Type: Anti Tank Guided Missile
Place of origin: Port Ember
In Service: 2003–present
Manufacturer: Hydra Industries
Produced: November 2003
Variants: See Varients
Mass: 28.00 kg
Length: 1.7 m
Diameter: 13 cm
Effective firing range: 7+km
Tandem-charge HEAT warhead or;
Multi-Purpose Penetrator (MPP) warhead
Detonation Mechanism: Impact
First stage: Cast double-based propellant blip rocket motor.
Second stage: Cast double-based propellant
Speed: Mach 4+
Guidance System: SACLOS
The Leopard Missile System is a new generation, Port Emberian Anti Tank Guided Missile. Due to its weight it was decided not to produce a Man Portable shoulder launched version. It was designed to be fired from a launcher mounted on a land vehicle, or on a helicopter - specifically the Hydra Black Eagle Helicopter. The system is manufactured by Hydra Industries in The Republic of Port Ember.
This missile bears many simmilarities to the Panther Anti Air Missile, as it was developed together. The Leapord Missile however specialises specifaclly on anti armor and is thus a heavier missile, due to a much larger warhead aimed to defeat Main Battle Tanks.
After launch, the missile accelerates to more than Mach 4, making it one of the fastest short-range surface/air-to-surface missiles in the world. The Leapard has been in service with the Port Ember Security Forces since 2003.
Development on the missile began in the early 2000's after an evaluation of missile and gun options to increase anti tank capabilities showed that a high-velocity missile system would best meet the needs. A General Staff Requirement was drawn up with the requirements of the system, specifying the requirement of two launch platforms for the missile:
A aerial vehicle based launcher.
A Light 3 Missile Stand launcher
In 2000, the Port Emberian Ministry of Defence awarded development contracts to Hydra Industries. Further development and a production contract materialized in November 2002, and the missile was officially accepted into service in September 2003.
The Leapord missile is transported in a sealed launch tube. This tube is attached to an aiming unit for firing. The operator tracks the target using the aiming unit's optically stabilized sight. The process of tracking the target allows the aiming unit to compute the right trajectory to bring the missile together with the target. The operator can indicate wind direction to the unit and, in the case of a long range target, provide superelevation. When the initial tracking is complete, the operator fires the missile by pressing a button.
The missile then fires the first-stage rocket motor, which launches the missile from the tube. The second stage fires soon after, which rapidly accelerates the missile to burn out velocity of more than Mach 4.
The missile can engage targets at ranges from 250 m to 7,000+ metres. It employs a tandem warhead to defeat up to 1,000 millimetres of armour. The missile is also designed to be stealthy (virtually hard to detect) and highly resistant to countermeasures.
The missile does not home in on laser energy reflected from the target but instead the aiming unit projects two laser beams which paint a two dimensional matrix upon the target. The lasers are modulated and by examining these modulations the sub-munition's sensor can determine the missile's location within the matrix, the missile is then steered to keep it in the centre of the matrix.
Earlier laser guidance systems used a single beam that had to be kept on the target at all times, the missile homing in on laser energy reflected off the target, if it moved off the target, the reflection would end and guidance would be lost until the target was regained. The problem could be reduced by making the laser's beam wider, but only at the cost of lowering accuracy and reducing the amount of energy being reflected. Leapord's system allows for the beam area to be much larger than the target while retaining pinpoint accuracy.
On impact with the target, a delayed action fuze is triggered. This gives time for the projectile to penetrate the target before the explosive warhead detonates. The housing is designed to fragment and produce maximum damage inside the target.
Leapord has a number of advantages over infrared homing guided, radar homing guided, and radio command guidance MCLOS/SACLOS (e.g. Blowpipe or Javelin) missiles:
It cannot be jammed by infrared countermeasures or radar/radio countermeasures.
It cannot be suppressed with anti-radar missiles.
Its high speed reduces the amount of time for effective usage of any potential countermeasure, such as the beam manoeuvring or illuminating the guidance laser source with a dazzling battlefield laser.
- Surface-to-Surface vehicle launcher
- Air-to-Air Air vehicle launcher
- 3 Missile Stand launcher