Raybolt

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The LIG Nex1 Raybolt (Korean: 현궁 "Hyungung") is a Sooth Korean man-portable third-generation anti-tank guidit missile built by LIG Nex1. It haes fire-and-forget capability uising an infrared eemaging seeker and haes a tandem-warheid tae defeat explosive reactive armor. The Raybolt haes a top attack and direct attack modes.[1] It is the first ATGM tae be biggit by Sooth Korea and entered mass production in June 2017.

The Raybolt is positioned by its manufacturer as a competitor and peer with the American FGM-148 Javelin and Israeli Spike-MR ATGMs.[2]

Development[eedit | eedit soorce]

Development bygane in 2007 and bygane in earnest in 2010, as Sooth Korea's existing anti-tank guidit missiles were reaching the end of their 25-year service life.[3] LIG Nex1's priorities during development were world-class performance, weight, export competitiveness through localization of core components, cost-efficiency, and reliability.[4] The development was not completely smooth, and for the first five years there were several failures with "Captive Flight Tests".[4] In a retrospective on the development of the Raybolt, one engineer assessit the greatest challenge as quality assurance.[4]

The Raybolt wis developed tae replace obsolete anti-tank weapons, such as recoilless rifles and TOW missiles.[5] South Korea's 1970s-vintage TOW missiles lacked tandem-warheads and would not be able to destroy modern North Korean tanks equipped with explosive reactive armor (ERA).[5]

The Raybolt is produced by LIG Nex1 in cooperation with South Korea's Agency for Defense Development, under the auspices of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).[1] About 95% of the Raybolt is made in South Korea.[6]

The Raybolt unnerwent successful test evaluations in Saudi Arabie in December 2013 and January 2014.[4] The Raybolt contract is expectit tae be worth 1 trillion wan through till 2023.[6]

Features[eedit | eedit soorce]

The Raybolt's maist notable feature is an imaging infrared seeker providing fire-and-forget capability. It awso haes a tandem-warheid and baith direct attack and top attack modes.[1] The Raybolt uises a smokeless propellant and can be fired frae within a building.[1] The Raybolt missile and Observation and Launch Unit (OLU) can either be vehicle-moontit or carried as a manpack by twa men.[1] There are awso discussions tae moont the Raybolt on helicopters.[4] The OLU haes day/night capability via a thermal sight.[1] The missile uises a soft launch tae escape the barrel before activating the main flight motor.[3] It is scheduled tawe be acquired ower the 2018-2022 timeframe.[5]

The Raybolt seestem weight about 20 kg (44 lb),[5] which its manufacturer describes as lighter than peers.[2] The Raybolt's range is 2.5[7] or 3 km.[6] The Raybolt's HEAT tandem warheid can penetrate 900 mm of RHA beyond defeating ERA,[8] which is described as "excellent performance" by DAPA.[5]

The Raybolt haes been marketit tae Indie.[9] Park Tae-sik, senior manager at LIG Nex1, awso reports interest frae Sooth Americae.[3]

The missile can be carried by a two-man crew or fitted tae fire frae vehicles. The Sooth Korean Airmy uises an anti-tank version of the Kia Motors 4×4 Light Tactical Vehicle (LTV) called the K-153C; the roof is equipped with a launcher turret with twa missiles ready tae fire and four additional missiles carried inside the vehicle.[7]

Operational histerie[eedit | eedit soorce]

The Raybolt was delivered tae the Republic o Korea Airmed Forces in 2017.[5] It will be uised by the Korean Airmy and the ROK Marine Corps.[4] In 2018, the Raybolt wis uised in the Yemeni Ceevil War by Saudi-backed forces against the Houthis.[10]

Operators[eedit | eedit soorce]

Launch platforms[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Medium Range Infantry Missile Raybolt" (PDF). www.lignex1.com. 26 September 2016. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "S Korea's Raybolt ATGM Set To Compete Against Israeli Spike, US Javelin". www.defenseworld.net. 2 June 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lee Seok-jong (22 October 2014). "빛과 같은 화살로 날아가 '꽝'대전차 임무 지형도가 바뀐다". kookbang.dema.mil.kr (in Korean). 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "Medium Range Infantry Missile Raybolt" (PDF). LIG Nex1 Magazine (in Korean). January–February 2014. pp. 6–15. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Dagyum Ji (1 June 2017). "Seoul to mass-produce indigenous anti-tank guided missile: DAPA". NK News. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Arthur, Gordon (7 December 2016). "Korea ignites Raybolt missile". www.shephardmedia.com. Hong Kong. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 South Korean Raybolt ATGM missile in service with Saudi Arabia army. Army Recognition. 1 October 2018.
  8. Kelvin Wong (12 September 2018). "DX Korea 2018: RoKA unveils 4×4 K-153C ATGM carrier - Jane's 360". Jane's International Defence Review. 
  9. "True Dream Partner - LIG Nex1". www.lignex1.com. 28 March 2016. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Jeremy Binnie (26 June 2018). "South Korean Raybolt spotted in Yemen". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. 
  11. "Opinion: South Korea – the next big defence exporter?". www.shephardmedia.com. 19 September 2018.