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A Matra Type 155 SNEB rocket launcher pod with two red-tipped 68 mm dummy rockets.
Place of originFrance
Service history
Used byFrance, United Kingdom, United States, Lebanon
Production history
ManufacturerThomson-Brandt, Matra
Diameter68 mm (2.7 in) (unfired)

none, or laser
Attack aircraft, helicopters

The SNEB rocket (Societe Nouvelle des Etablissements Edgar Brandt French: New Society of Edgar Brandt Establishments) is an unguided air-to-surface 68 mm (2.7 in) rocket projectile manufactured by the French company TDA Armements, designed for launch by attack aircraft and helicopters. It is also known as the SNEB rocket pod, and sometimes as the Matra rocket, due to it commonly being carried in pod-like launchers built by Matra.

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; it was developed mainly for air-to-air engagements and is no longer in service. The 100mm caliber variant is in service with the French Air Force and a few other air forces. Besides France, several other nations produce the SNEB 68 mm rocket under license. In France today, SNEB has been reorganized into the firm of Thomson-Brandt.


Two Matra Type 155 rocket launchers with 36× SNEB 68 mm rockets

The SNEB rockets can be armed with these warheads:

Laser guidance development[edit]

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[edit]

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

  • Matra Type 116M rocket launcher – This is lightly constructed and used as an expendable rocket launcher pod with a frangible nose cone, loaded with 19 SNEB 68mm rockets which are fired in one rippled 0.5 second salvo with a time interval of 33 milliseconds between each rocket firing. The pod automatically jettisons after all rockets are gone.[1]
  • Matra Type 155 rocket launcher – Widely produced, this is a reusable device made fully of metal with a fluted nose cone through which the rockets fire. Loaded with 18 SNEB 68mm rockets, it can be preprogrammed on the ground to fire individually or in one ripple salvo as the Type 116M.[1]
  • 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.[2]

TDA Armements SAS (a subsidiary of Thales Group)[3] 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 unmanned aerial vehicles and light counter-insurgency aircraft.[4]

The British firm Thomas French & Sons also produced a series of launchers for the SNEB, which were licensed versions of the Matra Type 155.[5] These were later adapted for the Royal Navy's own post-war 2-inch RP rockets which replaced the SNEB due to concerns over the electrical firing system being set off by ship radars.

Used by[edit]


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

Fixed-wing aircraft[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "SNEB rocket launcher pods". Flight Global Archive. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  2. ^ "Multi-mission Lightning". Flight Global Archive. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  3. ^ | 19Dec2018
  4. ^ | 19Dec2018
  5. ^ "Airborne rocket launchers".

External links[edit]