Buggy vehicles sporting roof-mounted ATGM face Russian tanks
PANAGYURISHTE, ($1=1.86 Bulgarian Levs) — Over the past week, various photos of Ukrainian buggy-type sporting roof-mounted anti-tank guided missiles [ATGM] have been circulating on social media. Sports off-road mobile vehicles are most often equipped with two types of ATGMs: both Ukrainian [Stugna-P and RK-3 Corsar].
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There is a logic in the difficult terrain and spring rainy weather of Ukraine, forming mud, the Ukrainian armed forces to use this type of vehicle. They are fast, mobile with enough horsepower, and very passable in the various forest, mountain, or muddy terrains. Another advantage is the price of such a vehicle, which is relatively cheap compared to the value of any military armored vehicle.
The Polaris Ranger buggy can be seen in some of the photos. Often used for sports, hunting, fishing, or farm work, they are now transformed into “infantry fighting vehicles”. They don’t have armor, or if they do, it’s custom-made and probably doesn’t meet military standards. Different Polaris Rangers can be seen on Ukrainian battlefields: from two-seater or three-seater, from 32 to 44 horsepower. One of the most common models is the Polaris MRZR-4.
Regarding the anti-tank guided missiles used, the choice is much greater, especially if we take into account the fact that the Ukrainians have a tradition of developing such systems. Common and roof-mounted buggies are Stugna-P, RK-3 Corsar or 9M113 Konkurs. The first two models are Ukrainian-made, and the third is from the Soviet era, Soviet-made.
Stugna-P ATGM or also known as Skiff has been in service since 2011 in the Ukrainian army and his first combat participation was during the current war in Ukraine. It weighs a total of 97 kg and works with two diameters of missiles – 130 mm and 155 mm, the detonating mechanism is type impact fuze. Skiff’s operational range is different but averages about 5.5 km during the day. The guidance system is SACLOS laser beam riding with target tracking in TV or thermal imaging channels in manual or auto mode and in addition to buggies [it is already clear] can be mounted on a tripod or weapon system or weapon turret.
RK-3 Corsar is also a Ukrainian product, but it is much newer than the previous one. It was built in 2005, but after years of testing and upgrades in 2017, it officially entered service with the Ukrainian army. He has registered participation both in the battles in Donbas and at the moment in the war in Ukraine. It weighs 36 kg and fires 107mm missiles. The range is 2.5 km. It can use two types of warhead: RK-3K: Tandem-charge HEAT and RK-3OF: HE-fragmentation. The rocket is powered by a solid-fuel rocket engine and the guidance is a laser.
9M113 Konkurs is an anti-tank guided missile from the 70s of the last century. Depending on the model, it weighs from 14 to 22 kg, uses 135 mm missiles, and the characteristics of the warhead are 2.7 kg [6.0 lb] 9N131 HEAT. Like the previous rocket, this one is powered by a solid-fuel rocket engine and has a range of 70 m to 4 km. The guidance system is wire-guided SACLOS.
It is difficult to assess how successful the Ukrainian buggies are with the various roof-mounted anti-tank guided missiles. Pictures of already destroyed, but also those of destroyed Russian tanks by buggy combat vehicles appear on the Internet. One thing is clear: this war has shown creativity in the use of existing weapons technologies and their renewal and integration according to the situation. Starting with the improvised Russian anti-drone armor on the tanks to the buggy anti-tank missile systems.
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