The ENTAC (Engin Téléguidé Anti-Char)
portable infantry weapon first entered service in 1957 but the
earliest record I have located indicates that it
was not fitted to M201 jeeps until 1963. I suspect that relatively few jeeps were
converted at this time for evaluation. A decision was subsequently taken to
replace the SS 10 missile system with ENTAC and more jeeps were converted
to ENTAC carriers by the ERGM La Maltournée workshops in October
ENTAC (or MGM-32A) was a wire guided missile
spelling mistake below) controlled by an operator safely
away from the jeep. It was not a good idea to fire the missiles whilst
still sitting in it.
Unlike the SS 10 and 106SR, ENTAC did not require the jeep it
was mounted on to have the back panel cut away. The war in Algeria ended in 1962 and with it the
need for large numbers of the Sahara version of the M201. As the Sahara had a
reinforced chassis and suspension most of them were converted into ENTAC missile
launchers from 1963 onwards.
Conversion of a Sahara was fairly straight forward as the
launcher assembly bolted on to a standard body tub and a complete rebuild of the jeep was
unnecessary, though to support the extra weight,
coil springs were used to
reinforce the rear suspension. The original registration number was retained. 221-2291 (in the
photo) note also the Sahara spot light still mounted on the windshield though the
air pre-filters were always removed..
|ENTAC was in turn superseded by the second
generation MILAN missile system in the 1970s and the workshops at
La Maltournée spent
the three years converting jeeps to carry the MILAN before closure in 1978
Consequently as ENTAC jeeps were withdrawn
they were not
rebuilt and the missile equipment was
simply removed at other workshops, e.g. ERGM at Clermont Ferrand, leaving
holes in the rear wheel arches which were simply covered over by a plate riveted in
The photo is of Tim Tearle's M201 which has
the full history of being a Sahara which became an ENTAC launcher before
being returned to standard use.
A further piece of ENTAC evidence that could be lurking
underneath your M201 is the bracket shown in the photo below (also of Tim's
jeep). It is identified in army document BT 603 as being a support for a 'coffre
chaines' (box for storing chains) on an M201 ENTAC.
2009 saw the appearance of a
new exhibit at the
musée des blindés (Tank Museum) at
Saumur in France - an M201 ENTAC.