SPECIAL REPORT                                                                                                                                           FROM THE INTERNET


CROTALE NEXT GENERATION in Defence system is the subject
of this special DJ report

Crotale NG (Next Generation) is an all weather short range air defence system developed by Thomson-CSF Airsys based at Bagneux in France. 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 high performance aircraft, attack helicopters, cruise missiles, tactical missiles and saturation attacks with stand-off weapons released from aircraft and helicopters.

Crotale NG entered production in 1990 and is in service with the Finnish army and the French Air Force.


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.


The Crotale NG is equipped with a multisensor 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. The elements of the sensor suite are:

l S-band pulse doppler surveillance radar, with sectored surveillance, search-on-the-move, and built-in IFF antenna. The ECCM features are low side lobes, frequency agility, pulse compression, CFAR (Constant False Alarm Rate) and strobe on jam. The range is 20 km with altitude coverage from 0 to 5,000 metres.

l Ku-band TWT (travelling wave tube) single pulse doppler tracking radar, with a beam width of 1.20 degrees. The ECCM features are low side lobes, frequency agility, pulse compression, CFAR, and jammer tracking. The range is up to 30 kilometres.

l thermal camera, with dual field of view and electronic magnification providing 8.1 or 2.7 degrees in azimuth and 5.4 or 1.8 degrees in elevation. The range is up to 19 kilometres.

l Daylight CCD camera, with field of view 2.4 degrees in azimuth and 1.8 degrees in elevation. The range is up to 15 kilometres.

l Infrared (IR) localiser is mounted below the CCD camera for missile gathering.


All functions from target detection to target tracking are automated to achieve reduced reaction times. The reaction time is typically 6 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.


The Crotale NG VT1 missile features an extremely high level of manoeuvrability with load factors up to 35 g up to 8 km with the airframe capable of withstanding 50 g. Speed is Mach 3.5, using a solid propellant rocket motor. The VT1 has an effective range of about 11 km and ceiling of over 6,000 metres.

The Command to Line Of Sight (CLOS) guidance uses radar and electro-optical sensors. The guidance link is immune to electronic countermeasures (ECM).

The missile is armed with a focused blast and fragmentation warhead, initiated by an RF proximity fuse. The warhead provides a lethal blast radius of 8 metres. Typical interception time from firing to airborne target destruction at a distance of 8 km is 10.3 seconds.


Integrated logistic support (ILS) provides maximum combat readiness and low life-cycle costs. ILS features incorporated in the Crotale NG are Built-In Test Equipment (BITE), maintenance software, minimized spares inventory requirements, training software, growth potential to accommodate evolving air threats.

A Direct Support Unit Shelter (DSU) on line repair facility includes all equipment and spares to support up to 8 Crotale NG units on the field. On-board training in a realistic environment is provided by using the Crotale NG combat control console with a desk-top computer. A complete simulation system capable of simulating complex scenarios has been developed for installation in training centres.


A data exchange capability provides integration of the Crotale NG into a global air defence scheme. A platoon of four Crotale NG units can be operated in coordinated mode using the automated computer-to-computer data exchange. According to the threat assessment and the relative positions of the four units, the target is engaged by the unit in the best position.


Crotale NG is compatible with a wide variety of light armoured carrier vehicles with either wheeled or tracked chassis. The shelter version on its trailer mount is transportable on a C130 aircraft.


Turret weight approximately 4 tonnes
Turret drive electrical
Drive speed azimuth  5 radians per second
Drive speed elevation 1 radian per second
Surveillance radar
Frequency S-band pulse doppler surveillance radar
Modes sectored surveillance, search-on-the-move
IFF built-in IFF antenna.
Range 20 km
Altitude coverage 0 to 5,000 metres
ECCM features
low side lobes ------
frequency agility ------
pulse compression ------
CFAR ------
strobe on jam. ------
Tracking radar
Frequency Ku-band TWT single pulse doppler tracking radar
Beam width 1.20 degrees
Range up to 30 kilometres
ECCM features low side lobes
frequency agility ------
pulse compression ------
CFAR ------
jammer tracking ------
Thermal camera
Range up to 19 kilometres.
Wide field of view 8.1 degrees in azimuth and 5.4 degrees in elevation
Narrow field of view 2.7 degrees in azimuth and 1.8 degrees in elevation
Daylight CCD camera
Range  up to 15 kilometres.
Field of view 2.4 degrees azimuth and 1.8 degrees elevation
Infrared (IR) localiser Mounted below the CCD camera for missile gathering
VT1 Hypervelocity Missile
Speed Mach 3.5 plus
Manoeuvrability, load factors up to 35 g
Target range 11 km
Target ceiling  over 6,000 metres
Guidance Command to Line Of Sight (CLOS) guidance
Warhead focused blast and fragmentation warhead
Fuse  RF proximity fuse
Lethal blast radius 8 metres
Interception time 10.3 seconds for target distance of 8 km