caption= An AM39 aircraft-launched Exocet
type=Medium-range anti-ship missile
MBDA's division Aérospatiale
speed=315 m/s (1134 Km/h)
guidance=Inertial and active radar
*MM40 surface-launched The Exocet is a French-built
anti-ship missilewhose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, and airplanes. Several hundred were fired in combat during the 1980s.
The missile's name was given by M. Guillot, then technical director at
Nord Aviation, after a French word for flying fish(Exocoetidae) [cite book |title= L’extraordinaire aventure de l’Exocet |last= Guillot |first= Jean |coauthors= Estival, Bernard |year= 1988 |publisher= Les éditions de la Cité |location= |isbn= |pages= |url= ] .
The Exocet is built by
MBDA, a European missile company. Development began in 1967 as a ship-launched missile named MM 38. The air-launched Exocet was developed in 1974 and entered service with the French Navyfive years later.
The missile is designed to hit large
warships. It is guided inertially in mid-flight, and turns on active radarlate in its flight to find and hit its target. Its solid propellant engine gives the Exocet a maximum range of 70 km. The submarine-launched version places the missile and a naval boosterinside a launch capsule.
The Exocet has been manufactured in a number of versions, including:
The newest MM40 version (MM40 block 3) has an improved range of 180 km through the use of a turbojet engine, and includes four air-intakes to provide continuous airflow to the engine during high-G manoeuvres.
The chief competitors to the Exocet are the U.S.-built Harpoon, the Chinese Yingji series and the Swedish built
1982, during the Falklands War, Exocets became famous worldwide when Argentine Navy Super Etendardwarplanes used one to sink the Royal Navy's destroyer HMS "Sheffield" on 4 May, and 2 to sink the 15,000 tonne merchant ship " Atlantic Conveyor" on 25 May. An MM38 Exocet transferred from the Argentine destroyer ARA "Guerrico" to a land-based truck [es icon [http://www.fuerzasnavales.com/itb.html An interview with ARA CL (R) Ing. Julio Pérez, chief designer of Exocet truck-based launcher] ] damaged HMS "Glamorgan" on June 12. Argentinaclaimed that an Exocet-armed Super Etendardattack on May 30damaged HMS "Invincible". This claim is widely regarded as entirely unfounded, not least due to the continued operation of undamaged "Invincible" in the campaign. It should be noted that during the conflict the Argentinian military Government claimed incorrectly several times to have damaged several ships (with multiple previous claims for having damaged or sunk the carriers "Invincible" and the "Hermes", the two most important British warships) and shot down Sea Harriers, due to some combination of the natural confusion of battle and propaganda purposes.
The Exocet that struck "Sheffield" impacted on 2 deck, 8 feet (2.4 m) above the waterline, near to the forward engine room, cracking the hull open roughly 4 feet (1.2 m) by 10 feet (3 m). It appears that the warhead did not explode. Accounts suggest that the initial impact of the missile immediately destroyed the ship's onboard electricity generating systems and fractured the water main, preventing the anti-fire mechanisms from operating effectively, and thereby dooming the ship to be consumed by the raging fire. Although the loss of "Sheffield" was a major shock to the British, the missile used earned itself a curious kind of respect, and the word “Exocet” passed into British colloquial usage to denote, “a devastating attack.” It is still occasionally heard, and as of 2007, remains widely understood. The crew of "Sheffield" and members of the British Task Force were of the opinion that the missile had exploded, but the official report from the RN Board of Inquiry now available (2007) on the Internet states that from the evidence available the warhead did not explode. The damage caused was due to the large
kinetic energyof the missile and the presence of unused missile fuel which ignited on impact.
The Exocet that struck "Glamorgan" failed to explode, but the unburnt rocket fuel caused a significant fire. It is likelyFact|date=October 2007 that "Glamorgan" was saved from complete destruction by the prompt action of the officers and men at the helm. With less than a minute's warning that a missile was incoming, they ordered maximum revolutions and maximum wheel towards the missile. When the missile struck the ship was heeled far over to port and instead of striking the side the missile hit the
coamingand was deflected upwards. The dent caused by the impact was clearly visible when "Glamorgan" was being refitted in late 1982.
In the years after the Falklands War it was revealed that the British government and intelligence agencies were extremely concerned by the perceived inadequacy of the British navy’s anti-missile defences against the Exocet and the missile’s potential to tip the naval war decisively in favour of the Argentine forces. In London, a nightmare scenario was being envisioned in which one or both of the UK force’s two aircraft carriers (HMS "Invincible" and HMS "Hermes") would be destroyed or incapacitated by an Exocet attack. Under such circumstances, military analysts considered that the British would have had much more difficulty in mounting an attack to recapture the Falklands. To counter the threat posed by the Exocet, a major intelligence operation was initiated to prevent the Argentine Navy from acquiring more Exocets. The operation included British intelligence agents claiming to be arms dealers able to supply quantities of Exocets to Argentina, diverting Argentina from pursuing genuine sources which could only supply a few missiles.
Francedenied deliveries of recently-purchased AM39 to Peruin the belief that they would be given to Argentina.
Iraqfired an estimated 200 air-launched Exocets against Iranian shipping during the Iran–Iraq Warwith varying levels of success. Tankers and other civilian shipping were often hit.
May 17, 1987, the pilot of an Iraqi Mirage F-1 allegedly mistook the U.S. Navy "Oliver Hazard Perry" class frigate USS "Stark" for an Iranian tanker and fired two Exocets at the warship. The first penetrated the port-side hull. The second entered at almost the same point, and left a 3-by-4-metre gash then exploded in crew quarters. Thirty-seven sailors were killed and twenty-one were injured. "Stark" was heavily damaged, but saved by the crew and sent back for repairs. The errant pilot was reportedly executed for his error, and his explanations for the attack are not available. Later on Iraqi officials denied that the pilot was executed and stated that he was still alive to this day.Fact|date=June 2007
Miscellaneous: the Lokata
In the late 1970s a civilian in
Falmouth, Cornwall, England accidentally re-invented part of the Exocet's navigation system in one of his own inventions, the "Lokata Watchman", a small boat type navigation system.
Argentine Navy- MM38, MM40 and AM39);BUL;BRA: ( Brazilian Navy- MM38, MM40 Block 2/2 and AM39);CHI: ( Chilean Navy- MM38, AM39 and recently acquired SM39 for the "Scorpène" class submarine . Previously used MM40. Is unknown if the missiles were sold along with the two "Condell" class frigates to Ecuador);COL;CYP: (MM40);ECU: (MM40);EGY;FRA;GEO ;GER: ( German Navy- will be replaced by RBS 15);GRE: ( MM38 , MM40 , AM39);IDN: ( MM38 , MM40 Block 2);IRN;IRQ;KWT;LBY;MYS: ( Royal Malaysian Navy- MM38, MM40 Block 2, SM39 on "Scorpène" class submarines);MAR;OMN;PAK ;PER: ( Peruvian Navy- AM39, MM38);QAT;RSA;THA;TUR: (MM38);ARE;URY;VEN;KOR: ( ROK Navy)
Belgian Navyoperated Exocets on its "Wielingen" class frigates; these vessels were all sold in 2008;UK: Royal Navyoperated Exocets until the last MM38 armed surface vessel was decommissioned in 2002.
* [http://www.netmarine.net/armes/exocet/photos.htm Gallery of photographs of various variants of the Exocet missile] fr icon
* [http://www.britains-smallwars.com/Falklands/Exocet.html Argentine Account of the role of the Exocet in the Falklands War] en icon
* [http://www.navybook.com/nohigherhonor/pic-stark.shtml Photos of Exocet damage to USS Stark] en icon
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Look at other dictionaries:
Exocet — Start einer Exocet MM 38 vom Zerstörer … Deutsch Wikipedia
EXOCET — EXOCE Nom donné à une famille de missiles antinavires de surface de conception française (Société nationale industrielle aérospatiale). Ces missiles sont lancés par des navires de surface (MM 38, MM 40), par des aéronefs (AM 39) ou par des sous… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Exocet — [französisch ɛgzo sɛ, englisch eksəʊset] die, / s, in Frankreich entwickelter Seezielflugkörper mit Feststoffantrieb. Die im Falklandkrieg 1982 durch den Einsatz gegen britische Kriegsschiffe bekannt gewordene Luft Schiff Version AM 39 (Länge… … Universal-Lexikon
Exocet — 1970, proprietary name of a rocket propelled short range guided missile, trademarked 1970 by Société Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale, from Fr. exocet flying fish (16c.), from L. exocoetus, from Gk. exokoitos sleeping fish, fish that sleeps… … Etymology dictionary
Exocet® — /ekˈsə set/ noun A subsonic tactical missile, launched from a ship, plane or submarine and travelling at low altitude ORIGIN: Fr, from New L Exocoetus volitans the flying fish … Useful english dictionary
Exocet — «Экзосет» AM39 под самолётом Дассо «Рафаль» … Википедия
Exocet — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Exocet peut faire référence à : Exocet, un poisson des mers chaudes, appelé usuellement poisson volant, Exocet, une famille de missiles anti navire… … Wikipédia en Français
Exocet — n. propr. a short range guided missile used esp. in sea warfare. Etymology: F exocet flying fish … Useful english dictionary
EXOCET — s. m. Poisson. Voyez MUGE … Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)
Exocet — /ek soh set /, Trademark. a winged, radar guided French anti ship missile, launched from the surface or an aircraft, that skims the waves at close to the speed of sound. * * * … Universalium