At the IDEX/NAVDEX exhibition which takes place between 22nd and 26th February, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, MBDA will be showcasing its latest range of missiles and missile systems which covers the full gamut of requirements expressed by the various armed forces (Army, Air Force and Navy). In only five years, not less than seven missile systems have been delivered to customer Armed Forces, demonstrating not only MBDA’s ability to innovate and propose new products adapted to evolving threats, but also its ability to meet its contractual obligations notably with regard to delivery deadlines.
In the short and medium range air defence sector, the first VL MICA systems were delivered in 2011, the MPCV in 2013 and the first PCP-IMCP command and control systems in 2014.
In the area of Maritime Superiority, deliveries of Exocet MM40 B3, the latest generation of anti-ship missiles, are being carried out while the first deliveries of Marte MK2N took place in 2012.
In the battlefield engagement domain, the first Milan ER systems has been delivered and the new, fifth generation MMP ATGM system will be available as of 2017.
Finally, in the air dominance sector, 2014 saw the start of series production for the six partner nations of the first Meteor missiles with their unmatched ‘No Escape Zone’.
Already a global player, MBDA equally wants to be considered as a local player in development with the possibility of establishing partnerships with local industry.
In this respect in the UAE, MBDA is linked with NIMR Automotive in developing the Hafeet Air Defence Vehicle (ADV), a highly mobile, short range air defence solution to meet the requirements expressed by the Emirates’ armed forces. In the naval domain, MBDA is working with Siham al Khaleej Technology in the development of a coastal battery system deploying the Marte missile.
The Marte family of anti-ship missiles includes helicopter and surface launched options. As a new development, MBDA is now offering Marte within a low cost coastal battery system to provide support in the surveillance of maritime coastal traffic and the prevention of hostile ships from reaching and threatening territorial waters. Using a radar deployed in the proximity, the system can work in autonomous mode, alternatively, by data-linking to an upper level within a wider coastal surveillance network, the battery can work in an integrated mode of operation. With Marte MK2/N (for autonomous mode) and the longer range Marte ER (for integrated mode) missiles, At NAVDEX 2015, a full-size model of the system will be displayed on Siham al Khaleej Technology’s stand.
Many navies in the Gulf are looking for effective methods to counter the growing threat posed by FIACs (Fast Inshore Attack Craft) in coastal waters. A solution being promoted by MBDA is that provided by the company’s Maritime Brimstone missile. Brimstone has already proved itself in combat in Afghanistan and Libya as a highly effective air-launched weapon. It is now proving its capabilities as a surface-to-surface weapon Whether air or surface launched, Brimstone is the only weapon currently available that can engage not only fast moving land targets but also swarming FIACs. In 2013, a salvo firing of Maritime Brimstone was carried out, when with a single button push, the weapon underlined its superb capabilities in countering this latest of coastal threats. Two other trials were successfully conducted in 2014.
With sales well over 3,500 around the world, Exocet is a leading name in the anti-ship domain. Naturally, MBDA’s stand will show how this family of surface/submarine and air-launched missiles has become indispensable to many of the world’s navies, including several in the Gulf region. To demonstrate the latest addition to the family, a large model of Exocet MM40 Block 3 will be displayed at NAVDEX. This new missile has a significantly extended range thanks to its turbojet propulsion and, with its GPS navigation, it is also able to strike a coastal land target designated by its geographical coordinates. Importantly for existing Exocet customers, the new MM40 Block 3 is compatible with existing MM40 launchers. This is the weapon that has been procured by several navies including the French Navy and the Qatari Emiri Navy for its four Barzan (VITA) class patrol boats.
With recent successes achieved in the region by MBDA’s VL Mica self and local area naval air defence system, this product will be showcased in a prominent position on the company’s stand at IDEX / NAVDEX. MBDA has exploited the success and operationally proven capabilities of the in-service MICA air-to-air missile to develop two highly effective air defence systems, VL MICA (Land) and VL MICA (Naval). Both systems have been designed to offer a highly effective, rapid reaction, all-weather air defence against the widest range of threats. Both MICA air defence systems feature vertical launch, a very short reaction time and a high firing rate. In addition they can both engage several targets simultaneously and provide 360° defence coverage without costly dedicated tracking and guidance suites. As with the air-to-air weapon, the MICA fire and forget missile features a thrust vector control system and two seeker variants, active radar or infrared imaging.
Developed to provide sensitive military and civilian assets with a highly effective, rapid reaction, all-weather air defence against the widest range of threats, the VL MICA (Land) comprises a Tactical Operation Centre (TOC), a tri-dimensional radar and several (three to six) launchers (each housing four missiles) interconnected via optical fibre (TOC – radar) and VHF (TOC – launchers). This structure makes it easy to deploy, easy to integrate in within a wider global air defence structure and gives the system a high level of survivability. A VL MICA unit can ensure seamless area protection versus a wide variety of targets, including fast manoeuvring combat jets and cruise missiles.
For today’s navies, whether carrying out their missions in blue waters or in the littoral, the best defence against a saturating attack carried out by the new generation of anti-ship missiles and combat aircraft is a vertically launched system deploying fire-and-forget missiles. The VL Mica vertically launched naval air defence system has been custom-designed to meet the needs of today’s modern patrol vessels, particularly those with important security missions in the littoral. It is capable of being retrofitted or being part of a new ship build on a wide range of craft and offers a 360° all-round, fully automatic engagement capability against the full threat spectrum.
In October 2013, VL Mica was successfully fired by the Royal Navy of Oman from the Al Shamikh OPV. The missile intercepted and destroyed at very low altitude the target which was simulating a sea skimming anti-ship missile.
Offering longer range, fleet area defence (and deployed force protection on land) MBDA’s Aster 30 missile is highly representative of MBDA’s leading global position in the area of air defence, naval as well as land based. Already in service with the UK’s Royal Navy (where it is deployed in the Sea Viper system) and as PAAMS with the French and Italian navies, this highly effective missile is providing the key defence capability for a number of the latest generation of destroyers and frigates.
Aster 30 also has a ground based air defence application when deployed as the SAMP/T system by the Italian Army and as MAMBA by the French Air Force. Towards the end of last year, a significant first was registered by the French army when it carried out a test firing to intercept a simulated ballistic missile attack. The success confirmed Aster 30’s status as the only European-developed missile possessing such a capability. Both the naval and land variants will be on display at IDEX/NAVDEX.
At IDEX/NAVDEX MBDA will display a full scale model of Milan ER, its infantry support weapon for anti-armour and other ground targets. This evolution of the combat-proven and exceptionally reliable Milan already in use in over 40 countries worldwide, is ideally suited for incorporation into future Network Centric Warfare (NCW) systems. It is extremely reliable, accurate and easy to use and features the range of new generation technologies necessary to meet the latest combat requirements. These new technologies include a new extended response ammunition with enhanced warhead, propulsion system, in-flight manoeuvrability and operating range (now up to 3,000m as opposed to the 2,000m of the previous generation Milan ammunition).The system also features a new, fully digitized day/night firing post which has resulted in additional operating benefits such as: video inputs/outputs for remote operation; remote vision; new instruction and training tools; built-in-test; maintenance tools and geo-positioning tools.
At the end of 2013, France notified MBDA of a contract for the development and production of a truly fifth generation ground combat system known as MMP. This system will be a vital addition to MBDA’s range of battlefield systems as it will provide a worthy successor to the anti-tank missile Hot. Drawing on experiences gained from recent conflicts which have shown that delivering effects without collateral damage is a major operational requirement, MBDA has been developing MMP which will feature both "man in the loop" and "fire and forget" capabilities. The dual-band (uncooled infrared and TV channel) missile can be fired from confined spaces and against non-line of sight targets; in a networked environment it can also accept target coordinates from a third party. Suitable for a wide range of battlefield targets (from tanks to infrastructures) and for dismounted infantry as well for deployment from combat vehicles, MMP’s architecture and technologies position the 4km range missile well ahead of the competition.
PARS 3 LR is being delivered to the German Army to provide its Tiger helicopters with the capability of targeting and defeating a wide range of mobile and stationary ground targets from latest generation armour-protected vehicles to bunkers with pinpoint accuracy. For pilot safety, the fire-and-forget missiles, once launched, navigate autonomously to their respective targets without requiring further input from the gunner thereby allowing the helicopter to quit its position should there be a danger. A model of the Tiger helicopter armed with PARS 3 LR will be on display.
Today’s combat pilot is often called on to carry out multiple roles. MBDA can provide the latest generation of weapons to not only ensure air supremacy but also to carry out precision strikes against a wide variety of static and fast moving surface targets. MBDA is closely linked to two of the world’s leading combat aircraft, the Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon. Models of these two platforms will be on display armed with a full suite of MBDA weapons including:
MICA which is the only missile in the world featuring two interoperable seekers (active radar and imaging infrared) to cover the spectrum from close-in dogfight to long beyond visual range. Its ability to fly out to BVR in passive mode before the seeker locks on in the final stages of the end game has earned it the sobriquet "silent killer" as the target has little time to react or to deploy effective countermeasures.
ASRAAM, a short range, air-dominance missile whose speed and agility guarantee "first shot first kill" so that the pilot need not get involved in the uncertainty of a close-range dogfight.
Meteor is a six-European nationprogramme that will provide the key future BVR air-to-air armament for Europe’s new generation of combat platforms. This missile’s very long range combined with its ramjet-induced speed, result in a weapon that has an unequalled No Escape Zone. In fact METEOR has been designed to be many times superior to the most sophisticated current and emerging MRAAM threat.
Brimstone goes from strength to strength with recent trials clearly demonstrating the unmatched capabilities of this weapon in meeting the operational challenges of today. These trials involved firing five missiles at a series of targets moving at speeds of up to 70 mph from a variety of launch conditions, including long range and high off-boresight. It has also proved its efficiency in dealing with the growing FIACV threat in the littoral.
Storm Shadow / SCALP provides a world-leading, stealthy cruise missile capability to meet the all-important deep strike requirement of today’s modern air forces. This weapon, which has been tried and tested under combat conditions (deployed by the UK, French and Italian Air Forces), provides the ability to deliver a precision strike against high value targets such as well protected control bunkers/centres, key infrastructures and military installations from a safe stand-off distance.