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Crotale SAM

Surface-to-Air Missile / Air Defense System

France | 1978

"The French Crotale air defense system program produced some 6,000 missiles since inception in 1978."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/10/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Crotale missile defence system can be fitted on a variety of chassis types and launched against targets overland or overwater. The French Air Force, Finnish Army and French Navy are just some of the users of this multi-dimensional system which began its design phase in 1967 and entered production in 1978. Four Crotale missile defense systems can be networked to cooperate in unison, providing an effective "Friend-Or-Foe" net against inbound aerial threats including cruise missiles. The Crotale missile has proven highly maneuverable for its role and can reach speeds in excess of Mach 3.5 with an engagement range out to 11 kilometers (6.8 miles).

Fire control utilizes multiple sensors with passive optics and radar working alongside electronic countermeasure systems. The target detection and acquisition systems are completely automated to achieve the fastest response time by the crew. The highly adaptable system can be ported onto a variety of chassis requirements some of which have been seen on Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs), 6-wheeled Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) and 4-wheeled armored cars.

The Crotale "NG" ("Next Generation") variant became an upgraded production mark when it was introduced with Finland. Other marks have included the HQ-7 Chinese reverse-engineered model then copied by the Iranians. Saudi Arabia operates the SICA "Shahine" R460 series. The Crotale Mk.III is the latest in the Crotale line and began testing around 2008 - this version is capable of engaging smaller drone aircraft with accuracy.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Crotale SAM Surface-to-Air Missile / Air Defense System.
Not Available. The turret system component itself is adaptable to a variety of wheeled / tracked chassis types.
Installed Power
12 miles
20 km
The physical qualities of the Crotale SAM Surface-to-Air Missile / Air Defense System.
8,818 lb
4,000 kg | 4.4 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Crotale SAM Surface-to-Air Missile / Air Defense System.
4 x Missile-launching tubes for VT1 / Mk.III anti-aircraft missiles.
8 x VT1 / Mk.III anti-aircraft missiles.
Nightvision - YES.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - YES.
Notable series variants as part of the Crotale SAM family line.
Crotale R440 - Base Variant
Crotale NG - Next Generation upgraded version
Crotale Mk.III - Modernized Crotale launcher system
"Sea Crotale" - Navalized variant
HQ-7 - Chinese reverse-engineered copy
Shaheb Thaqeb - Iranian copy of the Chinese HQ-7 series.
SICA R460 - Saudi Arabian version by Thomson-CSF
Chun Ma (Pegasus) K-SAM - Joint Export Venture for South Korean Army.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Crotale SAM. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 500 Units

Contractor(s): Thales Air Defence, Bagneux, France
National flag of Bahrain National flag of Egypt National flag of France National flag of Finland National flag of Greece National flag of Iran National flag of Oman National flag of Pakistan National flag of Portugal National flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia National flag of South Africa National flag of South Korea National flag of the United Arab Emirates

[ Bahrain; Egypt; Finland; France; Greece; Iran; Oman; Pakistan; Portugal; South Korea; Saudi Arabia; South Africa; United Arab Emirates ]
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Image of the Crotale SAM
Image from the United States DoD imagery database.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Crotale SAM Surface-to-Air Missile / Air Defense System appears in the following collections:
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