9M133 Kornet

The Kornet (Russian: "Корнет"; English: Cornet) is a Russian anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). It is intended to deal with main battle tanks, but it is not intended to fully replace previous systems, due to its high cost. The missile carries the GRAU designation 9M133 and the NATO reporting name AT-14 Spriggan. It was first introduced into service with the Russian Army in 1998. Its export designation is the Kornet-E.

9M133 Kornet
Class Missile
Type Surface to Surface
Manufacturer KBP Instrument Design Bureau
Production Period 1988 - 1998
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1998
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Iraq 2003 2003 View
Israel 2006 2006 View
Israel 2014 2014 View
Lebanon 2015 2015 View
Libya 2014 View
Ukraine 2014 View
Yemen 2015 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
KBP Instrument Design Bureau 1988 1998 35000 View

The Kornet anti-tank missile was unveiled in October 1994 by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau. The missile started development in 1988 as a modular, universal system able to engage any target from a mix of platforms using a reliable laser beam guidance system that was simple to use. It is a heavy ATGM, superior to the earlier 9K111 Fagot (NATO: AT-4 Spigot) and 9K113 Konkurs (NATO: AT-5 Spandrel) wire-guided ATGMs, but not to replace them (due to the cost). The missile entered service in the Russian army in 1998. Its export designation is the Kornet-E.

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Kornets were used by some groups of Iraqi special forces to attack American armoured vehicles, "disabling at least two Abrams tanks and one Bradley armored troop carrier in the opening week of the war".

The second verified episode of the Kornet ATGM in combat use occurred during the 2006 Lebanon War, where the missiles, reportedly supplied by Syria, were successfully used by Hezbollah fighters to destroy up to four Israeli Merkava tanks, armor was pierced in total from 24 tanks. One of the first detailed accounts of IDF's successful capture of Kornet ATGMs on Hezbollah positions in the village of Ghandouriyeh appeared in the Daily Telegraph article, which also reported that the boxes were marked with "Customer: Ministry of Defense of Syria. Supplier: KBP, Tula, Russia". Several months after the cease-fire, reports have provided sufficient photographic evidence that Kornet ATGMs were indeed both in possession of, and used by, Hezbollah in this area.

Israel claims that Russian weapons were smuggled to Hezbollah by Syria, and Israel has sent a team of officials to Moscow to show Russia the evidence of what they say can only be Syrian weapons transfers. Despite initial public denials by the Russian officials that any proof of actual use of Kornet by Hezbollah has been presented, the Russian government in fact has moved to tighten control over the use of Russian-made weapons by the importing states, suggesting that the visit of the Israeli delegation did bear fruit, although it might have nothing to do with Kornet. On 6 December 2010, a Kornet launched from the Gaza strip penetrated the outer armour of a Merkava Mark III tank on the Israeli side of the border, but it caused no injuries.

During the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in the summer of 2014, of the 15 anti-tank missiles which launched on Israeli tanks that were intercepted by the Israeli active protection system "Trophy", most were of the Kornet type. In some cases the Kornet launchers were destroyed after the "Trophy" system has detected the launch and directed the tank's main gun to the launcher position.

In the summer of 2014 the armour of Iraqi Army M1A1 Abrams tanks was penetrated 5 times. Kornet missiles were responsible for at least some of these penetrations. In September 2014, the Iraqi Army used Kornet missiles against Islamic State militants for the first time. Iraqi security forces claimed five IS-operated vehicles along with fighters were destroyed in Diyala Province. Three Iraqi Army squadrons have been trained to use the Kornet anti-tank missile.

In January 2015 Shebaa farms incident, Hezbollah fired some Kornet anti-tank missiles against two Israeli Humvees. A soldier and an officer were killed.

Reuters have found remains of used Kornet missiles in Ukraine in the context of the 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine. Since Ukraine is not a known operator of Kornet, Reuters quoted the International Institute for Strategic Studies that the missiles were most likely sent into Ukraine by Russia.

The weapon was used in 2015 in the Second Libyan Civil War by ISIL fighters.

The weapon appears to also be used in the Yemeni Civil War. Footage appears to show a single rocket being fired by Houthi forces against a Saudi M1 Abrams, heavily damaging the tank.

Type Anti-tank missile
Place of origin Russia
Service history
In service 1998–present
Used by See Operators
Wars See Combat history
Production history
Designer KBP Instrument Design Bureau
Designed 1988-1998
Manufacturer Degtyarev plant
Produced 1994–present
Number built 35 000 (2009)
Variants See Variants
Specifications (9M133)
Weight 27 kg (29 kg with launch tube)
Length 1200 mm
Diameter 152 mm
Warhead 1000-1200 (9K135), 1200 (E), 1300 (D) mm RHA penetration after ERA with Tandem HEAT, Thermobaric
Warhead weight 7 kg HEAT, 10 kg TNT equivalent Thermobaric
Detonation mechanism Impact fuze
Wingspan 460 mm
Propellant Solid-fuel rocket
Operational range Kornet - 100-5,500m

Kornet-EM - 8,000 m (anti-tank); 10,000 m (thermobaric)
Guidance system SACLOS laser beam riding
Steering system Two control surfaces
Accuracy <5 m
Launch platform Individual, vehicle

End notes