MANUFACTURER(S): Tula Machinery Design Bureau (Tula KBP) - Soviet Union / Russia
OPERATORS: Egypt; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czechoslovakia; Czech Republic; Finland; Georgia; Hungary; Indonesia; India; Iran; Iraq; Morocco; Moldova; Northern Cyprus; North Korea; Peru; Poland; Romania; Slovakia; Soviet Union; Turkey; Syria; Ukraine; United States
ACTION: Wire-Guided; Contact Detonation
SIGHTS: Integrated Optics; Night-Vision Capable.
Detailing the development and operational history of the AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest) SACLOS Wire-Guided Anti-Tank Missile (WGATM).
Entry last updated on 9/24/2018.
Authored by Dan Alex. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The AT-5 (NATO codename of "Spandrel", Soviet Army designation of 9M113 "Konkurs") is a wire-guided anti-tank missile system. Design and development of the system began in 1962 and serial manufacture of the AT-5 was conducted by the Tula Machinery Design Bureau and the weapon system officially entered service with the Soviet Army in 1974 and continues active operations today. The AT-5 was developed alongside the similar AT-4 "Spigot" (9K111 "Fagot"), the AT-5 being the larger of the two dimensionally but the both systems largely sharing much in the way of technology available to that time. This similarity means that the AT-5 missile can be used effectively with (later) production versions of the AT-4 launcher.
The AT-5 missile sports a weight of 32lbs with a length of 45 inches and a diameter of 135mm. The missile is capped with a tandem HEAT (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank) warhead that is detonated on contact with a hardened surface (armor, fortified walls, etc...). Propulsion is via an internal solid-fuel rocket motor that provides the AT-5 with a maximum operational range of approximately 2.5 miles with a speed equal to 660 feet per second. As with most launched missile systems, there is a minimum effective range of approximately 230 feet. As the AT-5 missile is wire-guided in nature, it requires the target to be in line-of-sight (LOS) with the launcher/operator. Guidance is only effective up to the length of the available wires leading from the launcher to the missile itself. The missile tracks itself to the target by reading a small transmitter at the rear of the missile as relative to the intended target. The missile then communicates corrected flight paths via the wire link to the launcher. The missile can be launched from both a man-portable launcher or from a launch affixed to a weapons mounting on a vehicle though the latter is most often seen. Both launch points offer up benefits with the man-portable versions being easier to conceal (for the sake of ambush) and the vehicle-mounted versions allowing for superior tactical mobility (perfect for hunting tanks).
The launch system contains the complete optics and launch mechanism critical to the AT-5 function. The operator actuates the trigger system which forces a gas generator on the missile to ignite and launch the missile free from the launch tube. It is only when the missile has safely cleared the launcher that an internal solid fuel rocket motor ignites to take over the flight path and sends the missile towards the intended target as dictated by the operator through the optical system. Four fins affixed to the missile ensure a proper trajectory and stability/rotation in flight. If the internal guidance system from launcher to the missile is affected by a tracking jammer emitted against it, the operator can then elect to guide the missile manually by way of the launcher itself.
Since inception into the Soviet inventory, a variety of operators have stepped forward to embrace the anti-armor qualities of the AT-5. These include Egypt, Finland, Georgia, Indonesia, India, Iran, Poland, Turkey, Syria and Ukraine. Iran has taken to producing a local copy of the original weapon system under the designation of Towsan-1/M113 at the beginning of the century. These are thought to have been smuggled into Hezbollah hands due to Israeli claims that their tanks encountered them in the 2006 Lebanon War. The actual effect of these missile systems against Israel tanks is unknown. Other anti-tank systems are also thought to have found their way into the conflict through Syria according to Israeli reports.