The SNEB rocket (French: Societe Nouvelle des Etablissements Edgar Brandt) is an unguided air-to-ground 68 mm (2.7 in) rocket projectile (RP) manufactured by the French company TDA Armements, designed for launch by combat aircraft and helicopters. Two other rockets were developed in the 37 mm (1.5 in) and 100 mm (3.9 in) caliber. The 37mm caliber was one of the earliest folding fin free flight rockets developed after World War II and was developed mainly for air-to-air engagements and is no longer in service. The 100mm caliber is in service with the French Air Force and a few other air forces. The 68mm caliber is by far the most popular in use today in both the time span of service and numbers produced, even out pacing the Russian 57mm air-to-ground rocket. This armament is commonly referred to in both military and civilian publications as the "SNEB rocket pod". Besides France, several other nations produce the SNEB 68mm rocket under license. In France today, SNEB has been reorganized into the firm of Thomas-Brandt.
The caliber of 68 mm was preferred by the French over other international designs of 57 mm, 70 mm, or 80 mm. The SNEB rocket projectile is propelled by a single rocket motor, and, depending on the warhead loadout on the launchers, it can be used against armoured fighting vehicles, bunkers, or soft targets.
The SNEB rocket projectiles can be armed with the following warheads:High explosive (HE)
High explosive anti-tank warhead (HEAT)
The Systeme de Roquette A Corrections de Trajectoire (SYROCOT) is a program where a laser-guided seeker is incorporated into the design. It is compatible with the existing SNEB system. It is comparable to the US Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System project.
The French armament company of Matra produced the following types of rocket launcher for use with the SNEB 68 mm RPs:Matra Type 116M rocket launcher — This was lightly constructed and is used as an expendable rocket launcher pod with a frangible nose cone, loaded with 19 SNEB 68mm rockets which were fired in a single rippled 0.5 second salvo with a time interval of 33 milliseconds between each rocket firing. The pod is automatically jettisoned after all the rockets are expended.
Matra Type 155 rocket launcher — Widely produced, this was a reusable device manufactured completely from metal with a fluted nose cone through which the RPs were fired. Loaded with 18 SNEB 68mm rockets, it can be pre-programmed on the ground to fire in shots or in one single ripple salvo as the Type 116M.
Matra JL-100 drop tank/rocket pack — This unique arrangement combines a 66 US gallons (250 L) drop tank with a rocket launcher containing 19 SNEB 68 mm rockets in front to form an aerodynamically-shaped pod which can be mounted on over-wing or under-wing hardpoints. One notable aircraft equipped with this was the English Electric Lightning F.53 of Royal Saudi Air Force.
Bell UH-1H of the Lebanese Air Force were modified locally to carry Bombs and Matra SNEB 68 mm rocket pods taken from unserviceable Hawker Hunters
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