Air Defense: January 22, 2001

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South Africa is shopping for a small number of pedestal-mounted man-portable air defense missiles. The missile must have a range of 6km horizontally and 5km vertically. While no missile guidance system was specified, the need "to reduce fratricide" would seem to indicate a preference for a laser beam riding missile rather than a heat-seeker. Tracking and cueing would be provided by either an electro-optical system or a low-probability-of-intercept radar. The system will be one layer of a new air defense network including the Kentron Umkhonto missile, which has a range of 10km.--Stephen V Cole

 


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