Country: Saudi Arabia
Latitude: 26° 41' 8" N Longitude: 50° 7' 21" E
Area use / Military Branches: Shahine SHORAD msl site
Crotale - Shahine SHOrt Range Air Defence missile site.
A mobile, allweather, lo-altitude SAM system designed to combat targets flying at a speed of Mach 1.2 at 50 to 3000 m altitude. Developed by Thomson CSF Matra and can be launched from a mobile launcher. Fired against targets such as aircraft and missiles, the max range of the missile is 8km up to 5000m altitude at a speed of Mach 2.3. An air defence missilesystem designed to counter air saturation attacks equipped with digital radio command missile line of sight to target line of sight. Crotale has a single stage solid propelled rocket motor and a 15 kg heat explosive focused fragmentation warhead.
A typical platoon consists of an Acquisition Coordination Unit (ACU) and 2 or 3 firing units. A complete battery has2 platoons. The system cannot operate on the move, but it takes less than 5 minutes to become operational once stopped. The missile can be launched within about 6.5 seconds after target detection.. In 1971 the French Air Force took an interest int he program, and by 1978 a total of 20 batteries had been delivered. Saudi Arabia became a customer in 1975 ordering a new version of the Crotale, known as Shahine, mounted on the chassis of the Giat Industries AMX-30 MBT. The system has a number of improvements over the standard Crotale. The Saudis also ordered the standard Crotale in late 1978 and an upgraded version in 1990 for airbase defences.
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