapons of the paratroopers remain the older complexes – “Fagot”, “Konkurs” and “Metis”.
The head of the 242nd training center of the Airborne Forces, Colonel Vitaly Teryokhin, has already announced that from December this year, for the first time, the training of commanders of the calculation of a new generation anti-tank missile system will begin. The defense department also announced plans to complete state tests of the Kornet-D1 on the tracked chassis of the BMD-4M airborne assault vehicle in the near future. They will be used to equip anti-tank artillery battalions of the Airborne Forces.
“Such means will increase the firepower of the airborne subunits,” Colonel Valery Yuryev, deputy chairman of the Russian Paratroopers’ Union, told Izvestia. – They have a long range and penetration ability, they overcome the armor of almost all modern tanks. The effectiveness of the Airborne Forces units in destroying enemy armored vehicles will increase. And thanks to mobility, it will be difficult to destroy these funds. He fired, ran over to a nearby bush, and the enemy did not find him. With the help of vehicles on a wheelbase, the calculations of the complexes will move quickly.
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In recent years, the Ministry of Defense has been increasing the fire capabilities of the Airborne Forces, Yuryev noted.
“The military leadership relies on mobile forces that can suddenly appear where necessary,” he explained. – Today it makes no sense how to build echeloned defense during the Great Patriotic War. Modern long-range firepower makes it possible to destroy the enemy in his deep rear without breaking through the defenses. And in order for the rapid reaction units to effectively carry out tasks, they must have the same power as motorized rifle and tank units. Therefore, the issue of increasing the combat capabilities of the Airborne Forces and equipping them with modern weapons is now being addressed. This requires an increase in the range, maneuverability and complexity of the destruction of these weapons by the enemy.
Portable complexes “Kornet” are already supplied to the Airborne Forces. Their calculations and the launchers themselves are transported on BTR-D airborne armored personnel carriers, but the main use case is the use of dismounted paratroopers from the ground or from shelters. In parallel, several variants of combat vehicles with multiply charged modules installed on them are being developed. They are equipped with powerful surveillance devices and allow you to shoot while remaining under the cover of armor.
Change of wheels: new armored vehicles will change the face of the Airborne Forces The first promising armored vehicles “Typhoon-Airborne” will receive reconnaissance and special forces of paratroopers
The task of adapting the Kornets to the promising armored platforms of the Airborne Forces was issued in 2013 to the Tula JSC Instrument Design Bureau named after Shipunova “. It was reported that in addition to tracked BMD-4M complexes, the complexes will also be installed on highly mobile wheeled chassis.
For several years now, at the Victory Parades in Moscow, a test version of the Kornet-D1 ATGM system, mounted on a four-wheeled armored vehicle Tiger, not intended for parachute landing, but suitable for transport by military transport aircraft, has been demonstrated for several years.
For arming the airmobile units of the new type, it will also be possible to use the Kornet-M mounted on the latest Typhoon-VDV armored vehicles. Such combat vehicles can be useful not only for paratroopers, but also for ground forces.
Both of these options have two rocket modules of four “Cornets” each, sets of optics and guidance devices. This allows one vehicle to simultaneously fire at two different targets. The sequential launch of missiles with a small gap between them allows the ATGM to overcome even the most modern complexes of active protection of tanks. The automatic tracking increases accuracy and allows you to attack not only ground, but also air targets.
Surpass and neutralize
The Kornet anti-tank missile systems have entered service with the Russian army since 1998. But in the ground forces, most ATGMs are still represented by models of previous generations – “Fagot”, “Konkurs” and “Metis”. They do not yet have mobile launchers on a wheeled chassis.
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From the very beginning, the complex was developed in order to qualitatively surpass its predecessors in all respects. Missiles with a caliber of 152 mm penetrate up to 120 cm of steel armor. This is enough to defeat any modern tanks, even “head-on”, where their protection is strongest. No more wires are required to aim the Cornets – they are guided by a laser beam. This not only made it possible to increase the flight speed, but also made it possible to use ammunition against helicopters and small drones.
In addition to anti-tank missiles from the same launcher, you can also use “Cornets” with a high-explosive fragmentation warhead. These are especially effective against lightly armored targets and infantry. There is also a thermobaric version in service to defeat fortifications and battles in urban areas. The inclusion of the latest long-range version of the 9M133FM-3 in the ammunition load allows to increase the target destruction range from 5.5 to 10 km.
Currently, the Russian Airborne Forces are in the process of reforming. It is planned to turn them into a rapid reaction force, adapted for operational transfer not only by aircraft, but also by helicopters, as well as long-range marches on the ground. For this, a new generation of light wheeled combat platforms is being developed. In the future, units and formations of the Airborne Forces will become autonomous units capable of independently solving a wide range of tasks in their area of responsibility. They will be equipped with helicopters and drones, reinforced with tank units, and the mobile artillery fleet will be updated, including self-propelled anti-tank missile systems.