posted on Mar, 29 2003 @ 12:38 AM
When the U.S. Army recently lost a pair of its ultimate ground battle vehicles, the M1 Abrams tank, to Iraqi ground forces fighting in southern Iraq,
the knock-out punch came from a weapon Iraq was not expected to have ó a Russian missile called the Kornet-E.
The Kornet defeats explosive armor by using dual warheads of shaped charges. The first destroys the tank's protective layer of explosives, allowing
the second warhead to burn through the metal beneath, with catastrophic results.
Unlike other anti-tank weapons believed to be in the Iraqi arsenal, the Kornet-E can be used against coalition tanks in any kind of weather, day or
night. Its laser-guided system makes it extremely difficult to counteract, say military analysts.
Also, the launch of a Kornet is difficult to spot. Coupled with a hard-to-detect guidance system, analysts say the missile could be used against
low-flying helicopters vulnerable to its high-explosive warhead.
What's more, the Kornet can carry another type of warhead called thermobaric or incendiary explosives. These munitions release a fine spray of fuel
before denotation. The resulting explosion creates a rapidly expanding fireball that literally consumes all oxygen within an area.