Israel combats the Kornet anti-tank missile

Published date31 October 2023
The Kornet: Two warheads on one missile

Experts explain that the Kornet is the latest version of the Russian-made Sagger anti-tank missiles that were familiar to Israel in the Yom Kippur War. While the Sagger was self-guided through a steering wheel and screen, the Kornet uses a laser beam. The operator that fires the missile sets up a tripod with a type of telescope that transmits a laser beam towards the target. The missile rotates around the beam of light. If it deviates from the trajectory, a unique sensor puts the missile back on course.

The missile carries a payload of 4.5 kilograms of explosives, which allows it to penetrate steel over a meter thick. In fact, the Kornet has two types of warheads: the first, is a hollow charge, a type of mechanism that produces an explosion with blast waves that scatter shrapnel over the entire area, thus increasing the impact radius. The second type is a thermobaric head, which scatters flammable particles in the air, including small metals such as magnesium and aluminum, and after a few seconds this ignites a huge blast.

The range of the missile varies depending on its production date. The older generations of the Kornet have a range of 5.5 kilometers, while the new missiles can reach eight kilometers.

Unlike other anti-tank missiles, the Kornet can also follow a straight trajectory, which means that it can also be deployed against outposts and IDF forces. Moreover, experts say that the missile can also hit slow aircraft flying low.

Tel Aviv University Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) senior researcher Dr. Yehoshua Kalisky, an expert on weapons systems tells "Globes." "This is a precise and lethal weapon. I believe that this is the most powerful and most dangerous weapon that Hamas possesses against our forces and against our tanks. We have the technological and tactical knowledge to deal with it. You have to act with great awareness and not underestimate the enemy."

Aerospace and missile expert Tal Inbar tells "Globes," "This is a missile that is perceived as a very powerful weapon and one for which there is not much that can be done against it through passive protection. In terms of active protection, there is something to be done, and this is the solution that has been used in past combat."

The Russian development and Israel's first encounter with it

The missile was developed by the Russians in the 1980s, and it is believed that the technology was transferred to the Iranians in the late 1990s. Dr...

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