In 1986 the contract on creation of aviation variant of rocket "Mistral", for use on helicopters has been concluded. This version was originally named HATCP (Helicoptere-Air Tres Courtre Portee), but later was renamed to ATAM (Air-to-Air Mistral).
The first ATAM rockets were launched from the Gazelle helicopter in 1990.
ATAM missiles can be used with helicopters SA 342M Gazelle, Dauphin Panther, A129 Mangusta, Ecureuil/Fennec, AH-64 Apache, Eurocopter Tiger.
It is in service with the Air Forces of France and South Korea.
The missile is equipped with an infrared homing head (HID), similar to the head of the "Magic-2" missile. But the ATAM CNS has a high sensitivity, which allows you to detect targets with low infrared signals, such as helicopters at a distance of up to four kilometers. SOS is located under a transparent hexagonal pyramidal fairing, and is equipped with a digital processor that provides target selection against the background of the ground and the enemy's use of heat traps.
Immediately behind the CNS compartment there are four rectangular steering planes, and in the tail section there are four stabilizers. Stabilizers and rudders are opened after the missile leaves the TIC.
The disposable transport and launch container weighs 3 kilograms. The container has folding flaps to avoid damage to the CNS during launch.
The ATAM is equipped with a shrapnel-flag warhead with tungsten balls as striking elements. The fuse is laser and contact, protected from triggering by trees and water surface.
The rocket engine is two-stage solid propellant with six nozzles, providing a stabilizing rotation at 10 revolutions per second. Later models of engines have a profiled nozzle to achieve the same effect. The launch engine is launched inside the TIC and accelerates the rocket to a speed of 40 m/s. At a distance of 15 meters from the launch helicopter launched a marching engine, accelerating the rocket to a speed of 800 m / s (2.5 M). The engine casing is made of Kevlar, similar to the engine rocket Super 530F.
The missile has two application modes:
- Stand-alone - the sighting is provided by a simple collimator sight, and will provide firing along the longitudinal axis of the helicopter.
- Integrated - sighting is carried out with the help of gyrostabilized sight, and allows shooting at targets located at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the helicopter.
ATAM can receive target designation from Thomson-CSF helmet system, cabin mounted sights or SFIM APX M334 anti-tank system of HOT anti-tank system.
Coolant balloon and power supply units are located on a standard NATO 356-mm dual suspension system.
|Start range maximum,km||5|
|Maximum target height, m||3000|
|Flight Speed maximum, m/s||800 (М=2.5)|
|The length of the rocket, mm||1800|
|Maximum rocket body diameter, mm||90|
|Start weight, kg||18|
|Weight of combat unit, kg||3|
The main elements of the ATACMS system were tested mainly at the White-Sands test site. The system received its baptism of fire in the desert storm. The ATACMS was used to destroy Iraqi army air defense batteries and communications hubs. During the operation, about 200 trucks and equipment were destroyed. The combat effectiveness of these systems has been quite high.