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Société Nationale des Constructions Aéronautiques du Nord Aviation

Nord Aviation was a state-owned French aircraft manufacturer dedicated. It was created on 1 October 1954 following the purchase of the Société française d'étude et de matériel aéronautiques construction of spéciaux (SFECMAS) by the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Nord (SNCAN). Paradoxically, the company was based in the heart of France, Bourges Airport, in the department of Cher.

Nord Aviation's forebears included Potez, founded by Henri Potez in 1919, which built the fastest civil airliner of its time, the 150kt (280km/h) Potez 62, used by Air France on European and South American routes. Other companies absorbed into Nord Aviation included Pélabon-Les-Mureaux, CAMS, Latham and Farman, the latter responsible for thousands of fighter and reconnaissance aircraft between 1914 and 1918. Another Nord predecessor, Arsenal de l'Aeronautique developed several record-breaking aircraft after the Second World War, including the ramjet-powered N1500 Griffon which reached 1,255kt (2,320 km/h).

In 1958 the U.S. Army Aviation Board completed testing of the AS.10 Antitank Guided Missile (ATGM) installed on the H-13H Helicopter. It was concluded that the helicopter-mounted SS-10 system was suitable for Army use. It was recommended that it be classified Standard, Modernization Code B (STD-B), that certain deficiencies be corrected prior to procurement, and that organization and basis of issue be determined by tho U.S. Army Aviation School. Subsequent to the service test the Aviation School conducted troop tests of the system at Ft. RucYer, Ala., Ft. Benning, Ga. and Ft. Knox, Ky. Procurement action on the helicopter-mounted SS-10 system was held in abteyance until the completion of the service test of the helicopter-maited system.

Information availible on the SS-ll system indicated that it had the following advantages over the SS-10 system when considered as a helicopter-mounted systems: (a) In production and in operational use on both rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft in other countries. (b) Maximm range of approximately 3200 meters compared to the 1500-meter umximam range of the SS10. (c) Maximom velocity of 425 m.p.h. compared to 179 m.p.h. for the SS-10 which would mean a reduction of the exposure time for the helicopter.

The ENTAC (ENgin Teleguided Anti-Char*) was a solid propellant, wire-guided missile for use against enemy tanks, armored combat vehicles, and certain defensive installations, such as bunkers and enemy emplacements. Developed by the French Government and produced by Nord Aviation of Paris, France, the ENTAC was especially suitable for use by the infantry since it weighed 37.5 pounds complete with its launcher. The missile was armed with a high explosive shaped charge warhead designed for maximum effectiveness against medium armored vehicles. After firing it from a simple box-like launcher, the infantryman optically tracked the missile, directing it to the target by maneuvering a swivel stick on a control device to give correction command. The commands were transmitted through fine wires played out from the missile as it sped to its target. The ENTAC had a range of 400 to 2,000 meters.

In 1961, the U.S. Army decided to buy the ENTAC to replace another French-built missile, the SS-10. The Missile Command had responsibility for procurement, testing, evaluation, and management of the U.S. ENTAC program. Used by American troops in Vietnam, the ENTAC remained in the U.S. Army inventory until 21 April 1969 when it was declared obsolete. It was replaced by the TOW missile system. By 1969 serious problems were encountered by NORD in their development of a ducted fan VTOL research aircraft, N500. A serious financial shortage must be resolved if the program is to continue into the VTOL flight phase.

In 1970, Nord Aviation merged with Sud Aviation to create the Société Nationale d'Industrie Aérospatiale (SNIAS), later renamed Aérospatiale and integrated since 2000 in the European aerospace corporation EADS.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:57:36 ZULU