Antitank guided missiles and changes in tank warfare



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Antitank guided missile



ANTITANK GUIDED MISSILES AND CHANGES IN TANK WARFARE
The introduction to the modern battlefield of smaller, man-portable antitank guided missiles with larger warheads has given infantry the ability to defeat light and medium tanks at great ranges, though main battle tanks using composite and reactive armors have proven to be resistant to smaller antitank guided missiles. Earlier infantry anti-tank weapons, such as anti-tank rifles, anti-tank rockets and magnetic anti-tank mines, had limited armor-penetration abilities or required a soldier to approach the target closely. The rapid advances and growth in technologies relating to the short range tactical antitank guided missile systems and their supporting subsystems have changed the antitank warfare scenario and consequently, the antitank guided missile system deployment concepts, significantly.
This paper is aimed at presenting the development of antitank guided missile, measures to counter antitank guided missile, and how antitank guided missiles change the antitank warfare scenario. The last part of this paper is dedicated to discuss the current issues of terrorists using chemical weapons.
Antitank guided missiles are medium or long-range missile whose primary purpose is to destroy tanks and other armored vehicles. Antitank guided missiles range in size from shoulder-launched weapons, which can be transported by a single soldier, to larger tripod-mounted weapons, which require a squad or team to transport and fire, to vehicle and aircraft mounted missile systems. As of 2016, antitank guided missiles were used by over 130 countries and many non-state actors around the world.
Antitank guided missiles can be directed to a target by several different guidance systems, including laser guiding, television camera, or wire guiding. Antitank guided missiles can be launched from aircraft or land vehicles or by infantry. The most compact systems are small enough to be carried and operated by a single soldier, and advanced models, such as the U.S. Javelin, are “fire and forget” missiles, which means that once the antitank guided missile has been launched, it directs itself toward the target by using digital imaging. An antitank guided missile can also be used against fortified positions or low-speed aircraft.
Most modern antitank guided missiles have shaped charge HEAT warheads, designed specifically for penetrating tank armor. Tandem-charge missiles attempt to defeat ERA. The small initial charge sets off the ERA while the follow-up main charge attempts to penetrate the main armor. Top-attack weapons such as the U.S. Javelin, and the Swedish Bill are designed to strike vehicles from above, where their armor is usually much weaker.

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