The Khrizantema was designed to replace the legacy Soviet 9M120 Ataka and 9M114 Shturm missile systems. Although it still has some visual resemblance to its forebears, the standard 9M123 variant is a heavier missile with a larger warhead boasting 50% more penetration than the Ataka. The 9M123F variant available to the ground-based launcher has a thermobaric warhead with as much explosive power as a 155 mm artillery shell. Damage effects aside, the Khrizantema maximum speed and effective range are the same as the Ataka.
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
|Missile guidance time
|6.16 kg TNTeq
|Missile guidance time
|9.24 kg TNTeq
The 9M123's large caliber warhead punches much harder than the Ataka it was designed to replace. 1200 mm of tandem-warhead penetration will obliterate just about any top tier tank with a hull impact, and if that wasn't enough, the 6.16 kg TNT equivalent adds potential for overpressure knockouts to the mix.
The thermobaric 9M123F lacks flat penetration but is capable of causing catastrophic overpressure damage even through hull roofs, so turret ring impacts will usually blow an MBT sky-high. It can sometimes destroy targets through hits to the road wheels as well.
Comparison with analogues
- 9K127 Vikhr - among Russian helicopter missiles, the Vikhr still enjoys superior range, a higher flight speed, and a proximity fuse for targeting aircraft, but its warhead is much weaker than the Khrizantema
- AGM-114K Hellfire II/ZT-6 Mokopa/AKD-10 - the Hellfire II and its peers have equal or better lethality and better range than the Khrizantema, but they take longer to reach a target and have more complicated guidance.
- PARS 3 LR/Spike ER - these fire-and-forget helicopter ATGMs with infrared imaging seekers have better range and are safer to use than the Khrizantema, but they also fly much more slowly (particularly the Spike at less than 200 m/s max) and don't hit as hard.
Usage in battles
The 9M123 Khrizantema can simply be used as an improved Ataka. Although the range is still lacking for use with top-tier helicopters and it has no F&F, salvo firing, or lock-after-launch gimmicks compared to its contemporaries, the damage and flight speed are nothing to sneeze at if there aren't many enemy SAM systems up. On the ground-based Khrizantema-S, the 9M123 is arguably the most powerful and reliable ATGM for direct ground combat among its peers, and is more limited by the capabilities of its platform than anything else.
Pros and cons
- Great penetration and good TNT equivalent
- Second-best flight speed among helicopter ATGMs
- Direct flight path and beam-riding guidance, easy to use and less likely to be spoofed by smoke than other missiles
- Limited maximum range compared to other top helicopter ATGMs
- Must have constant line of sight to engage target
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