Quick Facts


Roland I

Roland II

Roland III


Roland CAROL

Role and Mobility Short-Range Air Defense; Road-Mobile
Interceptors and Range

Roland Missile I & II:

Speed: 500 m/s

Range: 6.2 km

Roland Missile III:

Speed: 620 m/s

Range: 8.5 km


Optical Sight

3D X-Band Surveillance Radar (25 km range)

Tracking Radar (20 km range)

Targets Air Threats at Extremely Low-to-Medium Altitudes
Status/Exports Operational; France, Norway, United States (retired), Argentina, Brazil (retired), Nigeria, Qatar, Spain, Venezuela, and Germany (retired)
Designer/Producer EADS Euromissile


The Roland provides short-range air defense against low flying air threats. It was initially designed for the French and German militaries to protect mobile field formations and fixed, high-value targets.[i]The system uses the Roland missile interceptor, which has been upgraded alongside improvements to the launchers. Surveillance and tracking are conducted with the use of dedicated radars, but missile guidance is through an optical sight.[ii]Due to the optical missile guidance, the system is designed for use only in daylight.[iii]

There have been many variants of the Roland system. They are:

Roland I: The original clear-weather, daylight only system.

Roland II: The most popular variant of the Roland, with all-weather and day/night capability. Roland II replaces the missile guidance role of the operator in Roland I with a special tracking radar. The radar tracks both the missile and the target, relaying course correction information via a beacon on the rear of the missile.[iv]

Roland III: An upgrade to the Roland II launcher, increasing the number of ready to fire missiles from two to four. The upgrade was developed in tandem with the development of the Roland III missiles.[v]

MIM-115A: A United States variant of the Roland II system, the MIM-115A was a short-lived program, with development beginning in 1974 and termination of the program in 1981. Production in low rates began in 1979, with only one battalion of the Army National Guard operating the system; all of its Roland systems were retired in 1988.[vi]

Roland Carol: An air liftable shelter variant of the Roland. It entered production in 1995 with systems delivered to the French Army and the German Air Force.[vii]

Strategic Implications

 Advancements in both the Roland missiles and the systems introduced longer ranges and more capabilities. The continuous upgrades that were made to the Roland allowed the system to remain a reliable and effective air defense system against a variety of evolving air threats.


1988: Production of the Roland III begins.[viii]

December 1982: Euromissile announced that it was developing the Roland III.[ix]

September 1981: US Roland program canceled.[x]

December 1978: First production Roland IIs sent to the Germany Army.[xi]

October 1977: US Army accepts the first US-produced Roland II.[xii]

1973: Roland achieves Initial Operating Capability with the French Army.[xiii]

June 1968: The first guided firing of the missile was carried out.[xiv]

1962: The first design study of the missiles leading to the Roland was made.[xv]

Recent News

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