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2K8 Falanga

NATO: AT-2 Swatter | 3M11 Fleyta | 9M17 Falanga


9M17P Falanga-P

Two 9M17P Falanga-P (NATO: AT-2C Swatter-C) missiles seen on the launch rails of a Mi-24D attack helicopter.
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Soviet Union
Anti-tank missile
Entered service
1957 - 1960
1959 (Soviet state trials)
Soviet Union - OKB-16 Nudelman design bureau
1960 - 1980's?
Soviet Union - No.575 Kovrov mechanical plant
Unit cost
Very expensive compared to earlier 3M6 Shmel and later 9K11 Malyutka.
Number produced
Soviet stocks plus 24.000 missiles for export
2К8 Фаланга / 2K8 Falanga
Russian for "phalanx"
3M11 Fleyta
Russian for "flute"
Скорпион / Skorpion (export)
Russian for "scorpion"



The 2K8 Falanga is an early Cold War era anti-tank guided missile of Soviet origin. The Falanga is notable for being the first Soviet anti-tank guided missile to be launched from helicopters. Due to the complexity and expensive design Falanga was not as widely adopted and exported than planned during the design phase. The NATO reporting name is "AT-2 Swatter".


Upon introduction Falanga was one of the most complex and sophisticated anti-tank missiles. It uses radio command guidance and an onboard gyro was to provide a straight flight path. The rocket motor is located in the middle with two exhaust vents along the missile's rear body that houses the radio command antenna. The warhead is located in the nose.


Falanga uses radio command guidance. This guidance mode was selected to improve missile speed and eliminate risk of wire break. The very first 3M11 Fleyta missile had a poor track record for reliability. The first generations used all MCLOS guidance with the gunner steering the missile in flight using a joystick. This requires the gunner to . With the 9M17 three frequency modes were introduced. This was required to allow launch vehicles in close proximity on the battlefield to launch missiles simultaneously without accidentally controlling a missile from another launch vehicle. Falanga-P introduced SACLOS guidance where a firing computer calculates steering input with the operator keeping the target within the crosshairs of the targeting optic.


Falanga uses a single HEAT warhead. The Fleyta had a maximum penetration of about 500mm RHA. All subsequent models used an improved warhead with 650mm RHA penetration under optimal angles. In the 1960's this was ample performance. In the 2000's improved warheads were marketed for existing stocks of missiles, including a thermobaric variant. If any missiles were ever upgraded is not known.

Launch platforms

The early model 3M11 Fleyta was introduced on the 2P32 tank destroyer based on the BRDM-1 chassis. These were upgraded to 2P32M using the more reliable Falanga missile. The Falanga was also tested on Mi-1 helicopter and became the first operational ATGM in Soviet service on the Mi-4AV. A similar armament suite was used on the Mi-8TV assault transport helicopter and 9P124 tank destroyer on BRDM-2 chassis. The Falanga-P SACLOS variant was the most advanced and effective missile. This was used on the 9P137 tank destroyer on BRDM-2 chassis and predominantly on the Mi-24D attack helicopter and its Mi-25 export variant.


Soviet forces used the Falanga on wheeled tank destroyers and attack helicopters. The tank destroyers were only exported to two nations in the Middle East. The Falanga is notable for being the first Soviet helicopter launched anti-tank guided missile. Falanga was exported to a relatively small number of nations, mostly in conjunction with the Mi-25, the export version of the Mi-24D. On the ground the Falanga was quickly phased out by tank destroyers based on Malyutka, Konkurs and Shturm. In Soviet/Russian service the Falanga was phased out in the 1990's.



Fleyta - Low rate production early model

Initial missile used with the 2K8 system was called 3M11 Fleyta. This early model used a single pulse rocket motor. In service this variant was deemed complex and proved unreliable. The 3M11 Fleyta was only used on the early model 2P32 wheeled tank destroyer.

3M11 Fleyta (AT-2A Swatter-A)

The early 3M11 Fleyta was produced only in a single variant. This missile required a 2 to 3 minute spin up time for the gyro stabilization system. Practical maximum range is 2.5 km.

Falanga-M - MCLOS missile variants

The 9M17 Falanga was a deep modernization of the missile design with new warhead, dual pulse rocket motor, improved gyro system and more reliable radio command guidance with three selectable frequency modes. The control mode is still manual command to line of sight.

9M17 Falanga (AT-2B Swatter-B)

Main production variant of the Falanga with manual missile guidance. Maximum range of 3.5 km.
Late production model of the 9M17 missile with low smoke motor that extended the range to 4.0 km.

Falanga-P - SACLOS missile variants

Semi-automatic command variant of the 9M17 missiles. Aside from the guidance mode these missiles are similar to the 9M17 and 9M17M respectively. For backwards compatibility to older tank destroyers and helicopters there is an MCLOS guidance mode.

9M17P Falanga-PV (AT-2C Swatter-C)

First variant of the Falanga introducing SACLOS guidance with 3.5 km maximum range.
9M17P with improved low smoke rocket motor, extending the maximum range to 4 km.


Facts 3M11 Fleyta 9M17 Falanga 9M17M Falanga 9M17P Falanga 9M17PM Falanga
Soviet Union
Anti-tank guided missile
28.5 kg
140 mm
680 mm
1.147 mm
Radio command guidance
Operating mode
Single HEAT
500mm RHA at 90°
250mm RHA at 60°
3V8 impact and grazing fuse
Booster and sustainer engine
Maximum range
2.5 km
Minimum range
0.5 km
Maximum speed
230 m/s achieved at 1.5 km
110 m/s at launch
Average speed
150 m/s

Launch platforms


Tank destroyer based on the chassis of the BRDM-1 amphibious wheeled scout vehicle. There are four launch rails for 3M11 Fleyta missiles. The 9M17 Falanga missile is used after the launch vehicle was updated to 2P32M standard. Rate of fire is about 2 launches per minute. Four additional missiles are carried in transport containers. A single RPG-7 launcher is carried for self-defense in the dead zone of the missile.

Mil Mi-4AV

Attack helicopter variant of the Mi-4 utility helicopter, introduced in 1967. Fitted with the K-4V armament system for the manually guided 9M17 Falanga. Four launch rails are fitted on top of the outriggers.

Mil Mi-8TV

Assault transport variant of the Mi-8 transport helicopter. This has the ability to launcher the manually guided 9M17 Falanga. Four launch rails are fitted on top of the outriggers.

Mi-8TVK export model was armed with Malyutka missiles instead.


Tank destroyer based on the chassis of the BRDM-2 amphibious wheeled scout vehicle. Four launchers are fitted onto a retractable launcher which can also rotate sideways. Introduced in 1969 this is the first operation launch system for the semi-automatic guidance 9M17P Falanga-P.

Mil Mi-24A

The Mi-24A was also fitted with the K-4V armament subsystem able to launch the 9M17 Falanga-M manually guided missiles.

Mil Mi-24D

The 9M17P Falanga-PV with semi-automatic guidance was introduced on helicopters with the Mi-24D in 1973. Four missiles can be carried on launch rails attached to the outer pylons on the stub wings.

Related articles

3M6 Shmel

The Falanga was developed as successor to the Shmel (NATO: AT-1 Snapper). Unlike Shmel the Falanga could also be used on helicopters.

9K11 Malyutka

The Malyutka (NATO: AT-3 Sagger) proved to be a cheaper and more capable alternative to the Falanga. Malyutka was exported in much larger numbers, and was also in wider use in the USSR.

9K114 Shturm

The Shturm (NATO: AT-6 Spiral) is a high speed missile developed for use on helicopters. It is the successor to the Falanga on the famous Mi-24 attack helicopter, being introduced on the Mi-24V.