9M14 Malyutka

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9M14 Malyutka
AT-3 Sagger
Improved Serbian-produced 9M142T missile
Type Anti-tank missile
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1963–present
Used by Soviet Union and others
Wars Vietnam War
Yom Kippur War
Western Sahara War
Ethiopian Civil War
Lebanese Civil War [1]
Iran–Iraq War
Gulf War
Croatian War of Independence
2006 Lebanon War
First Chechen War
Second Chechen War (by Chechen militants)
Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War
Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017) [2]
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present)
Production history
Designer Design Bureau of Machine-Building (KBM, Kolomna)
Manufacturer Soviet Union, Russia as successor state and other countries under license and domestic versions
Variants9M14M, 9M14P1, Malyutka-2, Malyutka-2F
Mass10.9 kg (9M14M)
11.4 kg (9M14P1)
12.5 kg (Malyutka-2)
~12 kg (Malyutka-2F)
30.5 kg (Launcher and guidance) [3] [4]
Length860 mm
1,005 mm combat ready (Malyutka-2)
Width393 mm (wingspan)
Diameter125 mm

Effective firing range500–3,000 m
Warhead weight2.6 kg (9M14M, 9M14P1)
3.5 kg (Malyutka-2, Malyutka-2F)

Maximum speed 115 m/s (410 km/h) (9M14M, 9M14P1)
130 m/s (470 km/h) (Malyutka-2, Malyutka-2F) [5]
MCLOS, SACLOS (Later variants)
A 9S415 control box for the Malyutka missile. AT-3 Sagger missile control box.JPG
A 9S415 control box for the Malyutka missile.

The 9M14 Malyutka (Russian: Малютка; "Little one", NATO reporting name: AT-3 Sagger) is a manual command to line of sight (MCLOS) wire-guided anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system developed in the Soviet Union. It was the first man-portable anti-tank guided missile of the Soviet Union and is probably the most widely produced ATGM of all time—with Soviet production peaking at 25,000 missiles a year during the 1960s and 1970s. In addition, copies of the missile have been manufactured under various names by at least five countries.


Since supplemented by more advanced anti-tank guided missiles, the Sagger and its variants have seen widespread use in nearly every regional conflict since the 1960s.


Development began in July 1961 with the government assigning the project to two design teams: Tula and Kolomna. The requirements were:

The designs were based on the Western ATGMs of the 1950s, such as the French ENTAC and the Swiss Cobra. In the end, the prototype developed by the Kolomna Machine Design Bureau, who were also responsible for the AT-1 Snapper, was chosen. Initial tests were completed by 20 December 1962, and the missile was accepted for service on 16 September 1963.


The missile can be fired from a portable suitcase launcher (9P111), ground vehicles (BMP-1, BRDM-2) and helicopters (Mi-2, Mi-8, Mi-24, Soko Gazelle). The missile takes about five minutes to deploy from its 9P111 fibreglass suitcase, which also serves as the launching platform.

The missile is guided to the target by means of a small joystick (9S415), which requires intensive training of the operator. The operator's adjustments are transmitted to the missile via a thin three-strand wire that trails behind the missile. The missile climbs into the air immediately after launch, which prevents it from hitting obstacles or the ground. In flight, the missile spins at 8.5 revolutions per second—it is initially spun by its booster, and the spin is maintained by the slight angle of the wings. The missile uses a small gyroscope to orient itself relative to the ground; as a result, the missile can take some time to bring back in line with the target, which gives it a minimum range of between 500 and 800 m. For targets under 1,000 m, the operator can guide the missile by eye; for targets beyond this range the operator uses the 8x power, 22.5-degree field of view 9Sh16 periscope sight.

The engagement envelope is a 3 km, 45-degree arc centered on the missile's launch axis. At ranges under 1.5 km, this arc reduces until, at the 500 m range, the missile can only hit targets 50 m either side of the center line. Accuracy falls off away from the launch axis—falling to approximately half its optimal accuracy at the extremes.

While early estimates of the missile hitting the target ranged from 60 to 90%, experience has shown that it can drop to an efficiency between 2 and 25% in case of less than optimal conditions and lack of skill from the operator. In fact, MCLOS requires considerable skill on the part of the operator, nevertheless, the weapon has always been quite popular with its operators and has enjoyed a constant updating effort both in the Soviet Union/Russia and in other countries.

The two most serious defects of the original weapon system are its minimum range of between 500 and 800 m (targets that are closer cannot be effectively engaged) and the amount of time it takes the slow moving missile to reach maximum range—around 30 seconds—giving the intended target time to take appropriate action, either by retreating behind an obstacle, laying down a smoke-screen, or by returning fire on the operator.

Later versions of the missile addressed these problems by implementing the much easier to use SACLOS guidance system (though only available for ground vehicle and helicopter mounts), as well as upgrading the propulsion system to increase the average flight speed. The latest updates sport tandem warheads or probes in order to counteract explosive reactive armor, as well as thermal imaging systems. Even in these latest version, the Malyutka is probably the most inexpensive ATGM in service, with unitary price caps in the order of hundreds of dollars[ clarification needed ] instead of the tens of thousands of the latest third generation models.

The turret of a BMP-1 with a 9M14M missile BMP-1 AP 2.jpg
The turret of a BMP-1 with a 9M14M missile


In Soviet service, the man-portable version was deployed as part of the anti-tank platoon of motor rifle battalions. Each platoon had two Malyutka sections, each with two teams. Each team had two launcher stations. One assistant gunner in each team served as an RPG-7 gunner. The RPG-7 was needed to cover the 500 meter deadzone created by the minimum range of the missile.

It is also an integrated part of the BMP-1, BMD-1, and BRDM-2 vehicles.

Yugoslav People's Army Malyutkas overlooking Dubrovnik during its siege on 9 December 1991 Balkans War 1991, Serb rockets - Flickr - Peter Denton Pi Te  . Tian Deng .jpg
Yugoslav People's Army Malyutkas overlooking Dubrovnik during its siege on 9 December 1991

Vietnam War

On 23 April 1972, the recently organized Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 20th Tank Regiment was attacked by the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) employing the 9M14M Malyutka anti-tank guided missile for the first time. [6] The 20th was the only South Vietnamese armor unit equipped with the M48 Patton tank. This first employment of the Malyutka destroyed one M48A3 and one M113 armored cavalry assault vehicle (ACAV), and a second ACAV was damaged. [7] :210

During this engagement with the weapon, the ARVN tankers appeared fascinated by the missile's slow and erratic flight, [7] :210–11 but through experience, they soon deployed counter measures against the weapon system. Upon launching by the enemy, ARVN crewmen would fire all their weapons towards the Sagger's firing position, which would make the gunner flinch and lose control of his missile. Although the gunner could take cover away from the launch site, the joystick control wire only allowed 15 meters of clearance. During the engagement, the ARVN eventually lost eight tanks to the 9M14M missile, but had developed tactics to defend themselves against it. [6]

During the Battle of Cửa Việt, the PAVN put up fierce resistance to the attack, destroying 26 M48s and M113s with AT-3 missiles. [8] :129–31

Yom Kippur War

The missile was employed by Arab armies during the initial phases of the Yom Kippur War. [9] Later in the war, the Israelis adopted new tactics and learned to neutralize the Sagger threat by employing large concentrations of artillery fire to either distract or kill the Sagger operators. [9] Other improvised methods used by the Israelis to defeat the Saggers involved firing in front of the tank to create dust, moving back and forth and firing at the source of Sagger fire. [10] These Israeli tactics were later adopted by NATO forces to counter the threat posed by Warsaw Pact ATGMs. [10] In total, Saggers knocked out more than 800 Israeli tanks and other combat vehicles during the war. [11]

Some experts and Israeli eyewitnesses [ who? ] have debated the effect of the Sagger during the Yom Kippur War. Several photos of Israeli tanks draped with guidance wires from Saggers while still operating successfully exist. Veteran Israeli tankers reported that the RPG 7 was a much more destructive and feared weapon in the conflict than the Sagger, largely due to its single man portability and its greater accuracy within in its effective envelope compared to that of the Sagger.[ citation needed ]

Libyan Civil War

Rebels of the Free Libyan Army have been filmed using Saggers during the Libyan Civil War. [12] [13]

Syrian Civil War

Syrian rebels have also uploaded videos of their Sagger firings against government forces since late 2012. [14]


Serbian Malyutka 2T5 Maljutka modernizovana 03.jpg
Serbian Malyutka 2T5


Map with 9M14 operators in blue and former operators in red 9M14 operators.png
Map with 9M14 operators in blue and former operators in red

The Malyutka and modern derivatives are still produced in several versions in following countries:





See also


  1. 1 2 "Batailles de chars au Liban". Encyclopédie des armes : Les forces armées du monde (in French). I. Atlas. 1986. p. 16.
  2. "Iraqi forces use AT-3 Sagger anti-tank guided missiles to destroy ISIS sniper nests north of Samarra". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  3. "AT-3 SAGGER Anti-Tank Guided Missile Hongjian (Red Arrow)-73". Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  4. "AT-3 SAGGER Anti-Tank Guided Missile Hongjian (Red Arrow)-73". www.globalsecurity.org. Global Security. Archived from the original on 16 December 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  5. "Btvt.narod.ru". Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  6. 1 2 Dunstan
  7. 1 2 Starry, Donn (1978). Mounted Combat In Vietnam Vietnam Studies. Department of the Army. ISBN   978-1780392462.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. Melson, Charles (1991). U.S. Marines In Vietnam: The War That Would Not End, 1971–1973. History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. ISBN   978-1482384055.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  9. 1 2 Tucker, Spencer, C, The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars, ABC-CLIO, LLC, (Santa Barbara California, 2010), p. 158, ISBN   978-1-85109-947-4
  10. 1 2 Rabinovich, Abraham, The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed The Middle East, Random House, p.140
  11. "PTUR suhoputnih voisk", G.N.Dmitriev, Arhiv-Press, 1997, pp.10(Russian:ПТУР Сухопутных войск / Под ред. Г. Н. Дмитриева. — Киев: Архив-Пресс, 1997. — С. 10. — (Архив 500+). — 700 экз.)
  12. "Misratah - AL DAFNIA BATTLE 6". YouTube. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  13. "صاروخ سعدون - YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  14. "YouTube". Archived from the original on 1 December 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  15. "MTI develops longer-range Malyutka 2T - Jane's 360". www.janes.com. Archived from the original on 8 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  16. "МАLYUTKA - 2 ANTI-TANK GUIDED MISSILE FAMILY - SDPR - Yugoimport". www.yugoimport.com. Archived from the original on 29 May 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  17. China has delivered HJ-73D anti-tank missile systems and assault rifles to South Sudan Archived 1 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine - Armyrecognition.com, 15 July 2014
  18. ELMEC website Archived 26 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  19. "Taiwan's Modest Defense Industries Program" (PDF). www.cia.gov. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Trade Register". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Archived from the original on 31 January 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  21. "9M14". www.deagel.com. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (14 February 2018). "The Military Balance 2018". The Military Balance. Routledge. 118.
  23. "Trade-Register-1971-2018.rft". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Archived from the original on 31 January 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  24. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 International Institute for Strategic Studies (2020). "Chapter Four: Europe". The Military Balance. 120 (1): 90–143. doi:10.1080/04597222.2020.1707964.
  25. "FAS report on AT-3 SAGGER Anti-Tank Guided Missile". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  26. "آشنایی با موشک‌های ضد زره ایران". hamshahrionline.ir. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  27. Salvador López de la Torre (20 November 1984). "El fracaso militar del Polisario: Smul Niran, una catástrofe de la guerrilla". ABC (in Spanish). pp. 32–33. Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  28. 1 2 3 International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance, 2017
  29. "Armed Actor Research Notes: Armed Groups' Holding of Guided Light Weapons. Number 31, June 2013" (PDF). Small Arms Survey. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  30. Fulan Nasrullah (9 August 2014). "9th And 10th August Nigeria SITREP (Boko Haram)". Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  31. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Guided light weapons reportedly held by non-state armed groups 1998-2013" (PDF). Small Arms Survey. March 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 August 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  32. https://twitter.com/Mansourtalk/status/972971281367920640
  33. Said Khatib. "Palestinian militants from the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of..." AFP/Getty Images.
  34. "Iraq: Turning a blind eye: The arming of the Popular Mobilization Units" (PDF). Amnesty International. 5 January 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 March 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  35. International Institute for Strategic Studies (2015). "Chapter Five: Russia and Eurasia". The Military Balance. 115 (1): 190. doi:10.1080/04597222.2015.996357.

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