The SS.11 (SS = French: sol-sol or surface to surface) is a manual command to line of sight (MCLOS) wire-guided anti-tank missile developed by French aviation manufacture Nord Aviation. Developed in the early 1950s, the SS.11 began production in 1956 and was fielded to the French military. Initially launched from ground vehicles, the French found success in launching these surface-to-surface missiles from fixed-wing aircraft during the Algerian war (1958-1662) in an air-to-ground application. The French went further to adapt this missile to also be fired from a helicopter platform. The Alouette II was the first helicopter outfitted with the SS.11 and was instantly successful at exploiting this weapon. The Alouette had the ability to work its way to a target which could not be duplicated with fixed-wing aircraft and became a force multiplier with much success in so that when Alouette III helicopters began production, they were already configured to accept the SS.11 as one of the many armaments available for use.
Being classified as an MCLOS, the SS.11 is not a fire-and-forget type missile which will home into a target on its own, on the other hand, it requires a missile operator to "fly" the missile to its target. The missile is connected to the firing vehicle throughout its flight by a series of very thin wires. Communications conducted through the wires allowed the missile operator to guide the flying missile to its target allowing some movement around barriers and obstacles if needed. If the target was outside of the range of the total length of wires, the wires would disconnect and the missile would become an unguided rocket until it either hit its target or crashed into another object or ran out of fuel and crashed.
Vehicles equipped with this weapon
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Comparison with analogues
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Usage in battles
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Pros and cons
- Wire-guided, allows the operator to guide the missile to the target even potentially "hidden" targets
- Limited length of wire, can disconnect and become uncontrollable
- Difficult to use in close, best for targets 500 m away or more
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- AGM-22 - American version of SS.11 MCLOS
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