Mokopa

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Mokopa
Mokopa SAL.jpg
Mokopa laser guided anti-tank missile
Type Air-to-surface
Place of origin South Africa
Production history
Manufacturer Denel Dynamics
Produced 1996–present
Specifications
Weight 49.8 kg[1]
Length 1.995 m (6.55 ft)
Diameter 17.8 cm (7.0 in)
Warhead Tandem High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) Capable of penetrating > 1350 mm RHA;
Blast Fragmentation

Engine Solid-fuel rocket
Operational
range
10,000m
Guidance
system
Semi-active laser homing
millimeter wave radar seeker
Launch
platform
Helicopter or fixed wing aircraft, vehicles or boats and ships

The Mokopa is a South African air-to-ground missile, designed primarily for use as an anti-tank weapon. It is currently in its final stages of development, and is being integrated onto the South African Air Force's Rooivalk attack helicopters. The missile is produced by Denel Dynamics, formerly Kentron. 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.[1]

All variants of the Mokopa 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.

Development[edit]

Full scale development of the Mokopa began in November 1996, due to the ongoing United States arms embargo against South Africa making acquisition of the AGM-114 Hellfire impossible.[2] The first air-launched tests from a Rooivalk helicopter took place in 1999, with the first guided tests following in 2000. As of 2005 the missile's development is virtually complete, and the first batches are currently being delivered to the SA Air Force's Rooivalk squadron. However, due to budgetary constraints the South African Air Force has decided to stop the integration of the weapon onto the Rooivalk until an unspecified date.[1]

Launch vehicles and platforms[edit]

Though primarily designed to be launched from a helicopter, the Mokopa has been tested on a variety of platforms, including its mounting on light armoured vehicles and on ships or small boats. For the latter purpose, the Mokopa is available with an anti-ship warhead. [2]

Warhead[edit]

The Mokopa uses a powerful tandem shaped-charge, high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, capable of penetrating over 1,350 mm (almost 4½ ft) of Rolled homogeneous armour (RHA), and also effective against Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA). This means the Mokopa is able to counter any current vehicle armour threats.[3]

An anti-ship warhead is also available for customers who wish to use the Mokopa as a ship-board defence weapon, or as the armament of specialised ship-board helicopters.

Performance[edit]

The missile is considered to be very accurate, with an accuracy believed to match that of the company's other anti-tank missile, the Ingwe, at around 300 mm CEP at maximum range.[2]

It also has a long range for an anti-tank missile; at 10 km (6.2 mi) it is greater than that of most current competitors, including the Hellfire. The range is achieved due to an advanced solid-fuel composite rocket motor (developed by Somchem), which has a relatively slow burning rate compared to similar motors, as well as being essentially smokeless.

Potential Operators[edit]

See also[edit]

Comparable missiles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Unofficial South African Air Force Website". Saairforce.co.za. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  2. ^ a b c "Denel’s Mokopa PGM ready for market". defenceWeb. 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  3. ^ "Denel Dynamics showcases a full range of its tactical missile products at IDEX 2013 2102131 - Army Recognition". Armyrecognition.com. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  4. ^ Hoyle, Craig (14 Oct 2014). "New Algerian Super Lynx nears delivery". Flightglobal. Flightglobal. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 

External links[edit]