AT-13 (Saxhorn-2) / 9K115-2 (Metis-M)
Wire-Guided Anti-Tank Missile System
The AT-13 Saxhorn-2 was reportedly used to good effect by Hezbollah forces against the mighty Israeli Merkava main battle tanks in the 2006 Lebanon War.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The AT-13 "Saxhorn-2" is a man-portable anti-tank missile system of Russian origin and is a modernized form of the original AT-7 "Saxhorn". The major difference between the two systems is the AT-13s newer missile which sports larger dimensions, an increased operational range and modern internal technology. It is produced by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau and entered service with the Russian Army in 1992 to serve alongside mechanized armored units. KBP has a long-standing history after their founding in 1927 in Tula and the firm has gone on to produce a variety of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and anti-infantryweapon systems for the Soviet/Russian military. Several Soviet/Russian-allied nations have also moved on procuring the relatively new weapon system to help modernize anti-tank forces and include Croatia, South Korea, Iran and Syria. The Saxhorn-2 allows for on-the-spot, point-defense against all types of armored vehicles as she is made to be highly portable with thought given to ease and expediency of use.
The Saxhorn-2 system is made up of three major components consisting of the 9M131F missile, the 9P151 launch tube and a 1PBN86-VI thermal imaging sight. The standard operating crew is three personnel which facilitates both the firing action and transport of the Saxhorn-2 system as a whole. Setup of the Saxhorn-2 is roughly 15 seconds for a trained fire team (the launch tube is transported with a ready-to-fire missile in place) however the missile can only be fired from a standing or prone position. Since the launcher is reusable, the fire team can actually supply a semi-consistent rate-of-fire of about three missiles per minute. At least five missiles are assigned each Saxhorn-2 fire team to facilitate reloading of the launcher. Since one missile is already in the launch tube with the main operator, the other four reloads are split as pairs between the two remaining personnel and these are carried in addition to their personal weapons. The Saxhorn-2 system measures in at 980mm with a 130mm diameter. Weight is roughly 13.8 kilograms. Like other anti-tank missile systems of this class, the Saxhorn-2 can also be fixed to fire from vehicles of various types, making for a mobile anti-tank weapons platform when required.
The 9M131F missile features a solid-fuel rocket booster engine that supplies an operational range between 0.08 and 1.5 kilometers (0.049 to 0.93 miles) - for the crews safety, weapons such as this generally have a minimum operating range. Speed at the height of its post-launch phase is approximately 656 feet per second (200 meters per second). The missile is guided to the target via a wire link (wire-guided) that receives commands and course corrections to provide for relative pin-point accuracy. The base missile is capped with a HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead designed to penetrate armor facings. If equipped as such, the Saxhorn-2 fire team can also launch a thermobaric-based warhead missile against personnel or structures. Thermobaric weapons expand the traditional blast wave for greater detrimental effects using available nearby oxygen (as in a fuel-air bomb).
Israeli Army Merkava main battle tanks reportedly encountered Saxhorn-2s when combating Hezbollah forces in the 2006 Lebanon War. While Russia denied the sale of its missile systems to the group, it is believed these were obtained via Syrian connections which itself procured the anti-tank system from Russia.
Russia formally designates the Saxhorn-2 as the 9K115-2 "Metis-M". AT-13 "Saxhorn-2" is the NATO reporting name.