Stugna-P – the Ukrainian Anti-Tank Missile the Russians Fear – Russian tanks are dying at the hands of another anti-armor system you may have yet to hear of. The Stugna-P anti-tank guided missile packs a wallop and it is torturing Russian tanks. This is a home-grown Ukrainian weapon that the defenders have mastered. The laser-guided system has a long-range and ample penetration capability. It provides an additional anti-tank option beyond the Javelin, NLAW, and AT-4. The use of the Stugna-P is so straightforward that even a former Ukrainian politician, now turned soldier, is firing it against the Russians.
Stunga-P – Soldiers Can Hide and Use Remote-Control
The Stugna-P, also known as the Skif, which is the export version, is produced by Kyiv-based Luch Design Bureau. The great thing about the Stugna-P is that it can be set up on a tripod and camouflaged. Then the operators can hide up to 164-feet away from the launcher. It is fired by remote control from a module that looks like a laptop. The crew is safe-from counter-fire in their covered and concealed positions. After launch, Russian tanks never know what hit them.
A Former Legislator Becomes a Stugna-P Ace
The Stugna is so easy to use that a former Ukrainian Member of Parliament has put on an army uniform and become an anti-tank warrior with the weapon. 42-year-old Tetiana Chornovol became a lawmaker in 2014, then put her political career on hold to cover the Donbas border war as a journalist. After the invasion, Chornovol had seen enough on the sidelines and wanted to be a soldier. The mother of two has been assigned as a Stugna-operator in the Kyiv area of operations. You can see photos of her with the Stugna here.
Here’s How She Used the Stugna-P
Chornovol has seen combat with the Stugna-P. “We saw tanks appearing and we literally ran to our position. I ran to my operator’s case,” she told a reporter in this video. “I switch it on and see tanks on the screen. They just entered with the range of my missile. I took aim and destroyed the first tank…I shot it right at the fuel cells and the ammunition load was detonated. The tank literally flew off the road and now it is somewhere in the road ditch in the forest.”
It’s All Over the Internet
The Stugna-P has been so successful that there are just too many videos of it knocking out Russian tanks on social media to fully list in this article. Here’s one video that shows the trajectory of the missile flying straight then arcing upward to zoom down on top of the Russian tank.
Get Them to the Battlefield
The Stugna-P entered into service with the Ukrainian military in 2011. There are about 100 launchers in use and the Luch Design Bureau can’t make them fast enough.
Long-range Armor Penetrator
The anti-tank weapon has a range from 328 feet to 3.1 miles. The flight time is a few seconds to 25-seconds depending on the target’s range. The missile’s warhead can be a high-explosive anti-tank or high-explosive fragmentary round. It can penetrate through explosive-reactive armor.
Manually Guide It Or Fire and Forget
The launcher weighs 71-pounds and must be placed on a tripod. It has a thermal image camera with a television guidance unit. The control mechanism is in a laptop with a joystick that allows the soldier to guide the missiles manually or leave it in fire-and-forget mode and let the laser guidance mode do its damage.
If a Stugna-P can be fired by someone with no prior military experience, like a former politician, it shows how valuable this system is. Easy to understand and straightforward to use, the Stugna-P is a true force multiplier. Look for it to continue to ambush Russian tanks for the duration of the war.
Now serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood.