The Khrizantema anti-tank missile was unveiled in July 1996 by the Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashynostroyenia (KBM) Engineering Design Bureau. The missile had started development in the 1980s and was designed as an all weather, multi-purpose missile system that could defeat current and future armoured units equipped with advanced armour protection like explosive reactive armour (ERA). Khrizantema was envisaged as a replacement for a variety of different types of anti-tank missile that remained in service with the Soviet military, such as the 9K114 Shturm and the 9M120 Ataka-V. The system was expected to enter service with the Russian armed forces in 2004.
The 9M123 missile is supersonic, flying at an average speed of 400 m/s or Mach 1.2 and has a range of between 400 and 6,000 meters. Propulsion is by way of a single solid fuel rocket motor with two exhausts on either side of the missile. The off-set exhausts cause the missile to spin during flight. Guidance control is provided by two pop-out control surfaces at the rear of the missile (four additional surfaces help stabilise the missile during flight). The Khrizantema is unique among Russian anti-tank guided missiles as, depending on the variant the missile, it can either be guided by laser or radar. The radar unit uses the millimeter wave band and the system automatically tracks the target and guides the missile in the radar beam. This form of guidance is LOSBR (Line-Of-Sight Beam Riding) that is ACLOS. When guided using a laser, a continuous laser beam is generated towards the target and a sensor in the rear section enables the missile to ride the laser beam to the target. This form of guidance is LOSBR (Line-Of-Sight Beam Riding) that is SACLOS. This dual guidance system allows two missiles to be fired at two separate targets at once, with one missile guided by laser and the other by radar. Each missile carries a tandem HEAT warhead with a reported penetration of 1100–1250 mm RHA behind explosive reactive armour (ERA), alternatively a thermobaric warhead can be carried to engage soft-skinned targets, fortifications and manpower.
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