Tag Archives: MBDA

Type 45 destroyers

MBDA has been awarded a number of contracts to significantly upgrade the air and missile defence capabilities of the Royal Navy’s six Type 45 destroyers.

CAMM
MBDA’s CAMM to strengthen Air Defence capability of Royal Navy Type 45 destroyers

The work will see CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile) paired with an upgraded Sea Viper Command and Control (C2) system for the first time. CAMM offers both world-leading close-in and local-area air defence, and will complement Aster 30, strengthening the anti-air defence capability of the Royal Navy.

Fitting CAMM onto the Type 45s will give the destroyers a 50% increase in the number of its air defence missiles. Installation will be via 24 additional launcher cells, and the Sea Viper C2 will get a technology upgrade, giving it a major increase in processing power.

The existing 48 Sylver cells on the Type 45 will now be solely for the longer-range Aster 30 missile, which is also subject to a recently announced mid-life refresh. This will see the missile remain in service throughout the life of the Type 45s.

CAMM has already been delivered to both the British Army and the Royal Navy, where it is the interceptor in both Ground-Based Air Defence (GBAD) and Naval-Based Air Defence (NBAD) systems, enabling these services to equip missiles from a shared stockpile.

In service on upgraded Royal Navy Type 23 frigates, CAMM will also be fitted to Type 26 and Type 31 in the future. The CAMM family has proven a rapid success with international customers, with Canada and Brazil among the new users ordering the missile this year.

Air defence missile

MBDA has successfully completed a firing of the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile Extended Range CAMM-ER air defence missile against a manoeuvring target, confirming the excellent capability of the CAMM family system.

CAMM-ER
MBDA’s CAMM-ER successfully completes major milestone

The trial took place at an Italian firing range. CAMM-ER is the extended range member of the new-generation CAMM air defence family of systems.

All members of the CAMM family share the same cutting-edge active radar seeker and soft-launch system, with CAMM-ER featuring a larger rocket motor designed by AVIO to provide extended range out beyond 40 km/24.85 miles.

CAMM-ER was designed to replace the Aspide munition in the Medium Advanced Air Defence System (MAADS) of the Italian Air Force and the GRIFO air defence system of the Italian Army. CAMM-ER is the missile that will be used in the Albatros NG system, which provides an optimized Naval Based Air Defence (NBAD) solution to enhance the defence capabilities of naval fleets.

MMP from a Jaguar

On 14 April, MBDA and Nexter participated in the first lock-on firing of an MMP medium-range missile from a Jaguar armoured reconnaissance and combat vehicle (EBRC). The French defence procurement agency (DGA) carried out the firing at their Land Techniques Test Centre as part of the JAGUAR qualification. Launched from the retractable pod on the Jaguar’s turret in two-missile configuration, the MMP successfully hit its target.

MMP
First firing of MMP from a Jaguar armoured vehicle

 

The integration of MMP onto JAGUAR is being carried out in stages during qualification. This firing is the first stage, successfully demonstrating hitting a fixed target. The system will offer the capability to destroy fixed or mobile hardened land targets, including up to the latest generation of tanks. Targeting will be direct or beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS). It will also be precise and with minimal collateral damage, qualities that characterise the MMP.

MMP’s capabilities – integrated into the Jaguar’s turret by Nexter, alongside the remote controlled weapon station developed by Arquus, the Scorpion common vetronics solution developed by Thales and the 40mm cannon developed by CTAI – gives the Jaguar a key role in collaborative combat.

During this demonstration, the Optrolead PASEO battlefield surveillance sight interfaced with the missile system, offering real-time optronic acquisition by day and by night. This gives the Jaguar excellent long-range observation and identification capabilities.

Frédéric Michaud, Head of Battlefield Sector for Sales & Business Development at MBDA, said: «This firing marks an important first step of the work conducted with Nexter to develop the Jaguar turret and integrate the MMP into a weapon system built on the latest technological solutions. This two-missile turret configuration considerably expands the vehicle’s firepower».

David Marquette, Jaguar project manager at Nexter, hailed the exceptional work of the programme team on this critically important system integration project: «This marks a major milestone, demonstrating the technical skills of our teams in designing and developing an operational capability unlike any other in the world».

Teseo Evolved

MBDA will provide the Italian Navy with the new Teseo Evolved Weapon System, namely Teseo Mk2/E. This new generation system builds on the legacy Teseo family, known worldwide as OTOMAT, and will bring a substantial improvement in anti-ship capabilities. Teseo Mk2/E will efficiently engage both sea and land targets at very long range, with full mission control throughout the missile flight. The system will have an innovative integrated mission planning and a new RF seeker, with options for additional features and capabilities in the future.

Teseo Mk2/E
MBDA to supply new Teseo Mk2/E anti-ship system to Italian Navy

Teseo Mk2/E is the answer to evolving threats that generate the need to evolve operational requirements. This solution is the result of joint MBDA and Italian Navy technical and programme activities over the past three years that matured the concept of this advanced system.

The Teseo Mk2/E missile system will equip the next generation destroyer (DDX) and could replace the previous Mk2/A version onboard FREMM and Horizon class frigates. The new multi-purpose Offshore Patrol Vessels (PPA – Pattugliatori Polivalenti d’Altura), currently in production, are already fit for Teseo Mk2/E installation in future. In the anti-ship weapon market Teseo Mk2/E will represent a new standard with its very high performance, and will be ready to be tailored for international requirements.

Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, declared: «I want here to give a special thanks to Italian Navy, governmental and all MBDA teams who worked hard, also against all disruptions created by the pandemic, to bring this important contract to life. MBDA Group considers Teseo Mk2/E as a major programme and will be fully committed to the successful outcome of this new development. The new Teseo Mk2/E builds on a product line that is well recognised around the world and will support long into the future, the attractiveness of our naval products on export markets».

Lorenzo Mariani, Executive Group Director Sales and Business Development and Managing Director MBDA Italia, declared: «The Teseo Mk2/E has been defined and designed thanks to an intense collaboration between the Italian Navy and MBDA. This new anti-ship missile will mark a step change in the OTOMAT/Teseo family, keep up with ever evolving threats and feature advanced functions to support the Italian Navy operations that will significantly increase the flexibility and operational value of the Italian Navy surface ships that will be equipped with it. This contract will also help sustain high level skills in a domain of excellence of the Italian defence industry and will contribute to guarantee the sustainability of our company and its suppliers, as well as its Italian employment levels in the years to come».

Albatros NG

MBDA has been awarded a first contract for Albatros Next Generation (NG), a brand new Common Anti-Air Modular Missile Extended Range (CAMM-ER) based air defence system. This first order, from an undisclosed international customer, marks a further validation of the wide appeal of the CAMM air defence family on the global marketplace and paves the way to further acquisitions by the same customer and other Navies.

Albatros NG
MBDA awarded first contract for its new Albatros NG system

Albatros NG is a new generation Naval Based Air Defence (NBAD) system, based on the CAMM-ER, which is the extended range variant of the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) family already delivered to customers around the world for both ground based and naval air defence.

Under the terms of this recent order, Albatros NG will be in service in 2024.

Albatros NG, deriving its name from the legacy Albatros systems which have been in service with the Italian Navy and several export customers for years, is suitable for different kinds of vessels providing air defence capability for platforms ranging from patrol vessels and corvettes to destroyers. It also allows a complementary layer for larger vessels such as frigates and destroyers already equipped with a long range air defence system. It can be easily integrated, without significant changes, in the ships’ design; its Command & Control (C2) is designed to enable flexible integration with both new and existing naval Combat Management Systems (CMS).

The CAMM-ER missile is capable of providing self and local area defence against the evolving airborne threat at ranges exceeding 40 km/25 miles; it will be integrated in the new ground based air defence systems for the Italian Army and Italian Air Force. CAMM family systems have already been delivered to the British Army, to the Royal Navy and to several export nations.

Air defence systems utilising the CAMM and CAMM-ER missiles can provide armed forces with advanced protection against the ever-evolving air threat, including manned and unmanned aircraft, precision guided munitions, terrain-following/sea-skimming missiles, and low Radar Cross Section (RCS) targets; all in the presence of the latest countermeasures.

MICA New Generation

MBDA has been awarded a contract from the Egyptian Navy for the VL MICA NG (Missile d’Interception, de Combat et d’Auto-défense New Generation) air defence system to equip its Egyptian corvettes.

VL MICA NG
Egypt becomes the first international customer for MBDA’s VL MICA New Generation surface-to-air system

Officially launched in October 2020, the VL MICA NG system is based on the integration of the MICA NG missile into the existing VL MICA point and close area air defence system.

The VL MICA NG system offers improved capabilities to handle atypical targets (UAVs, small aircraft), as well as future threats characterised by increasingly low observable infrared and radio frequency signatures. Additionally, VL MICA NG will be able to intercept ‘conventional’ targets (aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles) at longer distances.

Eric Béranger, MBDA CEO, said: «This agreement proves the confidence of our Egyptian customer in our VL MICA family, which 15 armed forces around the world already use for the protection of their naval and land forces».

The Egyptian Navy already equips its four Gowind class corvettes, recently procured from the French Naval Group shipyards, with systems from the VL MICA family.

Laser system

Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has awarded a consortium, or ARGE, consisting of MBDA Deutschland GmbH and Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH a contract to fabricate, integrate and support testing of a laser weapon demonstrator in the maritime environment. The order value is in the low double-digit million euro range.

Laser system
MBDA and Rheinmetall win contract for high-energy laser system

Work will be shared out on a roughly equal basis. MBDA Deutschland is responsible for tracking, the operator’s console and linking the laser weapon demonstrator to the command-and-control system. Rheinmetall is in charge of the laser weapon station, the beam guiding system, cooling, and integration of the laser weapon system into the project container of the laser source demonstrator.

The demonstrator is to be fabricated, tested and integrated by the end of the 2021. Trials onboard the German Navy frigate F124 Sachsen are to take place in 2022.

As Doris Laarmann, head of laser business development at MBDA Deutschland, notes, «The contract is an important step on the path to an operational high-energy laser system. Our two companies will apply their respective strengths to make this project a success on behalf of the German Navy. Once it’s installed, the demonstrator will also be used to test important aspects such as the interaction and function of the sensor suite, combat management system and effector as well as rules of engagement».

Alexander Graf, head of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition’s laser weapons programme, and Dr Markus Jung, who leads the company’s laser weapon development effort, both agree, adding that «The contract marks a systematic extension of the functional prototype laser weapon successfully tested in recent years, with the experience gained now dovetailing into one of the most ambitious projects in the field of laser weapon development in Europe».

A breakthrough development in the history of defence technology, lasers engage targets at the speed of light, operating with great precision and producing very little collateral damage. A demonstrator system featuring these capabilities will soon be put to the test under highly realistic operating conditions onboard a German frigate.

Beyond Line of Sight

MBDA has carried out the first demonstration of the operational capabilities of LYNKEUS Dismounted, comprising the MMP system in «infantry» configuration and a Novadem NX70 drone linked via radio to its weapon terminal.

MMP
Successful MMP firing with target designation made by a Novadem drone

Carried out with the support of the French Army and of the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA – French Procurement Agency) at the Canjuers military camp in the south of France, this firing was representative of a ‘Beyond Line Of Sight’ (BLOS) engagement.

During this demonstration, the drone enabled the detection and identification of a tank located outside the MMP operator’s field of vision. The transfer of the coordinates for the target to the MMP firing station illustrated the possibility of engaging a target not directly seen by the operator. The missile was «locked-on» to the target during its flight by the MMP operator after detecting the tank via the video stream from the MMP seeker, which was continuously transmitted to the firing station via fibre optics. The demonstration successfully concluded with a direct hit on the target.

This demonstration confirms the capabilities offered by LYNKEUS for the quality and control of the information chain going from the drone to the firing station. It also proves the precision of the extraction of the coordinates for the target.

Philippe Gouyon, Military Advisor at MBDA, said: «This firing also concludes a year-long tactical evaluation conducted with the Army and Novadem exploring all the capabilities of the system and thus, allows MBDA to propose an MMP/drone combination that meets the needs of remote observation and target designation of contact units. These experiments notably included real-time engagement simulations in virtual reality but also combining, in the field, real equipment (drones, weapon terminal) and MMP simulators implemented by Land Forces units. We are very satisfied with the results of this work, which made it possible to understand the forces’ needs to finalize the system carrying the BLOS capability for dismounted combat».

The collaborative engagement capacity allowing firing ‘beyond line of sight’ is a breakthrough operational concept, supported at European level by the participants in the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) BLOS project.

Principal strike weapon

Strike fighters flying from Royal Navy aircraft carriers will be armed with the next-generation of lethal missiles following a £550m deal.

SPEAR3
Carriers’ F-35 jets to get next-generation air-to-ground missile

SPEAR3 will become the principal strike weapon of the F-35B Lightning II jets operating from the decks of HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) and HMS Prince of Wales (R09).

Designed to knock out warships, tanks and armoured vehicles, missile launchers, bunkers, radar posts and air defence batteries, the new missile can be fired at such long range – more than 140 kilometres (nearly 90 miles) – it should keep the Navy and Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots out of harm’s way from enemy ground defences.

Defence firm MBDA has been awarded £550m to equip the Lightning Force – based at RAF Marham – with the new weapon, which has been developed over the past decade and will be introduced to the front line over the next seven years.

Weighing under 90 kg/198 lbs. and just 1.8 metres/5.9 feet long, SPEAR3 – Select Precision Effects At Range missile No.3 – is powered at high subsonic speeds by a turbojet engine, can operate across land and sea, day or night, and strike at moving and stationary targets.

It will support 700 jobs in the UK – 190 of them highly-skilled technology jobs in system design, guidance control and navigation and software engineering – at sites around the country including Bristol, Stevenage and Bolton.

Testing, simulation and trials will include controlled firings from a Typhoon aircraft before the missile is delivered to Marham and the Portsmouth-based carriers for front-line operations.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Weight: < 100 kg/220 lbs.
Length < 2 m/6.56 feet
Diameter 180 mm/7 inches
Operational range 140 kilometres/90 miles

 

Sea Venom

The Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile has completed its qualification firings trials, with a successful final firing at the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) test site at Ile du Levant on 17 November.

Sea Venom/ANL
MBDA completes qualification firing trials of the Sea Venom/ANL missile

Soon to start equipping the Royal Navy’s AW159 Wildcat and Marine nationale’s H160M Guépard shipborne helicopters, the Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile is a co-operation project developed under the Lancaster House treaty between France and the United Kingdom. The Sea Venom/ANL missile is the first programme to take full advantage of the cross-border centres of excellence on missile technologies launched by the Lancaster House treaty, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary this month.

The final qualification trial tested the missile’s advanced target discrimination within a complex and cluttered naval scenario.

Éric Béranger, MBDA CEO, said: «I want to congratulate the UK-French teams across both MBDA and our governments for the commitment they have shown in meeting this qualification milestone amid the disruption caused by Covid-19. Together they have proven that through co-operation we can jointly overcome adversity and deliver leading edge military capabilities».

Previous trials have tested the missiles launch envelope, release envelope and engagement modes, such as its low-altitude sea-skimming flight, Lock On After Launch (LOAL), Lock On Before Launch (LOBL), operator-in-the-loop, and aimpoint refinement.