|Manufacturer:||I.M.I. Israel Military Industries Ltd|
Late in 1998, Israel Aircraft Industries, MBT weapon Systems Division, revealed that it had developed, under contract to the Israel Defence Force, a new laser-guided anti-tank missile called the LAHAT (LAser Homing Anti-Tank) which can be fired from existing 105 mm and 120 mm tank guns.
IAI believes the LAHAT missile, a gun launched projectile designed to destroy armoured vehicles as well as helicopters, is a cost-effective way for countries to update their existing 105 mm fleets that are becoming outgunned on the battlefield.
For the United States market, Israel Aircraft Industries, MBT Weapon Systems Division, has teamed with General Dynamics Ordnance Systems of the United Siates.
To defeat MBTs fitted with explosive reactive armour the LAHAT missile includes a tandem High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) and is claimed to have a high angle of attack for effective armour penetration.
No details of the range of the 105 mm LAHAT have been released but a range of several times greater than current gun-launched projectiles has been quoted. It can be operated under day and night conditions.
LAHAT is handled as a wooden round and is loaded as a conventional round of ammunition. It has a conventional cartridge case with the booster charge launching the projectile from the 105 mm gun tube at a low velocity after when the four fins/control surfaces unfold and the main sustainer motor cuts in and accelerates the missile until target impact.
LAHAT is a semi-active laser guided missile and while it would normally be fired with the missile being designated by the launch platform, it can also be fired with a lock on after launch capability with target designation being carried out by another platform.
The same missile is used for both the 105 mm and 120 mm versions with the former being developed first, as the Israel Defence Force has more 105 mm armed tanks than 120 mm armed vehicles. LAHAT is currently under full-scale development.
To equip tanks with the missile requires the addition of a laser designator to supplement their laser range-finders.