Polyphem (missile)

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Polyphem-S missile

The Polyphem was a proposed light-weight fibre-optic wire-guided surface-to-surface missile with a range of 60 km.

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 was started in 1994 by Germany, France and Italy. Italy later left the project.

A naval version, called Polyphem-S, was initially selected for the Braunschweig class corvette as anti-ship and land-attack missile, but that has been cancelled.

The Polyphem program as a whole was cancelled in 2003.[1]

Polyphem is the German Name of Polyphemus, the cyclops in the Odyssey that got his eye stabbed out by Ulysses.

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Annual Report and Reference Document 2003 - EADS