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HOT Long-Range Anti-Tank Missile System




Key Data


HOT anti-tank missile system

The HOT anti-tank missile system mounted on a Pandar vehicle.


HOT is a long-range anti-tank weapon system that can be operated from a vehicle or helicopter. The HOT system first entered service in 1974 and over 85,000 missiles have been ordered by 18 countries. 820 vehicle-mounted systems and 720 firing units for helicopters have been delivered.

HOT was developed by Euromissile for the French and German Armies. Euromissile, originally set up by Aerospatiale-Matra of France and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace of Germany, is now a subsidiary of the EADS company.

The missile is produced by MBDA, formed from the missile system activities of Aerospatiale, Matra BAE Dynamics and Alenia Marconi Systems and jointly owned by EADS, BAE Systems and Finmeccanica.

HOT has been deployed in a number of conflicts: in Iran / Iraq, Lebanon, former Spanish Sahara and in Operation Desert Storm. The HOT 3 missile, with tandem charge warhead and CCD localiser has been in production since 1998.

HOT anti-tank missile

HOT is a tube-launched, wire-guided missile with semi-automatic command-to-line-of-sight (SACLOS) guidance. An infrared localiser measures the angular deviation between the missile and the line-of-sight. The HOT 3 system has a new bispectral CCD localiser, operating at 1 and 10 micron wavelengths, eliminating infrared jamming. The thermal imager is used in parallel for missile guidance.

"HOT is a long-range anti-tank weapon system that can be operated from a vehicle or helicopter."

HOT 3 has a 6.5kg tandem charge warhead which is effective against explosive reactive armour (ERA), penetrating up to 1,300mm. When the missile reaches the target, the forward charge is ejected, which explodes detonating the ERA. After a delay, the main charge then explodes.

HOT 3 is fitted with a new laser proximity fuse. The system is capable of an engagement rate of up to three targets a minute. Range of the missile is from 75m to 4,000m with a flight time of 17.3 seconds at 4,000m. The missile is automatically slaved at about 0.5m above the line-of-sight to avoid obstacles.

HOT anti-tank modular (ATM) system

The HOT ATM (anti-tank modular) system, developed in 1997, is a multirole system for observation and reconnaissance as well as being a weapon system. The ATM consists of three modules: a stabilised, elevated, sensor platform; control system inside the vehicle; and turret with the HOT missiles and cannon or machine gun.

The sensor platform is mast-mounted and retractable when not required in the reconnaissance role. Sensors include a Thales (formerlyThomson-CSF) Optrosys Castor infrared camera, day TV camera, CILAS laser rangefinder and 1-micron infrared localiser. The system performs target detection up to 7,000m, identification and aiming.

The HOT ATM turret is equipped with either two or four HOT 3 missiles and can also be armed with 30mm or 20mm cannon or 12.7mm machine gun.

The ATM has been trialled on the Rheinmetall Landsystemes Wiesel and the Pandur armoured vehicle from General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems (ELCS), formerly Steyr-Daimler-Puch. At firing trials in July 1999, the HOT ATM successfully hit targets, including a stationary main battle tank, a simulated helicopter and a concrete bunker, with HOT 3 missiles, using both the infrared and TV sights.

HOT UTM 800 turret

The HOT UTM 800 turret is mounted on armoured vehicles such as Panhard VCR and GIAT VAB and has four HOT missiles and the Castor thermal imaging sight. It is in service with Qatar, Cyprus and Iraq.

The HOT Mephisto turret is in service with the French Army, mounted on VAB armoured personnel carriers. It is armed with four missiles with eight in reserve. French Army systems are fitted with the Thales Mephira thermal sight and 1 micron localiser.

"HOT is a tube-launched, wire-guided missile with semi-automatic command-to-line-of-sight guidance."

The HOT Lancelot turret is mounted on the Jaguar in service with German Army, and on the General Dynamics ELCS (formerly Mowag) Piranha and AMX-10 vehicles with the Saudi Arabian National Guard.

Helicopter-launched HOT

HOT 3 arms the French and German Armies' Tiger helicopters, which began deliveries in 2005. Firing trials from the Tiger in August 2003 demonstrated engagement of moving and stationary targets from 600m to 4,000m at helicopter speeds of up to 150km/h. It has also been qualified on the South African Rooivalk.

Thales Optronic Systems, in Guyancourt, France, provide the HOT / Viviane day / night sight. The roof-mounted Viviane includes day sight, infrared camera, laser rangefinder and CCD localiser. The stabilised sight and the slaving of the missile launcher in elevation permit firing from hover or in translation at speeds up to 150km/h and evasive manoeuvres at rates up to 6° a second after missile launch. Range of the missile when helicopter-launched is 4,300m.

Anti-Tank Missile Testing Successful HOT ATM test firing at Jagerbruck, Germany in July 1999.
Anti Tank Missile System Images The ATM can be mounted on any vehicle and has been trialled on the Rheinmetall Wiesel and General Dynamics ELCS Pandur armoured vehicles.
Gazelle Combat Helicopter A French army Gazelle attack helicopter firing a HOT missile.
Hot 3 Military Missile System The HOT 3 missile system has been selected by the French and German Armies.
SACLOS Missile Guidance System HOT is a tube-launched, wire-guided missile with semi-automatic command-to-line-of-sight (SACLOS) guidance.
Anti-Tank Modular Weapon The HOT ATM (Anti-Tank Modular) mounted on a Pandar vehicle.
Miliatry Missile System The HOT 3 missile system will be fitted to French and German Tiger helicopters.