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AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest)

SACLOS Wire-Guided Anti-Tank Missile (WGATM)

Soviet Union | 1974

"The AT-5 Spandrel has proven effective against even the lastest generation of main battle tanks."

Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited: 05/17/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
The physical qualities of the AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
1,150 mm
45.28 in
O/A Length
875 mm
34.45 in
Barrel Length
32.19 lb
14.60 kg
Wire-Guided; Contact Detonation
Integrated Optics; Night-Vision Capable.
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
14,107 ft
4,299.8 m | 4,702.3 yds
Notable series variants as part of the AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest) SACLOS Wire-Guided Anti-Tank Missile (WGATM) family line.
AT-5 "Spandrel" / 9M113 (Konkurs) - Base Series Designation.
AT-5A "Spandrel-A" / 9M113 (Konkurs) - Improved Variant.
AT-5B "Spandrel-B" / 9M113M (Konkurs-M) - Tandem Warhead with extended probe.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Tula Machinery Design Bureau (Tula KBP) - Soviet Union / Russia
National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Croatia National flag of Cyprus National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of Finland National flag of Georgia National flag of Hungary National flag of India National flag of Indonesia National flag of Iraq National flag of Iran National flag of Morocco National flag of North Korea National flag of Peru National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of Slovakia National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Syria National flag of Turkey National flag of Ukraine National flag of the United States

[ 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 ]
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Image of the AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest)
Image from the Slovakian Ministry of Defense; Public Release.
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Image of the AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest)
Close-up view of the AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank missile launcher atop a BMP-2 carrier
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Image of the AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest)
The AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank missile launcher fixed to the turret of a BMP-2 armored personnel carrier
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Image of the AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest)
A BMP-2 APC showcases a 30mm cannon and an AT-5 Spandrel missile launcher
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Image of the AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest)
A setup of 5 x AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank missile launchers affixed to a 4x4 Soviet armored car

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The AT-5 (Spandrel) / 9M113 (Contest) SACLOS Wire-Guided Anti-Tank Missile (WGATM) appears in the following collections:
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