The Libyan National Army (LNA) is using the advanced Russian-made Khrizantema anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system in its operations against the Governorate of National Accord (GNA), photos released by Libyan sources on June 5 revealed.
The photos show the remains of a Khrizantema 9M123 missile, that was reportedly launched at position of GNA forces in the district of Damascus in the southern part of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
The 9M123 missile is available in two guidance modes, automatic command to line of sight (ACLOS) via radar beam riding or semi-automatic command to line of sight (SACLOS) via laser beam riding. The missile can be configured with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead or a thermobaric one.
High speed is considered the 9M123 biggest advantage. The missile can reach a record speed of Mach 1.2, making it almost impossible to intercept by available active protection systems (APS).
Russia supplied the Libyan military with four 9P157-2 Khrizantema-S, a launch vehicle based on the BMP-3 chassis, before the outbreak of the civil war. Following the victory of the rebels in late 2011, the military received ten additional systems.
The LNA’s use of the Khrizantema around Tripoli was not a surprise. Earlier this year, the army deployed at least one Khrizantema-S launched south of the city.
The use of such advanced precision-guided weapons will for sure give the LNA an advantage over GNA forces which are still holding onto their remaining positions around Tripoli.