Iran Introduces a Locally Produced Kornet-E Copy

The lightweight launcher enables the Dehlaviyeh to be used by dismounted units. Photo: Iran MOD

On his visit to the new production line of guided missiles, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmed Vahidi introduced a new missile called ‘Dehlaviyeh’ thought to be an Iranian ‘copycat’ of the Russian KBM 9M133 Kornet missile. Vahidi said the missile is of the most advanced anti-armor and anti-material weapons, capable of destroying stationary or moving main battle tanks equipped with reactive armor. The missile is equally effective against non-armored targets, such as bunkers or buildings, as well as low-flying and naval targets, Vahidi said. He added the missile’s guidance employs an advanced guidance system that makes it immune to current electronic countermeasures.

Although Iran had not directly procured the 9M133, it had access to the missiles obtained by Hezbollah from Syria. In 2010 intelligence reports indicated that such missiles leaked to the Gaza strip. Soon after Kornets were used at least twice, targeting an Israeli Merkava tank and a civilian bus. Back then Israel claimed Iran was the source of the missiles. Apparently, the Iranians have either obtained shipments from KBP or reversed engineered the missile.

The Dehlaviyeh missile is believed to be a reversed engineered version of the Russian Kornet-E laser beam-riding anti-tank guided missile. Photo: Iran MOD

Iran has already demonstrated the capability to locally produce anti-tank missiles, reverse engineering the wire-guided American TOW-2 missile and the Russian 9M113 Konkurs (both were exported to the Hezbollah in Lebanon and used against the Israelis in 2006). This Kornet copy represents the first use of laser beam-riding Semi-Active Command-Line Of Sight (SACLOS) technology. The beam-riding concept employs a low-power laser beam transmitted by the launcher, to communicates with the missile, replacing the need of wireless or wires for guidance. The missile’s sensor ‘looks backwards’ to lock on the beam center, thus unaffected by countermeasures employed by the target. As a seekerless missile, the Kornet is considered a low-cost round.

The original Kornet-E was first introduced in 1994, built by the Russian company KBP Instrument Design Bureau. It has an effective range of 100 – 5500 meters and a tandem warhead capable of penetrating of 1000-1200 mm steel armor (RHA) with reactive protection. A thermobaric warhead has also been introduced, to be used against bunkers and structures. The Kornet weighs 27 kg, its diameter is 152 mm and the length is 1200mm.

Dehlaviyeh guided missiles manufactured locally by Iranian defense industry. Photo: Itan MOD

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    • You are so right here. This particular technique of using the laser beam is suicidal, and especially on the modern battlefield. Additionally – you can block the laser beam by a smoke-screen, it can be also easily and heavily disturbed by dust in the air, sand-storm, and bad weather. That is, between other important things, one of the reasons, why Rafael sticks to its battle-proven “fly-by-wire” technology in its series of Spike missiles; MR, LR, and ER.

  1. I’m not so sure countermeasures will always be effective. When you have a backwards facing sensor in the butt of the missile, it can get up to date correctional data all the way to close proximity of the target. So smoke will have a limited affect. The laser is only fired when the missile is in flight, and the aiming system is independent of that; so it is not all that dangerous to use, even if it is detected. Of course the target can probably see the laser, but because it does not need to “paint” the target, it can be configured to more easily thwart detection. Besides – the missile flight time would be so short, you would barely have time to grab your behind before impact.

  2. Of course, smoke screen may not always be effective to 100%, as a measure to “cut off” the laser-beam, but it is almost ALWAYS effective in hiding the target in time, before the shooter get his chance to precisely hit the target. At the ranges of four or five kilometers you do have definitely more than just “a few seconds” to apply it. But, there are others, much more effective “soft” ways of interfering, like blinding the shooter with own, powerful laser-beams, employed for instance as a part of “soft-protection” systems in Trophy and Iron Fist APS. And, if all these measures happen not to work, the attacking missiles will be blown out of the existence by hard-kill measures, applied by the same Rafael’s Trophy, or by IMI’s Iron Fist. And, since both these APS at the very same time continuously and immediately measure, update and store the exact coordinates of places, from which the enemy AT missiles have been fired – here comes the best part of it: the AT missile-teams will be subjected to automatically laid, and immediate heavy counter-fire, before they will have any time to grab their behinds….. And – the impact of such heavy counter-fire will be really annihilating for such missile-teams……

  3. I think the main countermeasure to this weapon and weakness is the man in the loop. It is not fire and forget but must be guided in with corrections (the laser part) from the base unit (man in the loop).

    Israel faced this weapon setup in the Sinai. They were devastated at first then changed tactics to simply target the shooter/bottom of missile plume while maneuvering. At which point the devastating part shifted to the shooters end. It doesn’t sound like a long time the <minute of flight time but in the thick it is forever.

    • Yes, you are right. And, this was in 1973. Now, almost 40 years later, your there are plenty of different counter-measures, totally absent then – and, at the very end, the ability of systems like the Rafael’s Trophy and the IMI’s Iron Fist, to at close range blow such missiles out of existence.

      • PS. During the Yom Kippur 1973 years war, the ONLY alert system available then was the eventually alert EYES of the eventually alert IDF’s Centurion tank crew, to see with their own bare eyes the flame of the rocket motor of the wire-steered Soviet Sagger (Maliyutka) AT missile — fired at them by the Egyptian or Syrian anti-tank missile teams, and to try to hit them faster with the 105 mm high-explosive tank shells —- nowadays every Merkava and Magah tank crew has a number of warning systems sending alarms, including very exact directions of possible source of fire, when detecting a anti-tank missile fired against their tank.

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