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Roland
Xmim-115a-1.jpg
Type Surface to air missile
Production history
Manufacturer Euromissile
Specifications
Weight 67 kg
Length 2.40 m
Diameter 16 cm

Warhead 6.5 kg (14.3 lb) pre-fragmented high-explosive

Engine Dual-thrust solid-fueled rocket:
  • Booster: "Roubaix" rocket, 15.3 kN for 1.7 s
  • Sustainer: "Lampyre" rocket, 1.96 kN for 13.2 s
Wingspan 50 cm
Operational
range
8000 m
Flight altitude 5500 m
Speed Mach 1.6
Guidance
system
tracking radar

The Roland is a Franco-German mobile short-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. The Roland was also purchased by the U.S. Army as one of a very few foreign SAM systems.

Contents

Versions

Four different versions of Roland have been produced so far:

  1. Roland 1 - manual optical tracking and guidance, entered service 1977
  2. Roland 2 - full automatic tracking and guidance with radar, 1981
  3. Roland 3 - extended range, enlarged warhead, 1988
  4. Roland VT1 - hypervelocity missile

Current systems are capable of launching Roland 2, 3 or VT1 missiles.

Carriers

The Roland system has been installed on a variety of platforms, amongst them:

tracked
wheeled

An airliftable shelter named Roland CAROL has also been developed, which is a 7.8t container that can be deployed on the ground to protect fixed assets like airfields or depots or fitted on a truck.

Users

Roland is currently in service with the defence forces of France, Argentina, Nigeria, Qatar, Slovenia (9 Roland IIs), Spain, and Venezuela. It is no longer in service in Brazil, Germany (The German Army will replace Roland with the new and much more capable development: LFK NG), the USA[1] or Iraq.

The Marder-Roland units bought by the Brazilian Army in the late 70´s were retired in 2001 and are now on display at Museu Militar Conde de Linhares in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

On 1 June 1982, during the Falklands War, Sea Harrier nº XZ456 was shot down south of Stanley by an Argentine unit deployed in that area.[2] The launcher, one of four examples delivered to Argentina captured in fairly intact condition by the British around Port Stanley after the surrender. It was taken back to Britain as a valuable prize and studied in detail. It is believed that an Iraqi Roland missile succeeded in shooting down an American A-10 Thunderbolt II at the beginning of the Iraq War, during the battle of Baghdad.[3]

Rolandgate

In October 2003, controversy erupted between Poland and France when Polish forces from the Multinational force in Iraq found French Roland surface-to-air missiles. Polish and international press reported that Polish officers claimed these missiles had been manufactured in 2003. France pointed out that the latest Roland missiles were manufactured in the early 1990s and thus the manufacturing date was necessarily an error (it turned out it was probably the expiry date that was indicated), and affirmed that it had never sold weapons to Iraq in violation of the embargo. Investigations by the Polish authorities came to the conclusion that the persons responsible for the scandal were low level commanders, Wojskowe Służby Informacyjne the Polish Army's intelligence had not verified their claims before they were leaked to the press. Poland apologized to France for the scandal, but these allegations against France worsened the already somewhat strained relationships between the two countries. The entire incident was called sarcasticly "Rolandgate" by the Polish media, using the unofficial naming conventions of US political scandals after Watergate.

Operators

 Argentina
 Brazil
 France
 Germany (phased out, will be replaced by LFK NG)
 Iraq
 Nigeria
 Qatar
 Slovenia
 Spain
 United States - formerly used by the U.S. Army
 Venezuela

References

  1. ^ Designation Systems
  2. ^ Smith, Gordon: Battle Atlas of the Falklands War 1982. Lulu.com, 2006, page 97. ISBN 1847539505. (Spanish)
  3. ^ Washington Times - French connection armed Saddam

See also

External links

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