TRIGAT is a third-generation anti-tank missile, being developed in two variations, TRIGAT-MR for medium range applications and TRIGAT-LR for long range applications. The missile is also known as PARS-3 (Panzerabewehr Rakensystem 3) in Germany and AC 3G (AntiChar de 3e Generation) in France.
TRIGAT began as a European programme involving France, Germany and the UK A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was agreed by the governments of the three countries in 1988 to cover the development of TRIGAT. Belgium and the Netherlands joined as associate members of the group in 1989. Trials of TRIGAT MR were completed in July 1998. France, Germany and the UK had signed an MoU for the serial production of TRIGAT MR, but in July 2000, the UK decided to withdraw from the programme, followed in September by the Netherlands.
The missiles were being developed by the Euromissile Dynamics Group, a consortium of the EADS company (formerly Aerospatiale Matra of France and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace of Germany) and Matra BAe Dynamics of UK. The missile system activities of Aerospatiale Matra have been merged with Matra BAE Dynamics and Alenia Marconi Systems to form MBDA. The programme was to be managed by OCCAR, the armaments co-operation organisation formed by UK, France, Germany and Italy in 1996. The missile was expected to enter service in 2002.
The British Army is to evaluate the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin and the Rafael Gill/Spike missiles for its Light Forces anti-tank weapon system requirement.
EADS (Aerospatiale-Matra) has submitted a proposal to the French and German Ministries of Defence for Trigan, which would be a modified version of Trigat-MR mounted on a MILAN 3 launcher. Trigan can fire the MILAN missile during training and the Trigat-MR missile in combat. The Trigan system uses wire guidance, but a fibre-optic system may be developed. The French Army would retain the MILAN 3 Mira thermal imaging night sight. Aerospatiale Matra states that Trigan could be ready for procurement by 2004.
TRIGAT MR MISSILE
The requirement for medium range TRIGAT was identified as a replacement for the MILAN missile, which was first produced in 1973 by Euromissile. The system is portable and the entire system, including a second munition, can be carried by two people.
The guidance system for TRIGAT MR uses a laser beam-riding system, developed by BAE Systems and Zeiss Optronics. The laser beam is aimed at the target and the missile is launched. The seeker in the missile acquires the laser beam and guides the missile to the target. The target must therefore be in line-of-sight and the laser must remain on target until impact. The laser beam is coded for protection against countermeasures. The thermal imaging sight employs infrared charge-coupled (IRCCD) detectors, giving day and night capability.
The target range is from 200m with target crossing speed up to 60km/h, to 2,400m with target crossing speed up to 150km/h, with minimum target cross section 1m x 1m. Guidance by thrust vector control is achieved by applying propulsive force near the missile’s centre of gravity. Thrust vector control gives TRIGAT MR a performance advantage particularly for urban environments, because it provides high manoeuvrability against short range agile targets and allows a low missile launch velocity of less than 20m/s. The low launch velocity eliminates problems of back blast and gas efflux and helps to avoid detection by the enemy. The tail fins are hinged and have a curved surface, which results in the missile spinning in flight for aerodynamic stabilisation. The dimensions of TRIGAT MR are approximately length 100cm x body diameter 10cm.
TRIGAT MR is equipped with a double shaped charge warhead for successful strike against composite, spaced, layered active and add-on reactive armour protection. The warhead is detonated with a proximity fuse. The time from the decision to fire to launch is less than 1s. The missile reloading time is given as 5s and maximum firing rate is 3 firings per minute.