The 9M113 Konkurs, NATO reporting name AT-5 Spandrel, is a Soviet SACLOS wire-guided anti-tank missile.
During the war in Ukraine, the Russian military mainly deployed weapons that were not the most modern but still very effective. These weapons have been proven through years of combat. One of such weapons is the 9M113 Konkurs anti-tank missile complex.
Recently, Sputnik posted a clip of Russian tank hunting squads, maneuvering on off-road vehicles and armed with the legendary Soviet Konkurs anti-tank missile. Thanks to their exceptionally compact and highly maneuverable design, these vehicles are easy to navigate through special terrains. The crew is usually 2 to 4 soldiers. They will silently approach the target under the guidance of the reconnaissance UAV. Konkurs anti-tank missiles are activated to destroy the target. These vehicles moved immediately to avoid counterattack.
The 9M113 Konkurs, NATO reporting name AT-5 Spandrel, is a Soviet SACLOS wire-guided anti-tank missile. This ATGM is the next development of the Fagot missile complex developed by the Tula Machinery Design Bureau in the early 1960s and officially entered service with the Soviet Army in 1974. Initially, designers calculated that AT-5 would be installed on armored vehicles such as BMP-2 and BRDM-2. However, it was later modified to be able to be launched from the AT-4’s improved 9P135M launchers for portability.
The 9M113 Konkurs was developed alongside the 9M111; the missiles use similar technology, differing only in size. The Konkurs is more accurate and greater firepower than their predecessors, and is a second-generation heavyweight wire-guided tube-launched Semi-Automatic Command to Line Of Sight (SACLOS) Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (ATGW).
The missile is stored and carried in a fiberglass container/launch tube. The system uses a gas generator to push the missile out of the launch tube. The missile leaves the launch tube at 80 meters per second, and is quickly accelerated to 200 meters per second by its solid fuel motor. This initial high speed reduces the missile’s deadzone, since it can be launched directly at the target, rather than in an upward arc. In flight, the missile spins at between five and seven revolutions per second.
The SACLOS guidance system has many benefits over MCLOS. The system’s accuracy is quoted in some sources as 90%, though its performance is probably comparable to the BGM-71 TOW or later SACLOS versions of the 9K11 Malyutka.
A 2.7 kg 9N131 HEAT warhead is fitted that can penetrate up to 600 mm of armour. Total weight of the canister with missile is 25.2 kg. In the early 1990s the improved 9M113M Konkurs-M (AT-5b ‘Spandrel’) missile was revealed. This is fitted with a tandem HEAT warhead with an extensible standoff probe to defeat Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) packages and is capable of penetrating up to 800 mm of conventional steel armour. A thermal night system has now been developed for the infantry version of the Konkurs which weighs 13 kg and enables targets to be engaged at night or under poor weather conditions from 75 to 2,500 m. This thermal imager is called the 1PN65 and is mounted above the missile in its launch tube.
Since its inception, Konkurs has proven highly effective in local conflicts, and is exported to dozens of countries around the world. On the Internet there are many videos showing the effective operation of the Konkurs complex in Iraq and Yemen against the American Abrams tank, in Syria – against the Leopard 2 tank of the Turkish army. And today, the Russian army and the private military organization Wagner Group are successfully using Konkurs ATGM against armored vehicles and fortified positions of the Ukrainian army.