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Joined: 24 Apr 2006 Posts: 330 Location: Indiana, USA
Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:19 am Post subject: Early French Antitank Missiles - SS.10, ENTAC, SS.11, SS.12
The French were not the first to develop a wire guided AT missile, that title belongs to the German's in WW2 with the X-7, but the X-7 was never placed in production (ie it is an urban legend that is was used in the closing days of WW2 against the Russians). But the French were the first to both research and develop and in 1954 place in production the world's first wire guided missile, the Nord 5200 which was designated eventually as the SS.10. The French SS.10 was so good and cheap (about $1000 dollars) that the US Army bought the SS.10 from French production lines. And in the 1950s the US government seldom allowed the purchase of any non-USA item and if it was non-USA it had to be produced under license in the USA.
The SS.10 was soon followed by the SS.11 which for a long time was the most produced guided missile in the world, not only being produced in France but by over a dozen other nations under license. The SS.10 was then followed by the ENTAC and then the SS.12 (though many consider the SS.12 to heavy for antitank employment).
In the 1980s, I was authorized by a magazine to compile some material for an article on antitank weapons. Of which I requested material on early antitank missiles from various sources. One of the sources I contacted was Euromissile. They sent me a large quantity of information. Unfortunately most of the material was not returned by the publisher. Below is the photos I have left, including photo copies of the different missiles from the manufactures public relations book.
Jack E. Hammond
SS.11 being fired from Alouette III helicopter
SS.11 being fired from a specialized turret on tank hull
SS.11 being fired from an AMX-13 light tank
SS.11 on ground mounts
AS.12 air to ground version of SS.12 on French naval helicopter. Warhead was equal to a 155mm artillery shell
AS.12 being fired from French Lynx naval helicopter. During Falklands War a helicopter fired AS.12 disabled a submarine
AS.12 shortly after being fired. Note two tracking flares on side
AS.12 mounted on early naval helicopter. Note roof sight
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