A Ka-52 attack helicopter with launchers for Vikhr-1 missiles

Kalashnikov Group Unveils New Guided Missile at Army-2020 Forum

The Russian manufacturer of the infamous AK-47 assault rifle, Kalashnikov Group presented its 9K121 Vikhr-1 anti-tank missile and 9M333 guided anti-aircraft missile at the Army 2020 forum. According to the Kalashnikov CEO Dmitry Tarasov, works on increasing the Vikhr-1’s range are underway. The Vikhr-1 anti-tank missiles range is about 8,000 meters. We are working on increasing its range to almost 10 kilometers. The 9M333 guided anti-aircraft missil finished another testing stage recently. This missile works on a ‘fire and forget’ principle.

The 9K121 Vikhr (Whirlwind; NATO reporting name: AT-16 Scallion) is a Russian laser guided anti-tank missile. “9K121” is the GRAU designation for the missile system. The missile can be launched from warships, Ka-50 and Ka-52 helicopters, and Su-25T aircraft. The missile is designed to engage vital ground targets, including armoured targets fitted out with built-in and add-on explosive reactive armor, at a range of up to 8 km when fired from a helicopter and 10 km when fired from a fixed-wing aircraft in daytime and up to 5 km at night, as well as air targets in conditions of air defense assets activity.

A Ka-52 attack helicopter with launchers for Vikhr-1 missiles
A Ka-52 attack helicopter with launchers for Vikhr-1 missiles

The 9M333 anti-aircraft guided missile is part of the 9K35M3 system and is designed to engage low-flying aircraft and helicopters at any time of year in the application of dropped, parachuted and modulated organized optical interference, as well as remotely piloted aircraft (RAP) and cruise missiles. The 9M333 included a new autopilot and IR background rejection processing, as well as a laser proximity fuse with eight rather than four lobes for engaging small targets,and a larger and more lethal warhead. The 9K35M3 included an improved optical sighting system for the gunner with WFOV and NFOV modes.

JSC Kalashnikov Concern, known until 2013 as the Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant (IZHMASH)), is a Russian defense manufacturing concern and joint-stock company headquartered in the city of Izhevsk in the Republic of Udmurtia as well as the capital city of Moscow. The concern designs and produces a wide range of civilian and military weapons including assault rifles, sniper rifles, designated marksman rifles, machine guns, squad automatic weapons, hunting rifles, shotguns, guided artillery projectiles, and a wide range of other precision weapons including remote controlled weapon stations, unmanned vehicles and military robots.

A Ka-52 attack helicopter with launchers for Vikhr-1 missiles