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The Exocet is a Surface to Surface/Air to Surface missile.

The Exocet missile is built by French manufacturer Aerospatiale (who were also the French arm of the Anglo-French team that built the Concorde.) It is one of the best Surface to Surface/Air to Surface missiles currently in service. Development began in 1967, as a ship launched missile named MM 38. The air launched Exocet was developed in 1974 and entering service with the French Navy in 1979.

The missile was designed to engage large warships. It is 4.7 m long, and has a wingspan of 1.1 m, weighs 670 kg and has a 165 kg warhead. Guidance in the mid flight is guidance, followed by active radar seeking. The solid propellant engine gives the Exocet a maximum range of 65 km.

The Exocet was used successfully by Argentinian forces against the British destroyer HMS Sheffield (4th May) and support ship Atlantic Conveyer (25th May) during the Falklands war; both sank. It was also used against the US Navy Guided missile frigate USS Stark (FFG-31) (an the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate) by Iraqi Mirages, and heavily damaged the vessel which was saved by the crew and sent back for repairs.

The Exocet is currently in service with France, Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, Argentina, Singapore, Brazil, Oman, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar and Peru.

Although the loss of the Sheffield was a blow to British self-esteem, the missile used earned itself a curious kind of respect, and the word "an Exocet" passed into British colloquial use to mean "a devastating attack". It is still occasionally heard, and would be widely understood, to-day (2003).