Turkey Orders Russian ‘Kornet’ Anti-Tank Missiles
Defense News reports that Turkey’s recent competition for 80 advanced anti-tank missile launchers and up to 800 missiles has a surprising winner. After reportedly evaluating bids from South Africa’s Denel (Ingwe), Israel’s Rafael (Spike), Raytheon (TOW family), and Russia, the winner is… Russia’s AT-14/9M133 ‘Kornet E’, who walks away with a $70 million contract. The contract is expected to be signed in late August, with deliveries taking place in 2009.
Krasnopol Guided Weapon Systems’ (KBP) AT-14 missiles use laser guidance. The missile itself packs either a tandem shaped-charge warhead for a one-two punch designed to defeat even reactive armor protection; or a thermobaric (fuel/air) warhead that can devastate buildings, fortified positions, or troops or light vehicles caught in its blast radius. Range is up to 5.5 km, or 3.5 km at night. The missiles were reportedly used by Saddam’s commandos during the early phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom, but that has not been verified. It is certain, however, that they were used by Hezbollah during the 2006 war with Israel. States in the region who have ordered AT-14s include Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, and Syria and its proxies.