Crotale is another air defense system that will soon protect Ukrainian skies. The transfer of these SAMs was announced by French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu. Crotale’s main targets are air targets at medium, low, and extremely low altitudes, i.e. primarily UAVs that terrorize Ukrainian cities.

The head of the French defense ministry hopes that Ukraine will be able to deploy these SAMs within two months, including the training time of the Ukrainian military. The exact number of SAMs that will be provided is not specified, but according to information of French mass media it is about 3-4 systems. Currently, France has 12 Crotale NG air defense systems of the latest modification in service.


In addition, Sébastien Lecornu said that France has established a fund of 100 million euros, which the Ukrainian government will be able to use for the purchase of equipment, provided that France becomes its supplier.

Crotale air defense systems (from the French literally “rattlesnake”) were developed by Thomson CSF Matra (now Thales Group) in the early 1960s for the South African army. In France, these complexes are used both on ships of the fleet and on ground self-propelled platforms.

Crotale NG is a 1990 upgrade. This version received a new VT-1 missile, which has a speed of up to Mach 3.5, a flight range of up to 11 km, a ceiling of 6 km and is equipped with a warhead weighing 13 kg. In addition, the air defense system received a new S-band pulsed Doppler radar (range up to 20 km), a Ku-band tracking radar (up to 30 km), a thermal imaging camera (up to 19 km) and a day camera (15 km).


In 2008, these systems received the Crotale Mk.3 upgrade with missiles with an increased range (up to 16 km) and height (up to 9 km) of interception.

Crotale systems are based on a P4R armored wheeled chassis (4×4), equipped with 4 launch containers, or on a towed chassis (6×6) with 8 launch containers and require 5 minutes to transfer from the base to the combat position. Each complex is served by only two people – a driver and an operator.

It seems that the Armed Forces will gather a real zoo of various air defense systems of different manufacturers and countries. But we’ll take what they give. The Armed Forces will put this zoo in order after the victory.

Specifications of the Crotale air defense system
Firing range – 500-11,000 m (VT-1) or 500-16,000 m (Mk3)
Flight ceiling – up to 6,000 m (VT-1) or up to 9,000 m (Mk3)
Number of rockets per launch unit – 4-8 pcs.
Reaction time – 5 seconds
Maximum speed – 3.5 M
Length – 2890 mm
Diameter – 150 mm
Mass – 80 kg
Warhead – fragmentation, forward-directed
Warhead weight – 15 kg
Guidance system: automatic command to line of sight