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Pluton

Short-range ballistic missile

Pluton

The Pluton ballistic missile had limited range and could not reach mayor Soviet targets

 
 
Entered service 1974
Crew ?
Dimensions and weight
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Missile
Missile length 7.59 m
Missile diameter 0.65 m
Missile weight 2 423 kg
Warhead weight 500 kg
Warhead type Conventional, nuclear
Range of fire 10 - 120 km
CEP 150 m
Mobility
Engine Hispano-Suiza HS-110 diesel
Engine power 720 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 600 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 25%
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 1.3 m
Fording ~ 1 m

 

   The Pluton was a short-range ballistic missile. Its development began in the early 60s and it entered service with the French Army in 1974. This SRBM replaced the U.S.-built Honest John. The Pluton was withdrawn from service in 1993. Just over 100 of these systems were built and only 70 were deployed. The French Army was the only operator of this tactical missile.

   This missile was intended to engage enemy launcher with nuclear missiles, artillery positions, airfields, command posts, communication units, and other important targets.

   The Pluton was a single-stage solid fuel missile. It could be fitted with conventional high-explosive or nuclear (10 / 25 kT) warhead. About 60% of nuclear warheads had a 10 kT capacity. Other sources claim that the less powerful warhead had a 15 kT capacity. Nuclear warheads were attached to the missile only before launch. These were fitted with a parachute and detonated 150 m above the ground. In travelling order nuclear warheads were carried in sealed containers by ordinary utility trucks. The Pluton TEL was fitted with a crane and could unload the missile from the truck.

   Missile had simple inertial guidance system with a CEP of 150 m. Maximum range was limited to 120 km, which only allowed to strike on targets in West Germany or within France itself. This shortcoming led to the development of the longer ranged Hades, as Pluton could not reach mayor Soviet targets.

   The Pluton missile could be launched within 10 - 15 minutes from travelling.

   TEL platform is based on a modified AMX-30 main battle tank chassis. It was powered by the Hispano-Suiza HS-110 diesel engine, developing 720 hp. Relatively low weight of the missile allowed mobile launcher to maneuver easily.

   Pluton TEL vehicles were escorted with the associated AMX-10P infantry fighting vehicle, intended to guard this missile system.

 

Variants

 

   Super Pluton, improved version of the Pluton. This project was dropped in 1983 in favor to the Hades project, which ultimately replaced this short-range ballistic missile.

 

 
Pluton

Pluton

Pluton

Pluton

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