SNEB

The SNEB rocket (French: Societe Nouvelle des Etablissements Edgar Brandt) is an unguided air-to-ground 68 mm (2.7 in) rocket projectile (RP) manufactured by the French company TDA Armements, designed for launch by combat aircraft and helicopters. Two other rockets were developed in the 37 mm (1.5 in) and 100 mm (3.9 in) caliber. The 37mm caliber was one of the earliest folding fin free flight rockets developed after World War II and was developed mainly for air-to-air engagements and is no longer in service. The 100mm caliber is in service with the French Air Force and a few other air forces. The 68mm caliber is by far the most popular in use today in both the time span of service and numbers produced, even out pacing the Russian 57mm air-to-ground rocket. This armament is commonly referred to in both military and civilian publications as the "SNEB rocket pod". Besides France, several other nations produce the SNEB 68mm rocket under license. In France today, SNEB has been reorganized into the firm of Thomson-Brandt.

The caliber of 68 mm was preferred by the French over other international designs of 57 mm,[1] 70 mm,[2] or 80 mm.[3] The SNEB rocket projectile is propelled by a single rocket motor, and, depending on the warhead loadout on the launchers, it can be used against armoured fighting vehicles, bunkers, or soft targets.

Warheads

Matra Type 116M rocket launcher mounted on a Fiat G.91, on display at the Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr, Berlin
Two Matra Type 155 rocket launchers with 36× SNEB 68 mm RPs

The SNEB rocket projectiles can be armed with the following warheads:

Laser guidance development

The Systeme de Roquette A Corrections de Trajectoire (SYROCOT) is a program where a laser-guided seeker is incorporated into the design. It is compatible with the existing SNEB system. It is comparable to the US Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System project.

Rocket launchers/pods

The French armament company of Matra produced the following types of rocket launcher for use with the SNEB 68 mm RPs:

  • Matra Type 116M rocket launcher — This was lightly constructed and is used as an expendable rocket launcher pod with a frangible nose cone, loaded with 19 SNEB 68mm rockets which were fired in a single rippled 0.5 second salvo with a time interval of 33 milliseconds between each rocket firing. The pod is automatically jettisoned after all the rockets are expended.[4]
  • Matra Type 155 rocket launcher — Widely produced, this was a reusable device manufactured completely from metal with a fluted nose cone through which the RPs were fired. Loaded with 18 SNEB 68mm rockets, it can be pre-programmed on the ground to fire in shots or in one single ripple salvo as the Type 116M.[4]
  • Matra JL-100 drop tank/rocket pack — This unique arrangement combines a 66 US gallons (250 L) drop tank with a rocket launcher containing 19 SNEB 68 mm rockets in front to form an aerodynamically-shaped pod which can be mounted on over-wing or under-wing hardpoints. One notable aircraft equipped with this was the English Electric Lightning F.53 of Royal Saudi Air Force.[5]

TDA Armements SAS (a subsidiary of Thales Group)[6] also manufactures pods for the 68mm SNEB rocket .Variants produced are the 12 tube TELSON 12 JF for fighter aircraft, the 12 tube TELSON 12 and the 22 tube TELSON 22 used by the Eurocopter Tiger, the 8 tube TELSON 8 designed for light helicopters and the 2 tube TELSON 2 suitable for UAVs and light Counter-insurgency aircraft.[7]

Used by

Helicopters

External images
SNEB 68 mm rockets Helicopter
22 round 68mm helicopter pod by Brandt
Fact Sheet 68mm Multi-Dart Rocket

Fixed-wing aircraft

External images
SNEB 68 mm rockets Fixed Wing Aircraft
Harrier GR.3 firing entire salvo of 4 rocket pods
Harrier GR.7 in flight with 2 SNEB rocket pods
1962 Manufacture's ad for various Matra/SNEB rocket pods
French Navy Super Etendard fitted with Type 155 SNEB rocket pods to outer pylons

See also

References

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