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3M7 Drakon



Overview


3M7 Drakon

Photo showing the 3M7 Drakon anti-tank guided missile.

Source: Unknown author - © Copyright lies with original owner

Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Anti-tank missile
Entered service
1968
Status
Out of service
Development
1960 to 1965
Developer
Soviet Union - OKB-16
Producer
Soviet Union
Number produced
Several thousand

Description


Introduction

The 3M7 Drakon is a Cold War era anti-tank missile of Soviet origin. It was developed to arm the IT-1 tank destroyer based on a T-62 tank chassis. The 2K4 missile launch and guidance system on the IT-1 features a single launch rail connected to an automatic loader and a radio guidance system. In 1968 it was adopted for service, but its service life lasted for only 5 years. It was removed from service along with the IT-1 tank destroyer due to its limited combat effectiveness.

Design

The 3M7 is a radio guided missile with SACLOS guidance. This means that the operator aims at the target and the guidance system steers the missile. The missiles are transported and stored in a cannister, which is discarded by the autoloader on the IT-1 when the missile is loaded onto the launch rail. The missile features four smaller wings in the center and four large rectangular wings at the rear. The warhead is located at the front, the guidance section in the middle and the solid fuel rocket motor is located at the rear.

Firepower

The 3M7 features a single HEAT warhead that can penetrate 250 mm RHA at an angle of 60 degrees. The maximum range is 3.3 km. The missile is launched at an upward angle and during the first seconds of flight there is no guidance. This results in a dead zone up to 300 meters from the launch vehicle. At night the maximum range was only 600 meters, with the dead zone increased to 400 meters. This made the system practically useless at night.

Users

The 3M7 was used only in the 2K4 system on the IT-1 tank destroyer. A total of 220 vehicles were produced between 1968 and 1970. Some sources indicate that even less than 200 vehicles were complete. The IT-1 was used by the Soviet Union and was never exported. Service life was only 5 years due to the limited combat effectiveness of the IT-1. By 1969 the SACLOS version of the 9K14 Malyutka (NATO: AT-3 Sagger) entered service, which was a far more practical and cost-effective system. The missiles were removed from service and the IT-1 vehicles were repurposed as armored recovery vehicles.

Details


Facts 3M7 Drakon
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Anti-tank missile
Guidance
Radio guided, SACLOS
Dimensions
Weight
54 kg without cannister
Diameter
0.18 m
Wingspan
0.86 m
Length
1.24 m
Warhead
Type
HEAT
Penetration
250mm RHA at 60 degrees
Propulsion
Engine
Solid fuel rocket motor
Range
300 to 3.300 m in daylight
400 to 600 m at night
Max speed
217 m/s