- Crotale missile
used_by= Bahrain, Egypt, Finland, France, South Korea, Oman, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Portugal
diameter= 0.15 m
wingspan= 0.54 m
range=12 km (15 km for NG)
number=6,000 missiles (R440)
detonation=infrared fuseThe Crotale EDIR ("Ecartométrie Différentielle InfraRouge", "InfraRed Differential Ecartometry") is an all-weather short-range anti-air missile, which can be used to intercept low-flight
anti-ship missiles and aircraft. It has been developed by Thomson CSF Matra and exists in two versions, a mobile land-based version and a ship-launched one.
Originally the Crotale R440 system was developed by Thomson-Houston (and Mistral) in France for
South Africa, where it got the name Cactus. However, the achievements of the system convinced the French Armed Forces, who purchased the system both for the air force and for the navy.
The firing system includes the main sensors of the ship, the firing system of the
turret, and a central coordination system. The turret holds eight missiles ready for launch in watertight containers. The magazine behind the turret holds 18 missiles.
The French army first utilised a 4x4 wheeled, armed with four launchers. In order to ensure a higher mobility, it was decided to mount the system on the chassis of the French
AMX-30main battle tank. At the same time, the number of launchers were increased to six. In Finnish Army service, the Crotale NG system has been mounted on Sisu Pasivehicles. Here the numbers of launchers is eight.
The Crotale system has also been installed on various military ships. For instance the French Navy "La Fayette" class frigates have a Crotale 8-tubed launcher near the helicopter flight deck.
A modernised version, the Crotale NG (New Generation) entered production in 1990. This version uses the new VT-1 hypervelocity missile with Mach 3.5 speed, load factor to 35G, 11 km range, 13kg warhead (8m kill-zone) and 6,000+ m ceiling. The system includes a S-band Pulse Doppler radar (20km), Ku-band TWT tracking radar (30km), Thermal camera (19km), Daylight CCD camera (15km), and an IR localiser. [http://www.army-technology.com/projects/crotale/]
In 1999 the South Korean Army placed an order for 48 Crotale NG systems for $330 million USD, to be fitted to the Chunma (Pegasus) K-SAM (Korean SAM) short range air defence system. [http://www.deagel.com/Air-Defense-Systems/Chunma_a000245001.aspx] The Chunma combines the Crotale NG system on a tracked armoured chassis that resembles the K200 APC [http://venus.ci.uw.edu.pl/~animal/military.pl/syst_p_lotnicze/rakietowe/chun-ma-pegaz/index.html] . In 2003 a second batch of 66 was ordered, valued at $470 million usd.
Thales revealed an updated Crotale NG system with Shikra radar at the Paris Air Show in 2007. [http://www.thalesgroup.com/events/bourget2007/web/presspack.pdf] The system combines Crotale Mk3 VT-1 missile and Shikra multi-beam search radar, with 150km(detection range). Thales has demonstrated that the system's VT-1 missile has extended range to 15km. [http://jdw.janes.com/public/adlink/ads/1156765.pdf]
The Crotale missile system consists of two components; a vehicle for transport, equipped with 2-8 launchers, a tracking radar is located between the launchers. A second vehicle carries the surveillance radar. The radar surveillance vehicle can be connected to several launcher vehicles, in order to achieve an effective air-defence system. The Crotale NG has incorporated both the launcher and the surveillance radar in one vehicle.
The missile is driven by solid-propellant fuel. It can reach its maximum speed of Mach 2.3 within only two seconds and then follows the radar beam, until its infrared fuse senses that it is near its target and explodes.
The surveillance radar and fire direction radar has a range of 20 km and the TV-link works up to 15 km. The tv-guidance system uses both regular and infrared cameras. The system can follow 8 targets simultaneously, and the guidance radar can follow both hovering helicopters as well as fighters exceeding speeds over Mach 2. The weapon system can also use surveillance data from other systems, data from optical surveillance and from the general aerial picture from the national air defence communications system.
;R440 Crotale: The original Crotale SAM system, with both land and sea (Sea Crotale) systems. Over 330 systems and several thousand missiles have been produced and exported to 15+ countries.;HQ-7:
Chinadeveloped the HQ-7SAM system partly from reverse-engineering Crotale. An improved version, the HQ-7A/FM-90, is known to exist.;R460 SICA (Shahine): Thomson-CSF (now Thales) developed a specific version of the Crotale known as "Shahine" for Saudi Arabia. The system became operational in 1980. The main visible differences are mainly the carrier (an AMX 30 armoured carrier instead of the non protected classic carrier), and that it carries a six missile firing unit (instead of four). The purpose of the changes was to allow the Shahine firing and acquisition units to follow and protect the armoured units of the Saudi Armed Forces on the battlefield. The Shahine units were among the first vehicles to liberate Kuwait Cityin February 1991 - a picture taken of the scene was widely publicised by Newsweekmagazine.;Crotale NG (VT-1): An updated version, New Generation. Finland was the first operator of the system. The cost of the system is roughly 8 million euros (excluding the vehicle). Greece is another user, and paid 1 Billion French Francs in 1998 for 11 systems: 9 for the Hellenic Air Force and 2 for the Hellenic Navy. In 2002 euros, that would have amounted up to 12 million euros per unit.;Crotale Mk.3: In January 2008, France test-fired the new Crotale Mk.3 system at the CELM missile launch test center in Biscarrosse. The Crotale Mk.3 system's VT1 missile successfully intercepted a Banshee target drone at 970 metre altitude and 8 km range in 11 seconds on 15 January2008. Later, on 31 January2008, the system successfully intercepted another target drone at a 500 metre altitude and 15 km range in 35 seconds. [http://www.defencetalk.com/news/publish/missiles/Crotale_Mk3_Demonstration_Firings160015348.php]
Currently there are several countries that operate the Crotale or Crotale NG missile.
; BHR; EGY; FIN: The
Finnish Armyoperates Crotale NGs on Sisu XA-181 vehicles, designated ItO 90. 21 systems.; FRA: Crotale and Crotale NG (12 systems); GRE: Crotale NG, used by Hellenic Air Force(9 systems) and Hellenic Navy(2 systems).; KOR: Crotale NG (K-SAM), 114 systems.; OMN: Crotale NG; MAR: [ [http://www.armyrecognition.com/moyen_orient/Maroc/Index_Morocco_army_ground_foces_military_equipment.htm Military army ground forces equipment Morocco Army Moroccan Equipements militaires armée forces terrestres Maroc marocaine ] ] ; PAK; PHL: Used by Philippine NavyBRP Mariano Alvarez and 3 Jacinto class corvettes; SAU: Crotale NG; RSA; ARE
Former operators:; POR
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