The French AMX-30R Roland

The Roland SAM system was designed to engage enemy air targets flying at speeds of up to Mach 1.3 at altitudes between 20 meters and 5,500 meters with a minimum effective range of 500 meters and a maximum of 6,300 meters. The system can operate in optical or radar mode and can switch between these modes during an engagement. A pulse-doppler search radar with a range of 15–18 km detects the target which can then be tracked either by the tracking radar or an optical tracker. The optical channel would normally be employed only in daylight against very low-level targets or in a heavy jamming environment.

The Roland missile is a two-stage solid propellant unit 2.4 meters long with a weight of 66.5 kg including the 6.5 kg multiple hollow-charge fragmentation warhead which contains 3.5 kg of explosive detonated by impact or proximity fuses. The 65 projectile charges have a lethal radius of 6 meters. Cruising speed is Mach 1.6. The missile is delivered in a sealed container which is also the launch tube. Each launcher carries two launch tubes with 8 more inside the vehicle or shelter with automatic reloading in 10 seconds.

Roland 1 – This is the clear-weather version.
Roland 2 – This is the all-weather version.

The AMX-30 (generic designation) entered production in 1966, for the French Army, with a multi-fuelled Hispano-Suiza Hispano-Suiza’s HS-110 diesel engine generating 720hp. It quickly grew in to a family of variants. One of these was the AMX-30R Roland surface-to-air missile system.The launcher has an autoloading system feeding from an eight missile reserve.

The French AMX-30R Roland

The French AMX-30R Roland Operators

France – 183 vehicles were ordered for the French Army in 1977. 181 systems (83 Roland 1 and 98 Roland 2) were eventually procured. The French Army has subsequently converted 20 of its Roland 2 all-weather systems to the Carole air-mobile shelter mounted system.

Iraq – Believed to have received 13 AMX-30R during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and they first used in 1982 and shot down a F-4E Phantom and F-5E Tiger that year.

Nigeria – 16 Roland 2 systems on the AMX-30R.

Qatar – In 1986, 3 self-propelled Roland 2 systems on the AMX-30R and 6 shelter-mounted systems were ordered with deliveries completed in 1989.

Saudi Arabia – The Saudi Army operate a very similar to the AMX-30R, however modified to fire the SA-10 Shahine surface-to-air missile, its designated the AMX-30SA. It entered production sometime around 1975.

Spain – Licence manufactured 18, designated as AMX-30RE (9 Roland 1 and 9 Roland 2).