Javelot (?) French air defence system

Speedy

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Many years ago I read about this project (end of 70s or early 80s). It was a short-range small caliber rocket launcher, destroying low flying targets by salvo of unguided rockets. A box with 48 tubes was installed in the turret similar to the turrets of modern AA guns, with integral radar system etc. AFAIR the Javelot was a land version mounted on the tracked vehicle and the Catulle (?) a naval version with a more tubes (64 or 96?). The rockets were small (37 or 40 mm?) but pretty fast (>1000 m/s) and the effective range was 2-3 km.
Maybe someone have more information about this weapon?
 

Pepe Rezende

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I found no information in English. I hope you learn well your French lessons:


Le système lance-roquette Javelot

Le système d’armement anti-aérien Javelot consistait en un lance roquette
multitube, doté d’une grande puissance de feu (64 tubes) lançant par effet canon des
roquettes de 40 mm d’un poids légèrement supérieur à un kilogramme (1.030
grammes) à une vitesse initiale de V0 = 1100 m/s. Ces roquettes pourvues d’une
propulsion additionnelle sur trajectoire et stabilisées par empennage atteignaient 1100
m/s, soit à 2.000 mètres une durée de trajet de 2,8 s. La charge de 400g de la tête
militaire pouvait être déclenchée par une fusée â impact ou une fusée de proximité.
Le tir s’effectuait par salve de 8 roquettes, « organisées » dans l’espace (directions de
tir différentes) et répétées dans le temps (départ successif de salves). L’originalité de
ce principe et la qualité de la conduite de tir sont à mettre au crédit de Thomson-CSF.
Il est reconnu que, pour un même nombre de coups tirés, le tir de salves, s’il est plus
contraignant pour l’affût que le tir en rafale, est plus efficace. L’organisation de la
salve consistait à choisir les tubes lanceurs dans l’ensemble multitube, en fonction de
la présentation de la cible avion (avion vient, avion défilant, etc ...) Les études
Thomson-CSF ont été conduites par MM. BILLOTET et GUILBAUD. Le lance roquette
et les munitions furent étudiées par THOMSON-BRANDT sous la direction de
M.CREPIN..

Le programme, qui était relativement important (environ 100 MF) a été
financé par les États Unis (service de Chicago) au titre des échanges «two way street»
entre la France et les USA , en ce qui concerne le développement exploratoire et la
maquette probatoire lance roquettes multiples. Le programme suivi en France par la
DTAT (ICA de BERNARDI), se déroula de 1970 à 1973 mais ne fut pas poursuivi.
 

Jemiba

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From Bill Gunston "Enzyklopädie der Raketen & Lenkwaffen":

"Project for a close defense weapon, based on a spin stabilised 40mm
rocket with a length of 370mm and a range of 1500m. The magazine
was housing 64 rockets, that could be fired in salvoes of 8, 16, or 32 rockets,
aimed by the integral radar or an optical system.The magazines could be
replaced within 30 seconds, kill probabilty against a target in 1500m
was expected to be around 70%. The design was drawn in 1978 by Thomson-
CSF as the main contractor, a navalised variant was known under the name
Catulle"
The model photo shows an installation on an AMX-30 chassis
 

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Speedy

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Thanx a lot!
What can I say more... you people are great and Secretprojects is the best forum in the net :)
 

Grey Havoc

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A resurrected Javelot might be a very handy (and relatively low cost) anti-drone system. The naval version would also definitely have potential in the current maritime threat environment, especially with some of the poorly designed platforms out there today which are in dire need of firepower improvements, e.g. LCS.
 

Michel Van

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I try my Best on Pepe Rezende French Text

the Anti Aircraft system Javelot consist multitube rocket launcher
Wat give big firepower (64 tubes) launch by gun effect
the rockets of 40 mm ø ( 1,57 inch ø ) and weight of 1030 Gram ( 2,27 US pound)
they have rocket engine with initial velocity of 1100 m/s. ( 3.609 ft/sec)
and make 2000 meter in 2,8 seconds and is spin stabilised
a Charge of 400 Gram (0.881 US pound) of explosive
ignite on impact or proximity
rapid fire goes in salve of 8 rockets "organised" in space
means several direction of trajectories to target
the system can fire of several salve successively

Originally this Principe goes to Thomson-CSF
based on study by MM Biollotet and Guilbuad
the Rocket launcher and Rockets were build by Thomson-Brand
under direction of M. Crepin

this important program (100 million Fr. franc) was finace by USA
under a US French exchange program in multitube launchsystem
the Javelot program R6D was by DTAT (ICA de Bernardi) 1970 to 1973
but not further R&D after that
 

Pioneer

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G'day gents
I've just found this!

Regards
Pioneer
 

Kiltonge

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A few notes on Javelot from the DTIC archives:

First, interesting to read that USA was involved with Javelot development:

The French Javelot, a short-range, low-altitude, surface-to-air, multiple-rocket antiaircraft weapon,
and the FRG Fiakpanzer Gepard, a twin-35 mm antiaircraft gun system, are both interesting candidates
for an offset package.

The United States is working with France in developing the Javelot, and we are testing the Gepard.



Desired dispersion of Javelot:

a.
Javelot, which is reported to have the objective of achieving RAP dispersions
competitive to gun fired unboosted projectiles, should be critically observed in
development and demonstration firings to determine the feasibility and possible
difficulties in achieving these objectives.

 

KonTim

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I can recall a similar in general Swedish concept from the '90s called Retaliator.Could anyone give me more infos on the swedish system?
 

Grey Havoc

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It is interesting that Thales, who would presumably own the IP on this in the present day, hasn't tried to revive this in some form as an anti-drone system, not to mention the potential naval applications. I wonder does anyone at the company even remember that this existed.
 

DWG

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It is interesting that Thales, who would presumably own the IP on this in the present day, hasn't tried to revive this in some form as an anti-drone system, not to mention the potential naval applications. I wonder does anyone at the company even remember that this existed.

You could probably equal the hit probability of Javelot with a single 40-57mm airburst round, and if it took an AMX-30 to schlep it around the battlefield, in a lighter vehicle as well.
 

iverson

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You could probably equal the hit probability of Javelot with a single 40-57mm airburst round, and if it took an AMX-30 to schlep it around the battlefield, in a lighter vehicle as well.

Maybe not. I vaguely remember reading about Catulle/Javelot at the time. I believe that the salvo fire and the ability to rapidly reload the magazine were considered advantageous for terminal defense against antiship missiles and possibly tactical ballistic missiles.

As I remember it, Catulle was the main variant, with Javelot as a secondary offering for defending high-value land targets. Catulle was seen as a sort of last-ditch, rocket shotgun for reliably destroying Soviet Styx cruise missiles at absolute minimum range. The system computer could supposedly track the target, track the rockets fired, and optimize subsequent salvos as the missile got closer to the ship and thus more dangerous. So the 70% hit probability at 1500 m presumably got better as the range shortened, as did the likelihood of multiple hits. The last salvo would be a slightly divergent, 8x8, 64-rocket blast with no more than 0.1 sec intervals between rockets (according to Guston).

I am not a gun expert, but I do not think that the extant medium caliber autocannon of the time could have matched that kind of performance. I do not think that there were any proximity fused 40-mm shells at that time, for one thing, and the rate of fire of a 40-57-mm gun simply could not put as many projectiles in the air as quickly. Remember, that 0.1 second launch interval translates to a rate of fire of about ten 40-mm rockets per second for 6.4 seconds. Rockets were to be automatically reloaded using 64-round cassettes, every 30 seconds, something like the nineteenth French century mitrailleuse (also a selective-fire volley gun of sorts). I also seem to recall a double mount with 128 barrels for larger ships.

Eventually, smaller-caliber, Gatling-type systems like Phalanx (and Goalkeeper?) were also able to track their shots and targets simultaneously and correct their own fire. So they became the close-in weapons systems of choice, along with the rapid-fire OTO 76-mm and its proximity fused shells. My guess is that the magazines and reloading equipment, while mechanically simpler than the equivalents for an automatic gun, were both bulkier and less well-known, thus adding risk.
 
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DWG

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You could probably equal the hit probability of Javelot with a single 40-57mm airburst round, and if it took an AMX-30 to schlep it around the battlefield, in a lighter vehicle as well.
I am not a gun expert, but I do not think that the extant medium caliber autocannon of the time could have matched that kind of performance. I do not think that there were any proximity fused 40-mm shells at that time, for one thing, and the rate of fire of a 40-57-mm gun simply could not put as many projectiles in the air as quickly. Remember, that 0.1 second launch interval translates to a rate of fire of about ten 40-mm rockets per second for 6.4 seconds. Rockets were to be automatically reloaded using 64-round cassettes, every 30 seconds, something like the nineteenth French century mitrailleuse (also a selective-fire volley gun of sorts). I also seem to recall a double mount with 128 barrels for larger ships.

I was addressing the suggestion it was worth revamping now.
 

Sgt_Miller

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From Bill Gunston "Enzyklopädie der Raketen & Lenkwaffen":

"Project for a close defense weapon, based on a spin stabilised 40mm
rocket with a length of 370mm and a range of 1500m. The magazine
was housing 64 rockets, that could be fired in salvoes of 8, 16, or 32 rockets,
aimed by the integral radar or an optical system.The magazines could be
replaced within 30 seconds, kill probabilty against a target in 1500m
was expected to be around 70%. The design was drawn in 1978 by Thomson-
CSF as the main contractor, a navalised variant was known under the name
Catulle"
The model photo shows an installation on an AMX-30 chassis
Does anybody know the exact radar used by this Javelot-mounted AMX-30? I'm sure it's not the DRVC-1A used on the AMX-30 DCA.
 

WhiteDemon

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The Javelot [Javelin] project was designed to test the feasibility of a short-range gun air defense system based on the directed or organized firing of a salvo of self-propelled 40-mm. projectiles launched from a multi-tube launcher. In the early 1970s, the U.S. Army was co-operating with British, French, and German counterparts in testing and evaluating low altitude air defense systems. During 1972, testing and evaluation of the French Crotale system was completed; the Javelot demonstration program, a joint U.S.-French effort, went forward; and testing on the British Rapier was initiated.

Based on an AMX 30 chassis, the Javelot anti-aircraft armament system consisted of a 64-tube rocket launcher firing 40mm rockets each weighing just over one kilogram (1.030 grams). The joint American-French Javelot project was concluded during 1974 with all technical performance goals for the ammunition being met. The Army was considering whether or not to join with France in the further development of the Javelot system. In 1975, the US Army selected a group from the membership of its Scientific Advisory Panel to review the U.S. position on the discontinued U.S.-French Javelot project.

By 1975, the large expenditures associated with their potential procurement of the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) warrant special measures by the United States to reduce or "offset" the resulting outflow of dollars in order to make procurement politically, as well as economically, more acceptable to the Europeans. Although offsets for AWACS procurement would seem to be a fairly concrete and narrow problem, in fact it is closely connected with some of the most important and troublesome issues of U.S. NATO policy, including standardization and rationalization of forces; the "two-way street" in NATO weapons development and procurement; cohesion xithin the alliance, as well as political matters within the NATO countries; and various international economic and financial issues extending outside, as well as inside, the alliance.

The French Javelot, a short-range, low altitude, surface-to-air, multiple-rocket antiaircraft weapon, and the FRG Fiakpanzer Gepard, a twin-35 mm antiaircraft gun system, were both interesting candidates for an offset package. The French-developed Catulte was a naval Javelot.

Gun boosted rockets experienced a short period of developmental activity In the 1940-1950 period, and among the developments which attained field test stature was a system firing 2.75" spin rounds from a gun with moderately high rate of fire. This weapon was installed in an aircraft and testeco in combat in Korea. A field artillery application was also field tested. These developments stopped when it was believed that guided missiles would be a preferred solution. The Javelot gun-boosted rocket system represented the sole entry of its type in the competition for predicted fire antiaircraft defense systems.

Systems utilizing rocket propulsion elements for air defense without projectile guidance are considered to be dispersion limited. RAP projectiles may achieve shorter times of flight to specified ranges for the same warhead weight and complete round weight than conventional projectiles, but the time of flight advantage may be lost to the increased angular and time of flight dispersions. The RAP weapon obtains some of its velocity increment from rocket burn after launch, hence the gun musý fire the whle rocket, with the warhead weight increased by the weight of propellanm in the rocket, and by chc weight of the rocket motor case. RAP projectiles may have a cost disadvantage because of their greater manufacturing complexity, and the development cost associated with any new ammunition development program. If the dispersion, and cost handicaps can be reduced, a system using RAP may have higher effectiveness beyond two or three km for given cost, and lower fire unit weight than a system using conventional projectiles. 8enaor and computer requirements for RAP are essentially identical to those of conventional systems.

A system type that is occasionally proposed utilizes a battery of rockets, all of which are fired in salvo at a single predicted point. Porcupine apparently included this type of launcher as one of its weapons options. An advantage is that the rate and acceleration requirements on the servos to lay the mount can be relatively low, and the launcher may be relatively low cost. A disadvantage is that there is a limited flexibility in choosing the firing point, and no opportunity to average across unfavorable target path segments, as a continuous fire system does.

Javelot, which is reported to have the objective of achieving Rocket Assisted Projectile [RAP] dispersions competitive to gun fired unboosted projectiles, should be critically observed in development and demonstration firings to determine the feasibility and possible difficulties in achieving these objectives.

Javelot employed an ingenious compromise. Sketches show a battery of 96 tubes, backed by a container with 96 rockets. The system is reloaded simply by replacing the container. The tubes provide the equivalent of gun boost, but their weight is not involved in the reload package. Subject to the time delay in replacing the ersatz "breeches", one can continue to fire as long as one has loaded replacement breeches.

Javelot proposed an ingenious method of last-second control of projectile direction by using "splayed" tubes, each of which is installed at a small, but different deviation from the mean axis of the launcher. Beginning with a full load, one could then fire a salvo biased In the direction of an observed target maneuver, or fire a salvo with predetermined angular dispersion. The usefulness of this concept depends on how small the inherent dispersion of individual rounds can be made. If the gun-boosted rocket dispersions can in fact be brought down to magnitudes comparable to those of conventional guns, the method would provide a dimple way of controlling dispersion in successive salvos against a target as a function of range.

The fire control is fitted with a derivated of the Oeil Noir 1 doppler search and tracking radar; connected to a analogue computer. Aircraft and helicopters can be detected out to 12 km and at altitudes of up to 3 km. Alternatively manual fire control can be used to engage aerial and ground targets.
 

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