Armed with the famous 9K114 Shturm anti-tank missile system, the 9P149, or Shturm-S, is capable of destroying heavily armored targets.
The MT-LB is a famous multi-purpose armored vehicle developed during the Soviet era, and based on this chassis the Soviet Union launched a series of powerful weapon systems from anti-aircraft to anti-armor. Armed with the famous 9K114 Shturm anti-tank missile system, the 9P149, or Shturm-S, is capable of destroying heavily armored targets. The 9P149 is especially dangerous to ambush tactics because of its firepower and maneuverability.
9K114 Shturm is a SACLOS radio guided anti-tank missile system of the Soviet Union – NATO reporting name is AT-6 Spiral. The missile system was developed in the early 1970s, to create a supersonic anti-tank missile system with a range of up to 5,000 meters against armored targets. The anti-tank missile system was intended for both air and ground units. MT-LB was chosen as the platform for the land-based anti-tank role. In 1979, the new ground combat vehicle entered service with the name 9P149 “Shturm-S”.
The troop compartment is occupied by a single round retractable pedestal launcher that is connected to an automatic loader. Instead of the small machine gun turret a large optical tracker is fitted. The 9M114 Shturm missile can engage armored targets at a maximum range of 5km. The newer and longer range 9M120 Ataka missile can also be used. The rate of fire is 2 to 4 rounds per minute, with a total of 12 missiles carried. The 9P149 cannot fire on the move. There is no secondary armament for self-protection.
Being based on the MT-LB chassis the 9P149 is a very mobile system. It has good performance on both roads and in very difficult terrain. The low ground pressure makes it ideal for use in swamps and snow. The diesel engine provides up to 290 hp and allows for a maximum speed of 65 km/h. The 9P149 is fully amphibious.
As a mobile combat vehicle with superior firepower, the 9P149 has relatively weak armor. The steel armor provides all around protection against small arms and shell splinters. The 9P149 is vulnerable to any heavier type of armament. An NBC system is standard but smoke grenade launchers are lacking. The low silhouette and high speed of the Shturm missile are the main factors that determine the survivability of the 9P149.
The MT-LB is a Soviet multi-purpose, fully amphibious, tracked armored fighting vehicle in use since the 1970s. This vehicle is mainly used as an artillery tractor, however, like every well-designed platform, the vehicle eventually became the basis for many ground-based weapons systems.