Ever since the first successful Soviet ATGM Malutka appeared on the battlefield, the need to make a mobile system carrying it was more than obvious. The Soviet Union and the Russia later on were always paying the attention to these systems as they were supposed to be the main force to stop the NATO tanks. The latest development in western tank industry and the appearance of M1A2 Abrams, Merkava Mk.IV, Challenger 2 and Leopard 2A6 caused the new anti-tank missile system to be developed and it was soon put on the vehicle to ensure the mobility.
Battle characteristics and equipment
This newest development was named the 9M123 Khrizantema (NATO codification AT-15 Springer). The rocket is very powerful and has two standard options for guidance and two standard options for the warhead. The standard guidance either radar or laser beam based and the standard warheads are thermo baric (for bunkers and soft targets) or tandem HEAT (for tanks). The weight of the warhead is 8kg for tandem HEAT and 6 kg for thermo baric.
The 150 caliber missile is capable of defeating any modern tank and for most of them it can even penetrate the thick frontal armor which allows it to be the main frontline defense against tanks. The range of up to 6.000 meters ensures that the Khrizantema-S will defeat the enemy tanks before they come within the range to fire back and that gives it a clear advantage in the head to head fight.
The Khrizantema-S is a system that consists of a BMP-3 chassis, fire control system and a set of 17 missiles (2 on launcher + 15 on auto loader inside the vehicle). Since the BMP-3 chassis is amphibious the Khrizantema-S system retained the ability to cross the water obstacles and that makes it ideal for the rural theaters.
It has a crew of only 2 and since it is derived from the already existing systems (the ATGM AT-15 Springer and BMP-3 chassis) it is rather cheap for manufacturing. As the Russian forces always needed a lot of systems like the Khrizantema-S it is clear that a substantial number will find its place within their armed forces.
Max. Speed: 70km/h on road, 10km/h on water
Armament: 17 x 9M123 Khrizantema 150 mm ATGMs (AT-15 Springer)