Artillery in Canada: SS.11B1 Nord Aviation MCLOS wire-guided anti-tank missile

Artillery in Canada: SS11 missile

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.  4235904)

SS.11B1 Nord Aviation MCLOS wire-guided anti-tank missile, mounted on a 3/4-ton truck.  The SS.11B anti-tank guided missile is a self-propelled, command-guided missile designed on a two-stage solid propellant propulsion unit.  It is fired from a launcher and is guided by signals transmitted by two wires which unwind from a air of spools housed in the missile.  The 66-pound missile has a range of from 500 to 3,000 metres with a flight time of 24 seconds at maximum range.

The B model of the French SS.11 anti-tank missile entered production in 1962 and was fielded by Canada in 1965.  Mounted in a triple launcher on the robust 3/4-ton truck, the launcher was rotated to fire off the side of the stationary vehicle by a controller positioned to the side of the launch site with a wired control unit.  The SS11B was deployed in Germany with 3 R22eR (roled as an anti-tank battalion) in combination with 106-mm recoilless rifles and ENTAC anti-tank guided missiles.

The 6.8 Kg shaped charge warhead of the SS.11B was capable of penetrating 600-mm of steel plate angled at 30 degrees.  At that level of capability it was already limited in the angles of attack it could effectively use to destroy the newest Soviet Main Mattle Tank at that time, the T-64, which was protected by 20-450-mm (0.79-18-in) of glass-reinforced plastic sandwiched between layers of steel.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.  4235905)

SS.11B1 Nord Aviation MCLOS wire-guided anti-tank missile.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.  4235906)

SS.11B1 Nord Aviation MCLOS wire-guided anti-tank missile in flight.  On launch, the SNPE rocket booster, with two outlets on the side of the missile body, burns for 1.2 seconds, after which the Sophie sustainer engine, with single outlet in the rear of the missile body burns for 20 seconds.  The SS.11 is steered in flight by a unique system developed by NORD called TVC (thrust vectoring control) in which four small vanes are located around the sustainer's exhaust, which under command momentarily push into the sustainer's thrust causing the missile to move in the direction commanded.  Since the missile spins slowly in flight by having the four swept wings slightly offset, a gyroscope is needed to determine the missile's relative orientation to the ground, that is, up, down and right, left.

Due to the manual nature of the guidance, called MCLOS, where the operator had to first gain control of the missile and bring it into his line of sight with the target, engagements of targets at short range were poor, but beyond 500 meters accuracy was good to excellent for a well trained operator.

(DND Photo)

SS.11B1 mounted on an M113 APC, 4 CMBG, Germany.

(DND Photo)

M113A1CDN, with 2 Nord Aviation SS11B1 missiles in 360o rotating mounts extending above the vehicle.  At least 10 of these vehicles were produced, and served in Europe and Canada from the late 1960s, to the late 1970s.  This vehicle equipped anti-tank companies of 4 CIBG, and later 4 CMBG while headquartered at CFB Lahr.  They were converted back to regular M113A1s following the introduction of the more advanced BGM-71 TOW missile in the Canadian Army, which offered greater performance and accuracy.

(DND Photo)

Nord Aviation SS11B1 missiles being readied by two Canadian soldiers.

(DND Photo)

Nord Aviation SS11B1 missile being fired from an M113A1CDN.


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