Nord SS.12 wire guided surface to surface missile.
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The AS.12 is an early Cold War era air to ground missile of French origin. A surface launched variant is called SS.12. The design is derived from the earlier SS.11 anti-tank guided missile. The AS.12 is larger and heavier in order to accommodate a larger warhead. Its intended role is to destroy ground targets that require a larger warhead than the shaped charge warhead of the smaller SS.11 anti-tank missile can effectively engage.
The AS.12 is an upscaled model of the the SS.11 anti-tank missile. The AS.12 is wire guided with manual command to line of sight (MCLOS) guidance. The warhead section has a larger diameter than the rest of the body. The AS.12 is powered by a solid fuel rocket motor. Steering is achieved by four movable vanes within the exhaust nozzle.
The air launched AS.12 has a maximum range of up to 8 km. The surface launched model has a range of about 4 km, while the ship launched SS.12M has a range of 5.5 km. All three variants can be fitted with one of three warhead options. The most common model is a semi-armor piercing warhead for use against ships. This penetrates up to 20 mm of steel and has a time delay for exploding within the vessel. A shaped charge HEAT warhead can be used against tanks and concrete bunkers. Infantry and gun emplacements in the open can be engage with a fragmentation warhead.
The AS.12 can be launched from both helicopters and aircraft. Helicopter types that have been fitted with the AS.12 include the Alouette III, Wasp, Wessex, Lynx, Sea King and AB-212ASW. Aircraft armed with the AS.12 are mostly used for maritime patrol. These include the Alizé, Atlantique, P-2 Neptune and Nimrod. Sweden used a land based launcher for using the SS.12 against landing craft. Various patrol vessels produced in France and the UK have been armed with the SS.12M. Most of these patrol vessels were produced for export sales.
The AS.12 was used by Spain, Turkey and Venezuela on the AB-212ASW naval helicopter.
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