Malkara (missile)

Malkara (Missile)

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Malkara (missile)

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The Malkara missile (from an Aboriginal word for "shield") was one of the earliest anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). It was jointly developed by Australia and the United Kingdom between 1951 and 1954, and was in service from 1958 until gradually replaced by the Swingfire missile in the late 1960s. It was intended to be light enough to deploy with airborne forces, yet powerful enough to knock out any tank then in service.

Development and operations

The concept of the Malkara was probably inspired by the WWII German X-7 anti-tank missile. Design was principally undertaken at the Australian Government Aeronautical Research Laboratory, and this phase was also one of the first examples of computer simulation in engineering design. Development testing was carried out at Woomera Prohibited Area, and approval testing at the tank training range at Lulworth Cove, Dorset. Although testing at Dorset apparently achieved an impressive 90% P<sub>kill</sub>, in service the missiles were not considered a great success, due to three principal failures:
  • They were considered too heavy. As they were too heavy for manpacking, they could only be operated from their specialist vehicles, reducing flexibility; and
  • Accuracy achieved in practice was poor. This may have been because the awkward control system required a lot of practice, and there was neither a simulation system nor sufficient missiles for practice firing. In their memoirs, some operators state that they only......
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