ZT3 Ingwe

The ZT3 Ingwe (Leopard) is a modern South African multi-role laser guided anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) manufactured by Denel Dynamics (formerly Kentron).

ZT3 Ingwe
Class Missile
Type Surface to Surface
Manufacturer Denel
Origin South Africa
Country Name Origin Year
South Africa 1987
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Algeria View
Iraq View
Malaysia View
South Africa 1987 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Denel 1987 View

The ZT3 and its launch system was developed under the codename "Project Raleigh" in the 1980s as a "long-range indigenous antitank guided missile". The missile was developed in order to provide the South African Army's Mechanized infantry vehicles, such as the Ratel IFV, with anti-tank capabilities and to supplement the ageing MILAN missile system that was in service at the time. Pre-production models, mounted in a triple launcher on top of a Ratel IFV, saw service in Operation Moduler during the South African Border War with good effect.

In the years since, Denel Dynamics have continually upgraded the system to improve its range, accuracy, reliability and warhead effectiveness. In May 2010, Denel Dynamics and Rheinmetall Denel Munitions were working on a new series of multi-purpose warheads for the missile system. Denel stated that due to changing trends in warfare in recent years, customers required a "generic precision land-attack missile" that can be used against a variety of targets such as buildings and bunkers.

Denel is also developing the missile system for use on the Badger Infantry Fighting Vehicle that will enter service with the South African Army as part of Project Hoefyster. The company has also collaborated with the French-South African company, ATE, to integrate the missile system for use on helicopter platforms such as the Eurocopter EC635, the MI-24 Mk III Super Hind and Eurocopter Fennec for use in various Air Forces around the world. Several missile systems in use with the South African Army were also modernized in 2005 as part of Project Adrift.

In February 2013, Denel unveiled a new version of the system at the International Defence Exhibition held in Abu Dhabi. The new system, called the Portable Launch System (IPLS), is a portable, light-weight launch system that comprises a new missile launch unit designed for use on light vehicle mounts or tripods. It can fire both HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) and Multi-Purpose Penetrator versions of the Ingwe.

The system consists of a laser projection unit and guidance and control units. The system uses a Laser beam riding missile that automatically determines its own position in the laser beam and manoeuvres onto its Line-of-sight (LOS). The sighting system varies from a non-stabilised optic system for light vehicles to a stabilised day/night system on helicopter launch systems. Automatic targeting modules can also be added to the missile system that can be added to ensure fully automatic post-lock on missile guidance by the operator. The missile can engage targets at ranges from 250?m to 5,000?m. It employs a tandem warhead to defeat up to 1,000?mm (40?in) of armour. The missile is also designed to be stealthy (virtually hard to detect) and highly resistant to countermeasures.

The weapon was first used on 10 September 1987 when a pre-production Ratel ZT3 destroyed several T-55 tanks at the Lomba River in Angola.

Type Anti-tank guided missile
Place of origin South Africa
Service history
In service 1987 - Present
Used by See Users
Wars South African Border War
Production history
Designer Denel Dynamics
Designed During the 1980s
Manufacturer Denel Dynamics
Produced 1987 - Present
Variants ZT3, ZT3A2
Weight 28.5 kg
Length 1750 mm
Diameter 127 mm
Warhead Tandem-charge HEAT warhead, Multi-Purpose Penetrator (MPP) warhead
250 m – 5,000 m
Speed 200 m/s
Laser beam riding

End notes