Mistral
54RA-IMG 9142.jpg
Mistral mounted on a truck platform of the 54th Artillery Regiment
Type Manportable surface-to-air missile
Place of origin France
Service history
In service 1988–present
Used by See Operators
Wars Second Congo War
Production history
Designer MBDA
Manufacturer MBDA
Specifications
Length 1.86 m
Diameter 90 mm
Crew 1

Effective firing range up to 6 km
Warhead High Explosive with high density tungsten balls
Warhead weight 2.95 kg
Detonation
mechanism
Laser proximity or impact triggered

Engine Solid Rocket Motor
Speed 800 m/s, approx. Mach 2.6 (high supersonic)
Guidance
system
Infrared homing

Mistral is an infrared homing MANPADS manufactured by the European multinational company MBDA missile systems (formerly by Matra BAe Dynamics). Based on the French SATCP (Sol-Air À Très Courte Portée), the portable missile later to become the Mistral began development in 1974. It was initially deployed in 1988 for the first version (S1) and 1997 for the second version (M2).

Weapon platforms

The basic Mistral missile is used with a man-portable launch unit. There are also launch units that allow the missile to be fired from armoured vehicles, ships or helicopters (such as the Aérospatiale Gazelle, Denel Rooivalk, or Eurocopter Tiger). To reject the flares ejected from the rear of the targeted aircraft, proportional navigation using a gyro as a reference is adopted for Mistral, instead of the pursuit method in earlier IR-guided MANPADS. To further enhance the ECCM capability, the seeker of Mistral has a very narrow field of view to reject decoys and interference, but the seeker can tilt in the range of +/− 38 degrees. On the launcher, the missile runs up the gyro in 2 seconds, and total reaction time is 5 seconds. The all-aspect two-color (2–4 and 3–5 µm) cooled IR-seeker of Mistral is developed by SAT, and the missile adopts both laser proximity and impact fuzes.

A close-in weapon system based on Mistral is a six-missile version called Sadral, with a stabilized rapid-reload launcher that is fully automated. A CSEE developed fire control director is integrated to the launcher, consisted of TV camera and FLIR. Image produced by both directors appear on the screen in the operator console below deck, and the missiles are locked onto the target before being launched. A fully loaded Sadral launcher weighs 1080 kg, and the operator console weighs 280 kg. A two-missile unit installed on ships is called Simbad, and a newly launched four-missile version is called Tetral. An evolution of the Simbad is now proposed: Simbad RC. Both Tetral and Simbad RC are remote controlled from the ship's deck while the original Simbad is manually operated with a simple optical sight.

Inventory

Mistral entered series production in 1989 and is now deployed by 37 armed forces of 25 countries (eight countries in Europe, eight in the Asia-Pacific, five in South America, three in the Middle East), including Austria, Belgium, the Brazilian Marine Corps, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines,South Korea, Singapore, Spain, and Venezuela.

Combat performance

Mistral missiles used by the Rwandan forces in the Second Congo War shot down a Zimbabwean Air Force BAe Hawk fighter on March 23, 1999.[1]

Submarine Air Defence Weapon

On 26 September 2012 DCNS at the company's Le Mourillon plant announced plans to design and build a submarine canister-based air defence weapon based on the Mistral. The concept is similar to the British Submarine Launched Airflight Missile developed by Vickers in the 1970s and tested on HMS Aeneas and three boats of the Gal-class.[2]

Operators

Map with Mistral operators in blue
Mistral missile launch during a joint French-Romanian military exercise. (Capu Midia firing range).

Current operators

 Austria
 Botswana[3]
 Brazil
 Brunei
 Chile
 Cyprus
 Colombia
 Ecuador
 Estonia[4]
 Finland
 France
 Georgia
 Hungary
 Indonesia
 Iran
 Israel
 Kenya
 Lebanon
 Morocco
 Norway
 New Zealand
 Oman
 Pakistan
 Philippines
 Rwanda
 Singapore
 South Korea
 Spain
 Thailand
 
 

See also

  • Anza (missile)
  • FIM-92 Stinger
  • Grom (missile)
  • Starstreak missile
  • 9K38 Igla
  • RBS 70
    1. ^ Cooper, Tom. "Zaire/DR.Congo 1980-2001". ACIG.org. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
    2. ^ Janes International Defence Review Vol 45 France revives hard-kill submarine defences, page XIV
    3. ^ "Botswana acquired 300 million euros of French weaponry in 2016". Defence Web. 3 August 2017. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
    4. ^ Kaitsevägi, Eesti. "Õhutõrjepataljon - Kaitsevägi". www.mil.ee.
    5. ^ Fiorenza, Nicholas (16 May 2017). "Belgium phases out Mistral". IHS Jane's 360. Brussels. Archived from the original on 16 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.

    External links