The two-man SEP DARD 120 was designed as a portable, close-range anti-armor weapon to counter the latest Soviet tank designs.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
The Cold War period (1947-1991) and the emergence of the Main Battle Tank (MBT) required army forces to field capable armor-defeating weapons. This was not lost on the French Army who was the victim of two World Wars on its soil (1914-1918 and then again in 1939-1945). As such, in 1978, work began on a new, all-modern 120mm caliber Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) weapon capable of being fired from the shoulder of an infantryman. The Societe Europeenne de Propulsion (SEP) was charged with its development and subsequent manufacture of the new, portable tank-killer - the "DARD 120".
The DARD 120 went through several earlier, smaller-caliber iterations in the "DARD 90" and the "DARD AC1000" - which were built around a 90mm and 95mm caliber tube, respectively. The new system was adopted in 1981 and intended for close-to-medium ranges with the "sweet spot" being 985 feet. The weapon was designed with a crew of two in mind though it only took a single operator to fire it.
The DARD 120 chambered 4.72" armored-piercing, fin-stabilized rocket-propelled projectile out to a range of 1965 feet (blast diameter of 80 feet). The launch tube was transported in two major sections of which one featured the preloaded rocket and was disposable. The operator(s) joined the two sections together and the system was made ready-to-fire in minutes. For low-level light environments, Night-Vision (NV) equipment was an optional fitting over the standard-issue optical sights. The complete system weighed 31lb and had a 63" length. The grenade could defeat up to 820mm to 850mm of steel.
Manufacturing Societe Europeenne de Propulsion (SEP) - France
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes AnvilOfWar.com, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.