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Ukrainian soldiers destroy Russian cruise missile using French Crotale NG air defense system

According to a video published on the Telegram account of "Оперативний ЗСУ" on March 20, 2023, Ukrainian soldiers using the Crotale NG air defense missile system donated by France have shot down a Russian cruise missile.
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Ukraine soldiers have destroyed a Russian cruise missile using a Crotale NG air defense missile donated by France. (Picture source Screenshot Telegram Video)

Citing information published on the "Оперативний ЗСУ" Telegram account, two missiles were fired by the Crotale NG air defense systems to intercept a Russian cruise missile. The second missile hit the target.

On November 20, 2022, the French Minister of Defense, Sébastien Lecornu, confirmed the delivery to Ukraine of Crotale NG air defense missile system and LRUs, a French version of the American-made M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System). According to our source, France will have delivered to Ukraine four second-hand Crotale NG air defense systems.

The Crotale NG (New Generation) is an advanced short-range air defense system developed by the French company Thales Air Defense (formerly Thomson-CSF). It is designed to protect ground units, critical infrastructure, and other high-value targets from a variety of aerial threats, including aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and low-flying cruise missiles.

The system features upgraded radar, improved guidance, and enhanced mobility compared to its predecessor, the Crotale. The Crotale NG is known for its high accuracy, quick reaction time, and effectiveness in countering modern air threats. It has been exported to several countries and is used by various armed forces around the world.

Ukrainian soldiers destroy Russian cruise missile using French Crotale NG air defense system 925 002
French Air Force Crotale NG container launcher unit. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The Crotale NG system consists of a 6x6 shelter launcher vehicle, a radar vehicle, and a command post vehicle. The launcher vehicle is equipped with eight missiles, which can be launched in rapid succession to engage multiple targets. A radar is mounted on the center of the turret, which provides target information to the command and control system, and is also used to detect and track incoming targets. The radar has a detection range of up to 20 km for aerial threats and can track targets at a range of up to 30 km.

The turret also integrates an electro-optical system used to track and identify targets, which includes a thermal imaging camera, a laser rangefinder, and a TV camera. The Crotale NG can detect aerial threats at a range of up to 9 km using the thermal camera while using the daylight CCD camera, the maximum detection range is up to 15 km.

The Crotale NG fires the VT-1 missile which features improved guidance and control systems, as well as a more powerful warhead. The VT-1 missile is designed to provide enhanced capability against high-speed and maneuverable targets, such as cruise missiles and fighter aircraft.

The Crotale NG VT-1 missile uses an advanced dual-mode seeker system, which combines both infrared and radar guidance to provide improved target detection and tracking capabilities. The missile is also equipped with an advanced digital autopilot system, which allows it to perform high-speed maneuvers to intercept fast-moving targets.

The warhead of the Crotale NG VT-1 missile has been upgraded to include a dual-mode fuzing system, which allows it to detonate either on impact or in proximity to the target. This enhances the missile's lethality against a wider range of targets.

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