TRIGAT LR is a third-generation, high-precision, fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile with multi-role capability for long-range applications. The missile is also known as PARS 3 (panzerabwehr rakensystem 3) in Germany and AC 3G (antichar de 3e generation) in France.
The missile is the primary armament of the Eurocopter Tiger helicopter developed for the French and German armies.
The TRIGAT LR missile is manufactured by PARSys, a joint venture of Diehl BGT Defence (50%) and LFK/MBDA Deutschland (50%).
TRIGAT LR anti-armour missile development
Development of TRIGAT commenced under a European programme involving France, Germany, and the UK.
A memorandum of understanding was agreed upon by the governments of the three countries in 1988 to cover the development of TRIGAT MR and LR. Germany and the UK were responsible for the development of the long-range TRIGAT LR, although the UK had no plans for procurement of the missile. Belgium and the Netherlands joined as associate members of the group in 1989.
In July 2000, the UK decided to withdraw from the TRIGAT MR programme, followed in September by the Netherlands. In 2001, the UK and France withdrew from the TRIGAT LR programme.
PARS 3 LR anti-tank missile
Germany completed the development of the anti-tank missile and placed a production contract for the missile in June 2006. 680 PARS 3 LR missiles were delivered by 2014 for the German Army Tiger UHT helicopter.
The missile and firing post electronics have successfully completed qualification and in December 2002, the system began troop trials.
A series of air-launched test firings from a Panther test helicopter was concluded in May 2003. The missile completed development in 2004. The TRIGAT LR was successfully tested for the first time in April 2011. Final test firing from the Tiger helicopter was successfully completed in September 2012 clearing the way for full-scale production of the missile. The missile system was tested and passed in 2013. The missile is installed on the Tiger UHT/HAC helicopter which was manufactured for France (ten HAC) and Germany (80 UHT), and the Tiger HAD helicopter ordered by Spain.
TRIGAT LR air launched missile
The requirement for the long-range TRIGAT LR missile was identified as a replacement for Euromissile’s HOT missile first produced in 1978, the BGM-71 TOW missile from Raytheon first produced in 1970 and the Swingfire missile from MBDA (Matra BAe Dynamics, UK) first produced in 1967.
TRIGAT LR is an autonomous fire-and-forget missile, unlike the medium range version in which the laser beam must be directed onto the target until impact. The long-range TRIGAT is a ground vehicle or helicopter launched. The system uses passive infrared CCD sensors in the mast-mounted sight and in the missile.
The Osiris mast-mounted sight for a helicopter is produced by SAGEM (formerly SFIM Industries) and was designed for both HOT and TRIGAT missiles. The Osiris electro-optical acquisition system provides passive detection, recognition, and identification of the target. The mast-mounted sight is equipped with an IR CCD thermal imager and a CCD television camera on a gyro-stabilised platform.
Positive target identification (man-in-the-loop) is used. The gunner selects the target on a display screen and the target is locked-on before launch using highly automated fire control. The system’s infrared electro-optic sight provides day and night capability, as well as all-weather operation.
Both long-range and medium-range TRIGAT use thrust vector control for high agility in flight and precision targeting. The operating range is specified as 500m to 5,000m, but the range is extendible to 7,000m. Salvo firing provides a firing rate of up to four missiles in eight seconds.
TRIGAT LR can be applied in direct attack or terminal dive modes. The system is equipped with a tandem shaped charge warhead for high lethality against modern reactive armour. A proximity charge detonates at an optimum distance from the target.
The TRIGAT LR missile measures approximately 1,500cm-long and weighs 49kg while its body diameter is 15cm.