In addition to protective equipment, France provided Ukraine “a few dozen” of Milan anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) used by infantry troops against tanks and armored vehicles. Taken from the stocks of the French army, the quantity seems, for the time being, to have remained modest – “a few tens”, between the 28th of February and March 3. France is not the only one to provide Milan missiles to Ukrainian soldiers. On February 28, 2022, Italy officially indicated that it had decided to deliver a modernized version of the Milan anti-tank guided missiles to Ukrainian armed forces. Paris also provided protective equipment, helmets and bulletproots vests.
MILAN (Missile d’Infanterie Léger Antichar,”milan” also being the French word for kite) is a Franco-German anti-tank guided missile. Design of the MILAN started in 1962; it was ready for trials in 1971, and was accepted for service in 1972. MILAN is a portable medium-range, anti-tank weapon manufactured by MBDA (previously Euromissile). The system entered service in 1972 and became a standard anti-tank weapon throughout NATO. Over 360,000 missiles and 10,000 launch units have been produced since 1972 and in service with the armed forces of more than 40 countries.
Consisting of two main components, the launcher and the missile, the MILAN system utilizes a semi-automatic command to line of sight (SACLOS) command guidance system. It tracks the missile either by a tail-mounted infrared lamp or an electronic-flash lamp, depending on the model. Because it is guided by wire by an operator, the missile cannot be affected by radio jamming or flares. However, drawbacks include its short range, the exposure of the operator, problems with overland powerlines, and a vulnerability to infrared jammers such as Shtora that can prevent the automatic tracking of the missile’s IR tail light
The later MILAN models have tandem HEAT warheads. The MILAN 2 variant, which entered service with the French, German and British armies in 1984, utilizes an improved 115 mm HEAT warhead. The MILAN 3 entered service with the French army in 1995 and features a new-generation localizer that makes the system more difficult to jam electronically. MILAN ER is the latest version of the missile system with new digitised firing post and new extended-range missile. The MILAN ER firing post has an integrated thermal imager with a video output which allows remote operation. With two missiles, the ER weighs less than 45kg.