The Crotale is an all-weather short-range surface to air missile (SAM), which can be used to intercept low-flight anti-ship missiles and aircraft. It has been developed by Thomson CSF Matra and exists in two versions, a mobile land-based version and a ship-launched one. The Crotale was initially deployed in 1971 and remains in service. A modernised version, the Crotale NG (New Generation) entered production in 1990.Originally the Crotale R440 system was developed by Thomson-Houston (and Mistral) in France for South Africa. However, the success of the system convinced the French armed forces to purchase the Crotale for both for the army and navy. The Crotale point defense system has been adopted by several other armed forces since its introduction.