It uses a sealed round, a solid propellant booster rocket to launch the missile out of its canister to an initial height, so that the wings and control surfaces can unfold, and a more fuel economic turbojet cruise engine kicks in to propel the missile.
The missile can be programmed to follow a preset course, using GPS or inertial guidance. An infrared seeker can be used to automatically pick a target and for the terminal guidance phase, but it is also possible to transfer the thermal images back to the launching platform via a 200 MBit/s data link provided by an optical fibre, and manually select the target.
The Polyphem program as a whole was cancelled in 2003.
The system is roughly comparable to the Serbian ALAS missile.
- Speed: 120—180 m/s (around 430—650 km/h)
- Range: up to 60 km
- Altitude: 20 to 600 m above ground (variable)
- Missile mass: around 130 kg
- Length: 2.70 m
- Warhead: up to 20 kg
- MGM-157 EFOGM
- XM501 Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System
- Type 96 Multi-Purpose Missile System