France and Italy have delivered Milan anti-tank missiles to Ukraine

According to information published by French Newspapers "Ouest France" and "Le Monde", France and Italy have delivered a few dozen Milan anti-tank guided missile weapon systems to Ukraine between February 28 and March 3, 2022.
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Milan anti-tank guided missile weapon station launcher unit. (Picture source MBDA)

France is not alone in supplying Milan missiles to Ukraine. On February 28, 2022, Italy officially indicated that it had decided to deliver a modernized version of the Milan anti-tank guided missiles to Ukrainian armed forces.

The Milan anti-tank missiles were handed over to the Ukrainian army at the Polish border. The first equipment transfer operations were supervised, on the French side, by members of the Special Forces attached to the special operations command of the French army.

The Milan is a man-portable anti-tank guided missile that was manufactured by the company MBDA which entered into service with the French army in 1972. It is a wire-guided SACLOS (semi-automatic command to line-of-sight) missile, which means the sight of the launch unit has to be aimed at the target to guide the missile.

The Milan weapon station consists of a tripod, a launcher station with a sighting system, and the missile. The MILAN system utilizes a semi-automatic command to line of sight (SACLOS) command guidance system. It tracks the missile either by a tail-mounted infrared lamp or an electronic-flash lamp, depending on the model. Because it is guided by wire by an operator, the missile cannot be affected by radio jamming or flares.

The latest variant of the Milan missile is fitted with a single-shaped charge warhead that can penetrate composite armor. Citing technical information published by the company MBDA, the Milan ER missile is able to penetrate 1,000 mm of ERA (Explosive Reactive armor) at a distance of 3,000 m.

The Milan weapon station including the firing unit and the missile has a weight of 21 kg. The Milan missile has a maximum firing range of 3,000 m.