Great description of the exocet and its use and related problems the Argentines had using it againstthe British during the Falklands War.
Length: 4.69 m
Diameter: 0.35 m
Launch Weight: 670.00 kg
Payload: 165 kg HE, fragmentation
Range: 70.00 km
Guidance: INS, active radar
In Service: 1979-Present
Exported: Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Greece, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Saudia Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, UAE, Venezuela
The AM-39 Exocet is a short-range, solid propellant, single warhead, air-launched, anti-ship cruise missile developed and manufactured by France. Several hundred were fired in combat during the Falklands conflict and the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.
France initially designed the Exocet ("Flying Fish" in French) family of cruise missiles to attack and destroy large warships. The AM-39 is the air-launched variant and is currently deployed on Super Etendard, AMX, Mirage F1, Mirage 5, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, and Atlantique aircraft, as well as on Sea King, Super Frelon, and Super Puma helicopters. In 2004, France began working on deployed the AM-39 on Rafale aircraft.
The Exocet family of missiles are all the same basic shape, the only differences being the length and wing shape. The AM-39 has four delta-shaped wings at mid-body, and four delta-shaped control fins at the rear. The missile is 4.69 m long, 0.35 in body diameter, has a wingspan of 1.1 m, and has a launch weight of 670 kg. It carries a high explosive fragmentation warhead weighing 165 kg. The AM-39 has a maximum range of 50 km if launched from a low altitude, but a range of up to 70 km if launched from a high-altitude of over 10 km.
After its launch, the AM-39 stabilizes in the direction of its target at its first cruising altitude, low enough to avoid detection by its target yet high enough to allow its active radar seeker head to acquire the target. Midcourse guidance is by an inertial navigation system (INS) and a radio altimeter, allowing the missile to fly a sea-skimming trajectory to its target. The AM-39 descends to its second cruise altitude for the terminal phase, with a final approach at an altitude determined by prevailing sea conditions, sometimes as low as 3 m. Terminal guidance is provided by an active radar.
The AM-39 entered service in 1979 and is still in production. The missile was upgraded in the early 1990s, which gave it the ability to fly at a lower altitude of 2 to 3 m and make preprogrammed maneuvers. It also has an improved discrimination capability among multiple targets, decoys, and coastal features. The improved version entered service in 1992 and remains in production. Other proposed variants feature an improved INS system; a digital guidance computer and GPS receiver; and a new active radar seeker with target recognition and aim point selection.
France had manufactured a total of 3,300 Exocet family missiles. Sources indicate that 1,100 AM-39 missiles have been built. The missile has been exported to many countries, including Egypt, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. In recent years, the exported AM-39 has been used in several conflicts. Argentina launched four missiles during the Falkland/Malvinas conflict in 1982. Iraq launched over 100 missiles against Iran during Iran-Iraq War between 1980 and 1988; in 1987, two Exocet missiles were fired from an Iraqi Mirage F1 damaging the USS Stark
In: Iraq, Iran, Arts and Entertainment
Tags: am39, aerospatiale, exocet, missile, french, argentinian, necrosis, falklands war, britain,
Marked as: approved
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