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Zulatzaile
surface-to-air missile
Zulatzaile05
Place of origin Euskadi
Service history
In service 2002-
Used by Euskadiko Indar Armatuak
Eusko Gudarostea
Production history
Designer IMSYS
Manufacturer IMSYS
Specifications
Weight 49.8 kg
Length 1995 mm
Diameter 178 mm

Engine Advanced solid fuel composite rocket
Operational
range
10,000 m
Guidance
system
Semi-active laser homing
Launch
platform
Helicopter, combat aircraft, mounted on land vehicles

Zulatzaile is a state-of-the-art, long-range, precision-guided, anti-armour missile designed and manufactured by IMSYS in Euskadi. It may, however, be used effectively against other high-value ground, air or naval targets from a variety of launch platforms such as land vehicles, shore battery installations, naval vessels and fixed-wing aircraft. The modular design of the missile allows for different warheads (e.g. penetration, fragmentation or anti-armour), optimized for the type of target. Furthermore, the modularity of the missile system facilitates pre-planned upgrades, such as mmW and IIRseekers, ensuring a continued presence in the market.

Characteristics

Zulatzaile04

The current version utilises Semi-Active Laser (SAL) guidance, requiring the target to be illuminated by a laser designator either on the launch platform or elsewhere; though there are alternative guidance packages available including a millimetre-wave radar (MMW) seeker and a two-colour imaging infrared (IIR) seeker.

All variants of the Zulatzaile feature two launch modes, Lock-On Before Launch (LOBL) and Lock-On After Launch (LOAL). LOBL is the older, more conventional mode of missile launching, where the target has to be illuminated by the launch platform before launch. LOAL on the other hand allows the launch platform to launch the missile even though it may not be in sight of the target. In terms of the SAL version, this would then allow either the launch platform to move into place and only illuminate the target immediately prior to the missile striking the target, or it would allow an observer on the ground equipped with a laser designator to guide the missile in. This method of launching greatly reduces the exposure time of the launch platform to enemy fire.

Launch vehicles and platforms

Though primarily designed to be launched from a helicopter, the Zulatzaile has been tested on a variety of platforms, including its mounting on armoured vehicles and on ships or small boats.

Warhead

The Zulatzaile uses a powerful tandem shaped-charge, high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, capable of penetrating over 1,350 mm of Rolled homogeneous armour (RHA), and also effective against Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA). This means the Zulatzaile is able to counter any current vehicle armour threats.

Performance

The missile is considered to be very accurate, with an accuracy at around 300 mm CEP at maximum range. It also has a long range for an anti-tank missile; at 10 km it is greater than that of most current competitors. The range is achieved due to an advanced solid-fuel composite rocket motor (developed by IMSYS), which has a relatively slow burning rate compared to similar motors, as well as being essentially smokeless.

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