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The man-portable anti-tank guided missile system SKIF

The long-range man-portable anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system SKIF, a design by the State Design Bureau Luch of Kyiv, is intended to defeat armored targets at distances from 100 m to 5,000 m. The SKIF ATGM system, which is tripod-mounted, fires unified antitank guided missiles R-2 which are common to the BARYER ATGM system. The missile is container launched, and in this containerized configuration it has 1.27m in length and 0.13m in diameter, and weighs 16kg. The missile defeats armored infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) protection systems of all kinds – be it a composite armor, active protection system, spaced armor or explosive reactive armor (ERA), and is capable of penetrating 800mm of Rolled Homogenous Armor (RHA) behind ERA.

The SKIF missile employs semi-automatic laser (SAL) guidance to enable the target, after being designated and lock-on, to be tracked automatically without further operator’s intervention (no man-in-the-loop scheme). For tracking the target, the operator employs a telescope sight, with the missile in flight being controlled and guidance commands generated by a ground firing post. The target is designated and locked on using an optical tracker and a thermal-imaging sight to allow 24-h operation in all weathers. The tripod-mounted launcher system for the SKIF missile weighs 26kg (the thermal imaging sight included) and is controlled remotely from up to 50 meters. After launch, the missile is guided by a laser beam directed onto the missile’s tail rather than the target proper, with an 8x image intensifier at the firing post providing a visual field for the operator, and a 16x image intensifier supporting target designation and guidance until impact. Once the target is designated and locked-on, guidance is carried out automatically, i.e. without further operator’s intervention. The SKIF carries a tandem warhead shaped charge, consisting of two separate shaped charges, one in front of the other -- with some distance between them, and the front charge being somewhat smaller than the rear one. This precursor charge disrupts explosive reactive armor or pierces through external spaced armor, thereby opening the way for the rear charge to pierce the now defenseless core armor. Jam resistance is obtained by means of installing the missile’s optoelectronic sensor eye in backward direction from the target. One more advantage provided by the SKIF is that it can be fired remotely at a distance of up to 50 meters from the firing post, which reduces the risk for the operating personnel and also allows collective control of several launchers at a time.