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Eryx

Anti-tank guided missile

Eryx missile

The Eryx anti-tank missile has short range, but packs a formidable punch

 
 
Entered service 1993
Armor penetration 900 mm
Range 600 m
Missile length 905 mm
Missile diameter 136 mm
Fin span ?
Missile weight 13 kg
Total weight with launcher 26 kg
Warhead weight 3.5 kg
Warhead type Tandem HEAT
Guidance Wire-guided

 

   The Eryx is a man-portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) developed by MBDA in the 1980s. In 1989 an agreement was reached between France and Canada to co-produce this missile system. The Eryx was adopted by the French Army in 1993. Aside from the French Army the Eryx found eager customers in Brazil, Canada, Malaysia, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey. Since its introduction 57 000 missiles and more than 3 200 firing posts have been produced and exported. The Eryx is also manufactured under license by the Turkish defense contractor MKEK. If imitation is the sincerest forms of flattery, an unlicensed variant of the Eryx is manufactured in Serbia called the Bumbar.

   The Eryx’ existence stems from a requirement to equip French soldiers with their own individual ATGMs that performed better than the legacy MILAN and MILAN 2’s. This makes the Eryx unique among Western ATGM’s, having no rival analogues except for the recent SAAB NLAW, which is a completely different system.

   The Eryx also arrived at an ideal time when the French Army’s own anti-tank rocket launchers like the LRAC or the APILAS were found to be incapable of defeating modern third-generation MBT’s.

   The Eryx was a successful design and combined a convenient weight with a powerful warhead and ergonomic controls. As a matter of fact, the Eryx’ tandem HEAT warhead is as effective as the MILAN 2T’s even if its range is less than a kilometer. Perhaps this isn’t quite the drawback it appears to be since most infantry small arms are fired at ranges that rarely exceed a few hundred meters.

   To counter the threat posed by signal jamming and active protection systems, MBDA kept the Eryx a wire-guided system. The Eryx even retains the Milan’s well-known ease of use. To operate it, the gunner simply has to load the armed launch tube onto the firing post that comes with an integrated Mirabel thermal sight manufactured by Thales.

   The Eryx was designed for two modes of firing. It can be mounted either on a portable tripod or on an infantryman’s shoulder. In the latter case the Eryx is fired via a peculiar grip underneath the launch tube while the gunner balances the system with a secondary grip supporting the sights.

   Another unique feature of the Eryx is its controlled discharge of propellant. This means its missile doesn’t unleash a fireball when launched—making it ideal for use in limited confines and even enclosed spaces like indoors or within bunkers.

   But the Eryx seems to have had its day. Never enjoying the same strong demand as the MILAN, the Eryx is fast being replaced with top attack or flyover ATGM’s like the Javelin and the Spike. Canadian armed forces plan to retire these missiles in 2016.

 

Variants

 

   Bumbar, a Serbian copy of the Eryx. The Eryx was never supplied to Serbia or the former Yugoslavia. So Bumbar is most likely to be a reversed-engineered version. Its specifications are reportedly the same although the Bumbar’s configuration is slightly altered.

 

Miguel Miranda

   Article by MIGUEL MIRANDA

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Eryx missile

Eryx missile

Eryx missile

Eryx missile

Eryx missile


 
Eryx missile

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