Surface Forces: France Competes With Cheap Chinese Crap

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April 28, 2010:  Qatar is buying new, jet propelled, Exocet anti-ship missiles, to replace the older, rocket propelled, models. The new missiles will be installed on some of the seven Qatari fast attack boats (which also have either 76mm cannon or 30mm machine-guns). The new Exocet MM Block 3 have twice the range (180 kilometers) because of their turbojet engine.

The new Exocet is partly a response to competition from China. Recently, for example, Indonesia chose cheaper, and longer range, Chinese C802A anti-ship missiles over the rocket propelled Exocet. The C802A is a 6.8m (21 foot) long, 360mm diameter, 682kg (1,500 pound) missile, with a 165kg (360 pound) warhead. The C802 has a max range of 120 kilometers, and moves along at about 250 meters a second. The French Exocet missile is the same size and performance, but costs twice as much (over a million dollars each, but the manufacturer is known to be flexible on pricing.) The Indonesians see the Chinese missiles as a much better deal, especially since Indonesia is not looking to start a war anytime soon. So why pay premium prices for a premium, battle proven, Exocet?

Thailand also went with the C802 when it recently refurbished its 053H class frigates (bought from China in the 1990s), and added the C802 anti-ship missiles to replace the older, and bulkier, SY-1s.

The Exocet has been around for over three decades, has been proven in combat and is known to be reliable. The C802 is known to be less capable than the Exocet, but it looks similar. For a navy that never expects to get into a serious war, that, and a much lower price, is enough to get the sale.

 

 


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