South Africa’s Denel Dynamics is developing two vertically launched missiles as effectors for a layered, integrated counter-rocket, artillery, mortar (C-RAM) system also able to counter cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and helicopters: The 2,000 m range transonic Mongoose 3 as a Close Area Protection System (CAPS), and the 10,000 m range Mach 3+ Cheetah for wider area protection. Both are designed to counter the full spectrum of threats, and both interface with air defence acquisition and fire-control radars, eliminating the need for a dedicated radar. The warhead and motors have been developed by Rheinmetall Denel Munition.
Both missiles are suited to a similar naval role and can be ‘quad-packed’ in the vertical launch system of the Denel Dynamics Umkhonto SAM or in stand-alone vertical launch units, being light enough to mount on the upper deck.
The Mongoose 3 is a 1.2 m, 13 kg missile. It has a launch motor, tip-over motors to give 360o capability and a booster that gives some 200 g acceleration. Agility is provided by dorsal and tail fins that can move in parallel for prompt lateral translation. Initial guidance is from an air defence radar, terminal guidance by an in-house active radar seeker. The optimised warhead has been successfully demonstrated against high explosive (HE) and insensitive munition (IM) Mk 82 bombs and Mk 84 bombs, a simulated BLU109 bomb (50 mm EN19 steel plate placed between the bomb and the warhead), HE and IM 60 mm, 81 mm and 120 mm mortar bombs, HE and IM 155 mm shells and 127 mm rockets.
Originally envisaged to deflect APFSDS penetrators as part of the Saab Grintek Defence Land Electronic Defence System (LEDS), it retains that capability from a VLS or a high-rate trainable launcher. It is also envisaged as a self-protection weapon for helicopters and could be used air-to-air against other helicopters.
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