The Belarussian armed forces have received the first batch of 9M120 Ataka antitank guided missiles. It was earlier reported that Belarus planned to procure antitank Ataka missiles in 2020-2021. The acquisition and delivery of the 9M120 Ataka (AT-9 Spiral-2) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), which have been designed on the base of the 9M114 Shturm (AT-6 Spiral) ATGM. On November 2019, the Belarussian Defense Minister Andrey Ravkov held a press conference, at which he detailed some Belarusian military programs. The Belarussian Defense Ministry reported that the first batch of Ataka missiles was delivered in the framework of military-technical cooperation with the Russian Federation. Russia and Belarus are maintaining successful and fruitful cooperation in the military-technical field.
The 9M120 Ataka (Attack) is an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) originating from the Soviet Union. The NATO reporting name of the 9M120 missile is the AT-9 Spiral-2. It is the next major generation in the 9K114 Shturm (AT-6 Spiral) family. The missile has radio command guidance and is also a Beam riding SACLOS. This missile’s primary variant was designed to defeat tanks with composite armour and explosive reactive armor. The system is carried by the multiple kinds of helicopters including the Mi-28 and Mi-35. It is also offered for ground vehicles like the BMPT and the 9P149. The former was designed by the KBM machine-building design bureau and manufactured by the Degtyarev plant. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia exported the Ataka ATGM to Iran, Kazakhstan, and Slovenia.
The Ataka missile is stored in a glass reinforced plastic tube, which also acts as its launcher. The missile is reported to be considerably faster than the 9K114 Shturm, with longer range than the original version. It still uses radio command guidance, but the system has been improved when compared to the earlier 9K114 Shturm. There are three main missiles that are compatible with the launch system. The first is a two-stage anti-armour weapon that features a tandem warhead for dealing with add-on armor. The second variant of the missile – designated as 9M120F – has a thermobaric warhead for use against infantry positions and bunkers. The third variant of the 9M120 Ataka is the 9M220, which features a proximity fused expanding rod warhead, providing the missile with air-to-air capability against low- and slow-flying aircraft.