Pluton (missile)

Summary

Pluton
Pluton 034.jpg
TypeTactical ballistic missile
Place of originFrance
Service history
In service1974 (terminated in 1993)
Used byFrance
Production history
ManufacturerSNIAS
Specifications
Mass2,423 kg
Length7.64 m
Diameter0.65 m
Warhead- Nuclear 15 kt of TNT
- Nuclear 25 kt of TNT
- Conventional High-Explosive

EngineSingle-stage solid
Operational
range
120 km
Maximum speed 1100 m/s
Guidance
system
Inertial
Launch
platform
TEL platform on an AMX-30 chassis

The Pluton missile was a French nuclear-armed tactical ballistic missile (short-range ballistic missile, SRBM) system launched from a transporter erector launcher (TEL) platform mounted on an AMX 30 tank chassis.[1] It was designed to provide the tactical part of French nuclear deterrence during the Cold War.

Development

The Pluton came in replacement of the U.S.-built Honest John missile. It had an operating range between 17 and 120 km (11 and 75 mi), with a CEP of 150 m. This short range only allowed strikes on targets in West Germany or within France itself, which led to the development of the longer ranged Hadès missile.

The system was relatively light-weight, which allowed its deployment in difficult conditions. A CT-20 drone was available to provide last-minute information about the target before launch, making the Pluton system battle-capable.

A project for an updated version, called Super-Pluton, was dropped in favour of the Hadès project, and the aging Pluton was gradually discarded until completely retired in 1993.[2]

Units

The regiments and groups which used the equipment included:[3]

  • 1st Army Corps
    • 3rd Artillery Regiment (1970–1990)
    • 4th Artillery Regiment (1976–1980)
    • 15th Artillery Regiment (1974–1990)
  • 2nd Army Corps
    • 32nd Artillery Regiment (1977–1993)
    • 74th Artillery Regiment (1975–1993)
  • 3rd Army Corps
    • 3rd Artillery Regiment (1990–1993)
    • 4th Artillery Regiment (1980–1993)
  • Nuclear support regiments included:
    • 21st Maintenance Battalion
    • 22nd Maintenance Battalion

Operators

 France

See also

References

  1. ^ Tanks and armored fighting vehicles : visual encyclopedia. New York, N.Y.: Chartwell Books. 2012. p. 366. ISBN 9780785829263. OCLC 785874088.
  2. ^ "Pluton - France Nuclear Forces".
  3. ^ "2- Insignes des unités Pluton et de leurs unités de soutien". artillerie.asso.fr. Retrieved 2021-08-28.

External links

  • Pluton on astronautix.com

Bibliography

  • CERMA Hors-série n7 (2013) Histoire de l'artillerie nucléaire de Terre française 1959-1996 (ISBN 2-901418-43-0 // ISSN 1950-3547).