ZT3 Ingwe

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ZT3 Ingwe
Ingwe ATGM.jpg
An Ingwe with control fins extended
TypeAnti-tank guided missile
Place of originSouth Africa
Service history
In service1987–present
Used bySee Users
WarsSouth African Border War
Production history
DesignerDenel Dynamics
ManufacturerDenel Dynamics
Produced1987 – present
VariantsZT3, ZT3A2
Mass28.5 kilograms (63 lb)
Length1,750 millimetres (69 in)
Diameter127 millimetres (5.0 in)

WarheadTandem-charge HEAT warhead, Multi-Purpose Penetrator (MPP) warhead

250 m – 5,000 metres (3.1 mi)
Speed0.200 kilometres per second (450 mph)
Laser beam riding

The ZT3 Ingwe (Leopard) is a modern South African multi-role laser beam riding anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) manufactured by Denel Dynamics (formerly Kentron).

Design and development[edit]

The ZT3 and its launch system was developed under the codename "Project Raleigh" in the 1980s as a "long-range indigenous antitank guided missile". The missile was developed to provide the South African Army's mechanized infantry vehicles, such as the Ratel IFV, with anti-tank capabilities and to supplement the ageing MILAN missile system that was in service at the time. Pre-production models, mounted in a triple launcher on top of a Ratel IFV, saw service in Operation Moduler during the South African Border War with good effect.[1]

Ratel IFV with Ingwe launcher on top and missile in front (on ground).

In the years since, Denel Dynamics have continually upgraded the system to improve its range, accuracy, reliability and warhead effectiveness. In May 2010, Denel Dynamics and Rheinmetall Denel Munitions were working on a new series of multi-purpose warheads for the missile system. Denel stated that due to changing trends in warfare in recent years, customers required a "generic precision land-attack missile" that can be used against a variety of targets such as buildings and bunkers.

Denel is also developing the missile system for use on the Badger Infantry Fighting Vehicle that will enter service with the South African Army as part of Project Hoefyster. The company has also collaborated with the French-South African company, ATE, to integrate the missile system for use on helicopter platforms such as the Eurocopter EC635, the MI-24 Mk III Super Hind and Eurocopter Fennec for use in various Air Forces around the world. Several missile systems in use with the South African Army were also modernised in 2005 as part of Project Adrift.[2]

In February 2013, Denel unveiled a new version of the system at the International Defence Exhibition held in Abu Dhabi. The new system, called the Portable Launch System (IPLS), is a portable, light-weight launch system that comprises a new missile launch unit designed for use on light vehicle mounts or tripods. It can fire both HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) and Multi-Purpose Penetrator versions of the Ingwe.[3]

The system consists of a laser projection unit and guidance and control units. The system uses a laser beam riding missile that automatically determines its own position in the laser beam and manoeuvres onto its Line-of-sight (LOS). The sighting system varies from a non-stabilised optic system for light vehicles to a stabilised day/night system on helicopter launch systems. Automatic targeting modules can also be added to the missile system that can be added to ensure fully automatic post-lock on missile guidance by the operator. The missile can engage targets at ranges from 250 m to 5,000 metres (3.1 mi). It employs a tandem warhead to defeat up to 1,000 millimetres (39 in) of armour.[1] The missile is also designed to be stealthy (virtually hard to detect) and highly resistant to countermeasures.[3]

As of 2009, the ZT-3 was estimated to cost approximately $39,900.[4]

Launch platforms[edit]

Mi-24 Super Hind with Ingwe Missiles.

Denel states that the Ingwe missile can be integrated on a wide variety of launch platforms, from Infantry-crewed stationary launchers to Helicopter-based launchers. The missile is known to be integrated for use on the following platforms:


Map with ZT3 operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

Operational history[edit]

The weapon was first used on 10 September 1987 when a pre-production Ratel ZT3 destroyed several T-55 tanks at the Lomba River in Angola.[7]

See also[edit]

Missiles of comparable design
Missiles of comparable role


  1. ^ a b Engelbrecht, Leon. "Fact file: Denel ZT3 Ingwe precision guided missile". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  2. ^ Engelbrecht, Leon. "Ingwe goes multi-purpose". Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Latest Ingwe missile debuts at IDEX". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  4. ^ https://www.forecastinternational.com/samples/F656_CompleteSample.pdf
  5. ^ a b "Denel inks R3.5 billion deal with Malaysia". defenceweb.co.za. defenceweb. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "SIPRI Arms Transfers Database". SIPRI. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  7. ^ Helmoed-Romer Heitman, Paul Hannon (1991). Modern African Wars: South-West Africa. Osprey. ISBN 978-1-85532-122-9. Retrieved 12 May 2008.

External links[edit]