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Mupsow (MUlti-Purpose, Stand-Off Weapon)

South African aerospace and defence company Denel developed Mupsow as a multi-purpose, surgical-strike weapon, designed to neutralize enemy targets such as airfields, bunkers and command-and-control centres at stand-off ranges. Pinpoint accuracy is achieved through an advanced navigation and terminal guidance system. The range for the Mupsow was 125 miles launched from Mirage III or V aircraft. The body was made from composite materials. The power plant used compact turbojet engine.

MUPSOW cruise missile was developed by the South African Kentron starting in 1991 and flight tests were conducted in 1997. The development program was first reported in 1993, and a follow-on design was announced in 1995. South Africa never inducted Mupsow as it was meant fo the export market, and South Africa was cash strapped to buy it for its forces since they did not have any major immediate threat.

Denel Dynamics successfully flight tested a 200km-range MUPSOW in 2002. MUPSOW was originally listed as having a range of 300km+ (some believe it was more), before magically shrinking down to around 150km, for clear MTCR reasons [the Missile Technology Control Regime limits the export of missiles with ranges over 300 km].

Denel displayed its Torgos [the acronym meaning is unknown] long-range stand-off precision guided munition for the first time in November 1999. Torgos was designed as a smaller and lighter version to be carried on JAS-39 Gripen, Mirage 2000 and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. Denel's Kentron division developed the 300km (160nm)-range Torgos from its multipurpose stand-off Weapon (MUPSOW) technology demonstrator program. MUPSOW was designed as a long-range sub-munition dispensing system, while the Torgos would be fitted with a penetrating warhead, although fragmentation warheads and dispenser systems could be developed. Torgos had systems common to MUPSOW, including its turbojet engine, flight control and guidance. The composite fuselage, low radar cross section, technology is also borrowed from MUPSOW. It weighed 980kg (2,165lb), with a 450-500kg warhead, depending on the application. The Kentron Kenis third-generation, 3-5 micron imaging infra red camera was s the basis of the seeker, optimised for hot and humid conditions.

Torgos was a long-range, precision-guided strike missile, designed to neutralise enemy targets such as hardened aircraft shelters, bunkers and command-and-control centres at extended stand-off ranges. With a range of 300km, pinpoint accuracy was achieved by using advanced navigation and autonomous terminal-guidance technology. It would use GPS-INS midcourse guidance, but also has thermal imaging terminal seeker that can operate autonomously, or allow remote control over a data link. The weapon was derived from the MUPSOW subsystems program. Serious budget cuts in 2006 for the South African Air Force prevented further investment in either the MUPSOW or Torgos missiles. Denel said that without a confirmed buyer the weapons are too expensive to develop.

Pictures of TORGOS depict a missile with a boxy fuselage that appeared to be about five meters long, with twin canard fins at the top of the fuselage towards the forward end, long cruciform tailfins, an underslung jet intake, and a window for the thermal imaging seeker in the nose. Kentron said the weapon will have hard-target attack capability, but whether this meant there will be different versions or that it would have a combined-effects warhead was unclear. MUPSOW appeared similar to TORGOS, but didn't have the nose window, the tail fin assembly was more cluttered, and the jet air intakes appeared to be on the sides of the fuselage.

South Africa and Pakistan established full diplomatic relations in April 1994. South Africa's first High Commissioner took up office in Islamabad in July 1995. Pakistan established a High Commission in Pretoria in December 1993. There is much that South Africa and Pakistan can learn from each other's experiences as the two countries have a great deal in common. The 2002 the National Conventional Arms Control Committee was estalibhsed to ensure compliance with the policy of the Government in respect of arms control; to ensure the implementation of a legitimate, effective and transparent control process; and to foster national and international confidence in the control procedures.

South Africa sold arms to Pakistan, India, Rwanda and Zimbabwe in the two years 2000-2001, according to the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), in a report released in August 202 by the government, prompting warnings that it is breaking its own rules on arms sales and putting peace initiatives at risk. The report showed that the local arms industry, the biggest in Africa, delivered “major sensitive significant” weapons — which range from missiles to attack helicopters — to Pakistan and India in 2000 and 2001.

Torgos was offered in 1999 for co-development, as it neeeded further testing. Turkey and Pakistan showed interes in the transfer of technology. Turkey developed their SOM from the data and design information obtained from Kentron. Pakistan developed the design into the Ra'ad missile.

Starting weight 1100 kg
warhead weight 400-450 kg, 882 lb
warhead type
  • concrete-piercing, or
  • Unitary high-explosive, or
  • Anti-runway submunitions, or
  • Bunker penetration
  • length 4.92 m, 16.14 ft,
    wing span 1.93 m, 6.23 ft
    launch range 150-300 km [150 km = 90 miles]
    guidance system inertial + TV + thermal + active radar
    Unit cost $750,000

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    Page last modified: 14-04-2016 20:04:33 ZULU