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Exocet AM.39 / MM.40

Exocet missiles started in development in 1967, originally as the ship-launched variant MM 38 which entered service in 1975. The air-launched version, AM 39, was developed later starting in 1974 and entering service with the French Navy in 1979. The missile is designed to attack large warships. A block 2 upgrade programme was carried out from the late 1980s until 1993, and introduced an improved digital active radar seeker and upgraded inertial navigation and control electronics.

The Exocet has four clipped delta wings at mid-body and four raked clipped-tip moving delta control fins at the rear. The missile is 4.7 m long, has a body diameter of 350 mm and a wingspan of 1.1 m. The missile weighs 670 kg and has a 165 kg HE shaped charge fragmentation warhead. Guidance in the mid-course phase is inertial, followed by an active radar terminal phase. There is also a radar altimeter to control the sea-skimming trajectory, at around 10.0 m until the terminal phase when, in calm sea conditions, the missile can descend to 3.0 m or so. The solid propellant motor gives Exocet a range of about 50 km, but when released from 10,000 m (32,800 ft) the range achieved was reported to be 70 km.



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