The 9M123 missile
|Place of origin||Russia|
|Wars||Libyan Civil War|
|Variants||9M123, 9M123-2, 9M123F, 9M123F-2|
|Weight||46 kg (54 kg with launch tube)|
|Warhead||Tandem HEAT (9M123), Thermobaric (9M123F)|
|Warhead weight||8 kg (9M123), 6 kg (9M123F)|
|ACLOS radar beam riding , SACLOS laser beam riding|
|Two control surfaces|
|9P157-2 tank destroyer, Mi-28 Attack helicopter|
The Khrizantema (Russian: "Хризантема"; English: Chrysanthemum) is a Russian anti-tank missile. Khrizantema was designed to deal with current and future generations of main battle tanks 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. The 9M123 missile together with its associated guidance system forms the 9K123 missile system.
The Khrizantema anti-tank missile was 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 envisaged as a replacement for a variety of different types of anti-tank missiles that remained in service with the Russian military, such as the 9K114 Shturm and the 9M120 Ataka-V. The system entered service with the Russian armed forces in 2005.
The 9M123 missile is supersonic, flying at an average speed of 400 m/s or Mach 1.2 and has a range of between 400 and 6,000 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. Guidance control is 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, it can either be guided by laser or radar. The radar unit uses the millimeter wave band and the system automatically tracks the target and guides the missile in the radar beam. This form of guidance is LOSBR (Line-Of-Sight Beam Riding) that is ACLOS. When guided using a laser, a continuous laser beam is generated towards the target and a sensor in the rear section enables the missile to ride the laser beam to the target. This form of guidance is LOSBR (Line-Of-Sight Beam Riding) that is SACLOS. This dual 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 warhead 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.
It is currently launched from the 9P157-2 Khrizantema-S tank destroyer, Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopter and most likely in the near future from the Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter as well. The 9P157-2 Khrizantema-S is 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. Missiles 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. The manufacturer claims that three 9P157-2 tank destroyers are able to engage 14 attacking tanks and destroy at least sixty percent 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.
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