LinkedIn How has the Crotale air defence missile system maintained its invincible reputation even after thirty years of ever changing incoming threats? The question is even more pertinent today coming just after France and Finland issued a joint declaration calling for a common European strategy on defence cooperation. Throughout the decades, Thales has continually upgraded the Crotale with new features including improved connectivity and electronics. In its most recent upgrade, the Crotale NG New Generation , features a state of the art thermal camera that provides the Finnish Defence Forces with a dependable real-time image in daylight or at night. The system is effective helicopters, drones, and rockets, and it can protect fixed or moving civil or military sites. The Crotale NG can fire kilogram warheads at Mach 3.
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Throughout the decades, Thales has continually upgraded the Crotale with new features including improved connectivity and electronics. Following Finland and France it quickly received a vote of confidence when other countries including Greece, Oman, and South Korea adopted the system. Faced with increasing and multifaceted threats, Crotale NG will continue to contribute to a stronger and more secure Europe.
In its most recent upgrade, the Crotale NG New Generation , features a state of the art thermal camera that provides the Finnish Defence Forces with a dependable real-time image in daylight or at night. The system is effective helicopters, drones, and rockets, and it can protect fixed or moving civil or military sites.
The Crotale NG can fire kilogram warheads at Mach 3. Crotale NG Short-Range Air Defense System The Crotale NG is equipped with a multi-sensor suite, including passive electro-optics and radar with built-in Electronic Counter Countermeasures ECCM to engage airborne targets under adverse conditions of dense electronic warfare and hostile battlefield environments of nuclear, biological and chemical warfare NBC and smoke and dust screens. All functions from target detection to target tracking are automated to achieve reduced reaction times.
The reaction time is typically six seconds between first detection and launch of the missile. Once the missile is fired, the operational software selects the best missile tracking sensor according to data being supplied from all sensors. The operator has the option of overriding the sensor automatically selected by the operational software. Crotale NG Short-Range Air Defense System The missions of the system are in front-line armoured brigade defence, permanent or semi-permanent site defence and area defence against air threats, such as fixed-wing aircraft, attack helicopters, cruise missiles, tactical missiles and saturation attacks with stand-off weapons released from aircraft and helicopters.
The Crotale NG system provides air situation and threat assessment, extended detection range, identification friend or foe IFF , multi-target detection plus automated acquisition, tracking and engagement and all weather operation.
Crotale NG entered production in and is in service with the Finnish Army 20 systems , and the French Air Force 12 shelter-mounted systems and Navy.
Thales signed a contract with Greece in June for 11 Crotale NG systems, nine for the air force and two for the navy. The system has also been sold to Saudi Arabia and Oman. The contract called for the production of 48 Crotale NG surveillance and fire control systems.
The origins of this air defense system lie in South African order. Development was mostly funded by South Africa, and partially by the French government. The system was developed during the late s. These systems were delivered to South Africa between and It was locally named the Cactus. Soon after the French air force ordered this system for airfield defense, naming the system Crotale. It entered service in
Crotale: How the leader in air defence missile systems keeps its edge
However, the achievements of the system impressed 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 vehicle, armed with four launchers. In order to ensure higher mobility, it was decided to mount the system on the chassis of the French AMX main battle tank.