MBDA is showcasing MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée) the latest addition to its range of land combat missiles. Just six months ago, in December 2013, the programme was given the official go ahead by the French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) with MBDA being notified of a contract for the development and production of 2,850 missiles and 400 MMP firing posts.
Initially intended for dismounted troops, MMP will replace the Milan and Javelin anti-tank missiles in service with the French Army and special forces from 2017. Over the last four decades, Milan, MBDA’s “best seller”, has achieved sales of 360,000 units in over 40 countries. However, MMP is a totally new weapon system. Taking into account the battle experience gained from recent conflicts in which the French Army has been engaged, MMP is a response to the demands that have been expressed in terms of required capabilities: firing from confined spaces, “fire-and-forget”, and self-guidance with a “man-in-the-loop” facility.
Based on these requirements, MBDA has defined a totally new system that calls on new technologies that have never before been applied by any other manufacturer in the portable land combat missile sector. The missile weighs only 15kg and can be operated not only from a firing post that weighs just 11kg but also from an armoured battlefield vehicle. MMP is equipped with a tandem warhead that is both novel and versatile and that has been optimized with regard to the targets to be dealt with: pillboxes, bunkers or combat vehicles equipped with the latest generation explosive reactive armour.
With its dual-band visible/non-cooled infrared seeker, MMP can acquire both hot and cold targets and then head towards them completely autonomously. For engagements requiring continuous man-in-the loop control, a fibre-optic link relays the image seen by the seeker back to the firing post. The firing post and the missile, both being equipped with capabilities including location, orientation and digital communication, enables MMP to engage Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) targets equally as well as those in direct line of sight, and, if required, under the permanent control of the operator and the commander. The combination of these technical characteristics make MMP the first and only 5th generation land combat missile.
At Eurosatory, MBDA is demonstrating MMP, not only in its basic configuration for dismounted troops, but also deployed on a model of Nexter’s 40mm canon turret as well as on the MPCV (Multi-Purpose Combat Vehicle). An MMP firing post simulator is also being demonstrated on the French Ministry of Defence’s stand.
Date: Jun 13, 2014