9M120 Ataka

The 9M120 Ataka (Russian: Атака; Attack) is an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) originating from the Soviet Union.[3] The NATO reporting name of the 9M120 missile is the AT-9 Spiral-2. It is the next major generation in the 9K114 Shturm (AT-6 Spiral) family. The missile has radio command guidance and is also a Beam riding SACLOS. This missile's primary variant was designed to defeat tanks with composite armour and explosive reactive armor. The 9M120 Ataka system is often confused with the 9K121 Vikhr system, despite being different weapons systems developed by different companies. The former was designed by the KBM machine-building design bureau and manufactured by the Degtyarev plant. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia exported the Ataka ATGM to Iran, Kazakhstan, and Slovenia.[4]

9M120 Ataka
AT-9 Spiral-2
9M120 missile with tandem HEAT warhead
TypeAnti-tank guided missile
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1985–present
Used bySee Operators
Production history
ManufacturerDegtyarev plant[2]
VariantsSee Variants
Specifications (9M120 Ataka[3])
Mass49.5 kg (109 lb)
Length1,830 mm (72 in)
Diameter130 mm (5.1 in)
WarheadHEAT Tandem warhead
Warhead weight7.4 kg (16 lb)

Wingspan360 mm (14 in)
0.4–6 km (0.25–3.73 mi)
Flight ceiling0–4,000 m (2.5 mi)
Speed550 m/s (1,800 ft/s; Mach 1.6) (maximum)
400 m/s (1,300 ft/s; Mach 1.2) (average)
Radio command link SACLOS
Accuracy0.65–0.9 Hit probability against an MBT from a distance of 4 km.[3]
Armored fighting vehicles and helicopters


The AT-9 missile was developed by the Kolomna engineering design bureau, located in Kolomna.[1] This company already designed previous ATGMs, such as the AT-3 "Sagger" and AT-6 "Spiral" missiles. The design work began in the mid 1980s. The Ataka ATGM was designed as a successor model to the AT-6 "Spiral", which was introduced in the late 1970s. The AT-9 is a further development of the AT-6. Compared to its predecessor, the AT-9 is more resistant to electronic countermeasures, and has a greater hit accuracy and longer reach. The newly developed warhead allows for increased penetration power and effectiveness against explosive reactive armor. The first units were delivered in 1985 to the Soviet armed forces.[5]

The missile has often been confused in the west with the 9A4172 Vikhr dual-purpose laser beam riding missile used on the Kamov helicopters and Sukhoi attack aircraft (as well as some Ukrainian Mi-24/35 upgrades). These systems are completely unrelated in their design and are in fierce competition. New light multifunctional guided missiles with increased range - up to 15 kilometers - have been developed and received for Russian attack helicopters on the outcomes of the military operation in Syria.[6]


The Ataka missile is stored in a glass reinforced plastic tube, which also acts as its launcher. The missile is reported to be considerably faster than the 9K114 Shturm, with longer range than the original version. It still uses radio command guidance, but the system has been improved when compared to the earlier 9K114 Shturm.

The system is carried by the multiple kinds of helicopters including the Mi-28 and Mi-35. It is also offered for ground vehicles like the BMPT and the 9P149.

There are three main missiles that are compatible with the launch system. The first is a two-stage anti-armour weapon that features a tandem warhead for dealing with add-on armor. The second variant of the missile – designated as 9M120F – has a thermobaric warhead for use against infantry positions and bunkers. The third variant of the 9M120 Ataka is the 9M220, which features a proximity fused expanding rod warhead, providing the missile with air-to-air capability against low- and slow-flying aircraft.


  • 9M120 Ataka "AT-9 Spiral-2" SACLOS radio command guidance missile.[3]
    • 9M120 – This variant features a tandem HEAT warhead to defeat current and future armored fighting vehicles equipped with ERA.
    • 9M120F – This variant uses a thermobaric warhead for greater effect against buildings, unarmored targets, and bunkers.
    • 9M220O – This variant is included with an expanding rod warhead for use against helicopters. It is equipped with a proximity fuse to destroy aircraft, and detonates its fragmentation warhead when less than four meters from the target.
    • 9M120M – A modernized variant with an extended range of 8,000 m. The improved warhead can penetrate over 950 mm of RHA after ERA.
    • 9M120D – An improved variant with a range of 10 km
  • 9M120-1 Ataka – Upgraded Ataka missiles used by Ataka-T GWS.[8][9]
  • 9M127-1 Ataka-VM - New air to surface version for helicopters.[10]

General specifications

Designation Description Length Diameter Wingspan Launch weight Warhead Armor penetration (RHA) Range Speed
9M120 Original variant 1,830 mm (72 in) 130 mm (5.1 in) 360 mm (14 in) 49.5 kg (109 lb) 7.4 kg (16 lb) Tandem HEAT 800 mm (31 in) after ERA 0.4–6 km (0.25–3.73 mi) 550 m/s (1,800 ft/s; Mach 1.6) (Top speed)
400 m/s (1,300 ft/s; Mach 1.2)(Average)
9M120F Anti-personnel variant Thermobaric warhead with 9.5 kg (21 lb) TNT equivalent N/A 1–5.8 km (0.62–3.60 mi)
9M220O Anti-air variant Proximity Fuse 0.4–7 km (0.25–4.35 mi)
9M120M Modernized anti-tank variant 7.4 kg (16 lb) Tandem HEAT 950 mm (37 in) after ERA 0.8–8 km (0.50–4.97 mi)


Current operators



  • Iranian Air Force – In 1999, 500 AT-6 Spiral missiles were ordered for the Mi-171Sh. The delivery started in 2000 and ended in 2003 with some of these missiles possibly being AT-9 Spiral-2s.
  • Russian Armed Forces – Operated on a wide range of vehicles ranging from helicopters to ATGM carriers.
  • Slovenian Armed Forces – Six launchers were ordered in 2009 and mounted on patrol boat "Triglav" the following year.

Possible operators

 North Korea[15]

Former operators

 Soviet Union – Passed on to successor states.


  1. "Protivotankovyye raketnyye kompleksy". KBM Design Bureau of Machine Building (in Russian). Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  2. "V.A. Degtyarev Plant: 9M120 (9M120F) Ataka Missile". Open Joint Stock Company V.A. Degtyarev Plant. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  3. "9M120 ATAKA-B". airwar.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  4. "SIPRI Arms Transfers Database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  5. Hull, A.W.; Markov, D.R.; Zaloga, S.J. (1999). Soviet/Russian Armor and Artillery Design Practices 1945 to Present. Darlington Production. ISBN 1-892848-01-5.
  6. http://www.airrecognition.com/index.php/archive-world-worldwide-news-air-force-aviation-aerospace-air-military-defence-industry/global-defense-security-news/2019-news-aerospace-industry-air-force/march/4909-news-feed-russia-s-modernized-mi-28nm-attack-helicopter-to-get-new-guided-missile.html
  7. "UralVagonZavod – Boyevaya mashina ognevoy podderzhki Terminator". UralVagonZavod (in Russian). Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  9. "BMP-3M with Ataka 9m120-1 anti-tank guided missile Army-2017 12508172 | Army-2017 Show Daily News Coverage Report | Defence security military exhibition 2017 daily news category".
  10. "Army 2018: Russian Helicopters pitches new Mi-24 upgrade | Jane's 360".
  11. http://www.lematindz.net/news/4644-des-helicopteres-russes-pour-lalgerie.html
  12. http://red-stars.org/spip.php?article55
  13. http://airrecognition.com/index.php/focus-analysis-photo-report-aviation-defence-industry/aviation-defence-industry-technology/5625-analysis-belarus-receives-two-first-su-30sm-fighters.html
  14. https://www.janes.com/article/89602/indian-air-force-orders-russian-made-anti-tank-missiles-for-usd29-million
  15. http://www.military-today.com/missiles/ataka.htm

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