Guided rounds capability first appeared on Soviet tanks with the introduction of 9K112 guided weapons suite on a T-64B MBT in 1976, drawing on an extensive guided weapons programme of the 50s and 60s.
The direct precursor to 125mm tube-launched ATGW programme was the "Rubin" system. Developed in 1962 in KBM under B.I.Shavyrin, this 28.5kg, 1500mm long radio-guided SACLOS ATGM was intended for Obiekt 775 missile tank, which had an OKB-9-designed D-126 low-pressure rifled gun/launcher. Following cancellation of Soviet missile tank programmes, thought was given to adapting it for T-64 MBT, resulting in redesigning it as two-piece ATGM.
The official start of the ATGW development for T-64 was given by the USSR Council of Ministers Resolution of 20.05.1968, that established a competition between KBM, now headed by S.P.Nyepobedimyi, and KB "Tochmash" under A.E.Nudelman, to develop a 125mm gun-launched missile system. KBM's "Gyurza" (asian snake), utilizing a novel but troublesome IR guidance method, lost the competition to radio-guided "Kobra" (cobra) proposed by Nudelman. Ironically, "Gyurza" system, dropping IR guidance in favor of radio, was redesigned to become "Shturm", the Soviet heavy vehicle- and helicopter-mounted ATGM. "Kobra", after passing extensive trials in 1971-1975, has been accepted for service in 1976 under designation 9K-112.
Opposite to the popular belief in the West that it is similar in capability to the abortive US Shillelagh program, it is actually a far more mature weapons system, that drastically extended the traditionally unremarkable range of Soviet MBTs to the point where they actually outranged any NATO ground-based weapons system, as well as providing them with viable anti-helicopter weapon, and augmenting the penetrating power of their guns. However, this was a very expensive system. By means of example, T-64B MBT was over 20% more expensive than the T-64B1 model whose only difference was the lack of 9K-112 suite. The price of each 9M-112 missile was roughly equivalent to the price of a civil car. In addition the system was beyond the grasp of an average recruit and normally only officers were authorized to handle it. Finally, there were problems with missile's preparation for fire due to a peculiar way it was adapted for the T-64 autoloader (the weapon actually consisted of two parts that were snapped together as part of the loading sequence; this also precluded the installation of this system in T-72 tanks that have a different autoloader design).
Most of these problems were eliminated in the follow-on 9K-119 guided weapons suite that is installed in T-80U and T-90 MBTs, and 9K-120 suite installed in T-72B MBT.
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