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MALAFACE (MArine LAtécoère surFACE)

At the end of World War II, the famous Latécoère company was in pretty bad shape, without any substantial order for planes or seaplanes. So, like many companies in France, it started working in 1948 in the new field of unmanned vehicles, in particular on a short range air-to-air missile, the Latécoère 240 for the protection of seaplanes. In early 1951, it then undertook a preliminary study for the Latécoère 258D (D for défensif), carrying a bomb on a range of up to 30 km, at a cruising speed of 240 m/s (860 km/h).

At that time, the French Navy was developing an ambitious program of guided weapons, to become the main equipment of its future ships. Latécoère thus was entrusted with three tasks within this program:

  1. MASALCA - a ramjet-powered surface-to-air missile
  2. MALAFON - a rocket-boosted flying torpedo for anti-submarine warfare
  3. MALAFACE - a rocket-powered surface-to-surface missile

The MALAFACE (MArine LAtécoère surFACE) was based on technical requirements expressed in 1953 by Marine, and development continued until the final flights in 1958. In 1956, three versions of the MALAFACE were considered by the Navy to temporarily equip its vessels between 1963 and 1970: the first one for anti-ship duties, the second one against ground targets and the third one for anti-submarine warfare. Actually, only ten MALAFACE, of the first version, were built and flown, some of them up to three times. The second variant never flew and the third one evolved into the MALAFON.

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Page last modified: 14-05-2013 19:27:10 ZULU