10 Facts About Exocet


Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

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The Exocet saw its first wartime launch during the Falklands War.

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The sea-launched MM38 entered service in 1975, whilst the air-launched AM39 Exocet began development in 1974 and entered service with the French Navy five years later in 1979.

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Chief competitors to the Exocet are the US-made Harpoon, the Italian Otomat, the Swedish RBS15 and the Chinese Yingji series.

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On 4 May 1982, Sheffield was at defence watches the southernmost of three Type 42 destroyers when she was hit by one of two AM39 air-launched Exocet missiles fired by Argentine Super Etendard strike fighters.

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Two Exocet missiles had been fired at a frigate, but had been confused by its defences and re-targeted the Atlantic Conveyor.

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Two of the attacking Skyhawks were shot down: one by a Sea Dart missile fired by HMS Exeter, and while the fate of the Exocet has never been established beyond doubt, the crew of HMS Avenger claimed that their 4.

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On 12 June 1982 an MM38 Exocet missile was fired from an improvised shore-based launcher as she was steaming at about 20 knots 18 nautical miles offshore.

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The incoming Exocet missile was spotted on Glamorgan and a turn was ordered to present the stern to the missile.

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France denied deliveries of Exocet AM39s purchased by Peru to avoid the possibility that Peru might supply them to Argentina because they knew that payment would be made with credit from the Central Bank of Peru.

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