Today’s SOFREP Pic of the Day features a Ukrainian woman posing with a Soviet-era 9K111 Fagot wire-guided anti-tank system. The image was taken this month “somewhere inside an office building” in Ukraine.
It’s known in NATO terminology as the AT-4 Spigot.
Don’t Forget to Clear the Back Blast Area – Russian Special Forces Fire a Spigot
A Primer on the AT-4 Spigot/9K111 Fagot
The 9K111 Fagot is a Soviet-era anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system, first introduced in the 1970s. It’s known in NATO terminology as the AT-4 Spigot. The development of the 9K111 Fagot was part of the Soviet Union’s effort to equip its infantry units with a portable yet effective anti-tank weapon. Here are some key aspects of this system:
Design and Features
- Guidance System: The 9K111 Fagot employs a wire-guided system for targeting and control. The operator must keep the target in their sights until the missile impacts, as the guidance system sends commands through a thin wire that spools out behind the missile.
- Launcher: It’s typically launched from a portable tripod launcher, but it can also be mounted on vehicles for increased mobility.
- Missile: The missile itself is tube-launched and has a solid-fuel rocket motor.
- Range: The effective range of the 9K111 Fagot varies, but it’s generally effective up to about 2,000 to 2,500 meters.
- Warhead: It’s equipped with a High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead, capable of defeating armored vehicles and tanks. The warhead’s design allows it to penetrate heavy armor, making it a significant threat to tanks of its era.
- Accuracy and Usage: The system’s accuracy depends heavily on the skill and experience of the operator due to its manual guidance system.
- Widespread Use: The 9K111 Fagot was widely distributed within the Soviet military and exported extensively to Warsaw Pact countries and other Soviet allies.
- Combat History: It has seen use in various conflicts around the world, often proving effective against armored vehicles.
- Legacy: While more advanced ATGMs have since been developed, the 9K111 Fagot remains in use in some parts of the world due to its simplicity and effectiveness.
- Upgrades and Variants: Over time, there have been upgrades and variations to improve its range, accuracy, and penetration capabilities.
The 9K111 Fagot is an example of Soviet military engineering focused on providing infantry units with the capability to engage and defeat armored threats on the battlefield. Its development and widespread use underscore the importance of anti-tank systems in Cold War-era military strategy and beyond.