MANUFACTURER(S): Societe Europeenne de Propulsion (SEP) - France
ACTION: Trigger-Actuated; Single-Shot; Reusable Launch Tube
LENGTH (OVERALL): 1,600 millimeters (62.99 inches)
LENGTH (BARREL): 1,600 millimeters (62.99 inches)
WEIGHT (UNLOADED): 31.97 pounds (14.50 kilograms)
MUZZLE VELOCITY: 920 feet-per-second (280 meters-per-second)
RATE-OF-FIRE: 5 rounds-per-minute
RANGE (EFFECTIVE): 985 feet (300 meters; 328 yards)
Detailing the development and operational history of the SEP Dard 120 120mm Shoulder-Fired, Reusable Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher.
Entry last updated on 5/25/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
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.
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