The SS 10 and ENTAC missile systems were superseded by the second generation, semi-automatic MILAN ATGW (Missile d'Infanterie Léger Antichar). Design began in 1962 and the weapon was accepted for service ten years later. Conversion of jeeps to provide a mobile platform for MILAN began at ERGM La Maltournée in 1975. Jeeps with a strengthened chassis and rear coil spring suspension that had previously carried weapons like the SS 10 or 106 SR were used as production of new M201s had long ceased.

Three missiles were carried in tubes on an aluminium rack mounted across the back of the jeep. This meant moving the spare tyre to the side and the jerrycan holder to the step just behind the fender. The overhanging rack at the rear also meant fitting a second set of bumperettes onto the normal ones. The firing post was fixed to a solid steel plate which was bolted to the floor of the jeep and had a seat for the operator which rotated with the post. A second small operator seat was bolted to the rear wheel arch behind the driver.

The example above (M201 no 18527 reg. no 665-0463) had been a MILAN launcher in service with 1RHP ( 1er  régiment de hussards parachutistes) and had taken Steve Rossall several years to collect together a complete MILAN kit for it. Photographed (above) at the Kemble show back in 2003. The Central European camo paintwork and name 'Mont Dieu' are original. It is a custom that vehicles in the French Cavalry are named, usually after French towns or famous battles. Mont Dieu was the scene of a battle that took place on May 10th 1940 when 1RHC halted the advance of five German battalions for 31 days with the loss of 190 men.

Sadly, the actual service history of the jeep did not come to light until after Steve was forced to sell the jeep in 2008. Didier Mahistre, a former member of 1RHP, contacted Jean Louis Martin in France. He had served in the 3rd Squadron from 1983 to 1989, been in charge of a  Reconnaissance Group, a MILAN Group, and ultimately Assistant Warrant Officer 2nd and 3rd Platoons. He provided the following first-hand information:

Only the 3rd squadron of 1RHP had MILAN from 1983, initially consisting of three groups (18 MILAN posts) then four (24 MILAN posts).  Each MILAN group was made up as follows:

Jeep VP 213, 1 Chef de peloton + 1 conduteur + 1 radio

Jeep VP 13, 1 sous-officier adjoint + 1 conducteur
GMC, puis Marmon puis TRM 4000
Groupe de tir  x3
Jeep VP 13, 1 chef de groupe + 1 conducteur
Jeep Milan, 1 chef de poste + 1 tireur + 1 conducteur
Jeep Milan, 1 chef de poste + 1 tireur + 1 conducteur

Badge opposite: 1RHP 3rd Squadron (1983). This appeared on the jeeps as vinyl stickers, one on the windshield and one on the firing post.

Each MILAN group consisted then, of a command jeep with radio, a sub-officer's jeep, and a truck, together with 3 reconnaissance groups each consisting of a command jeep and two MILAN jeeps. Steve Rossall's jeep 665-0463 was part of the MILAN group in which Didier Mahistre served as assistant officer to warrant officer Beaudour 1984-1985, then warrant officer Michel 1985-1987.

For a period of time at least during the early 1990s a second 1RHP M201 MILAN 'Mort Homme' (no. 13693) was owned by Nic Barker. Sadly for us, when he emigrated to Australia he took the jeep with him but the photo below shows his jeep and the double bumperette arrangement to ensure that the missile rack was protected to a degree against inadvertent damage.

Sadly, Steve Rossal's MILAN is also no more. The jeep and MILAN firing post became separated with the sale of the jeep in 1998 but the MILAN equipment has been re-homed on another M201 by Dave Edwards (M201 no. 22977) which offered the opportunity for some photos of the MILAN detail at at the Horndean show in 2009. Click the photo to enlarge / Cliquez pour agrandir l'image.

Does anyone out there have a pair of bumperettes with the holes in them that they have removed from a MILAN jeep?
 If you don't want them then I know of a good home for them where they belong. Please let me know.