Tag Archives: MBDA

Qualification firing

MBDA has successfully carried out the first qualification firing trial of the Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile at the DGA Essais de missiles (DGA EM) test site at Ile Du Levant on 20 February 2020, another significant milestone for the Anglo-French co-operation programme.

MBDA’s Sea Venom/ANL missile succeeds in first qualification firing

The missile was launched from a Dauphin helicopter close to the minimum release height, reaching its cruise phase whilst sea skimming at very low height. During its terminal phase, the aircrew used images from the infrared seeker – transmitted through the datalink – to perform a successful manual aim point refinement. The missile has then followed this designated point until hitting the target with a very high degree of accuracy.

This latest firing builds on two previous ones that have all tested the missile to the very edge of its capability. The previous firings demonstrated Sea Venom/ANL’s Lock On After Launch (LOAL) and Lock On Before Launch (LOBL) capabilities. They also validated its low-altitude sea-skimming flight and its autonomous guidance capability using images from its uncooled Imaging InfraRed (IIR) seeker.

Sea Venom/ANL is a purpose-built anti-ship missile for the French and UK navies’ shipborne helicopters, and is suitable for a wide range of platforms. It will safely engage hostile vessels amongst civilian assets, even in congested littoral environments and will defeat a broad spectrum of targets including small fast-moving craft through to larger ships – at sea or in port – as well as coastal land targets.

Éric Béranger, MBDA CEO, said: «Sea Venom/ANL is the first Anglo-French co-operation programme to take full advantage of our centres of excellence, created following an Inter-Governmental Agreement ratified by both nations’ Parliaments in 2016. MBDA is putting full effort into the successful implementation of the Sea Venom/ANL programme, recognising it should exemplify the benefits of the close co-operation UK and France are sharing in defence – enhancing both nation’s sovereign capabilities in armaments while reducing costs».

The UK Royal Navy will use Sea Venom/ANL on its AW159 Wildcat, replacing Sea Skua, while France’s Marine Nationale will operate the missile from its future Guépard Light Joint Helicopter (HIL – Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger).

Demonstrator phase

The governments of France and Germany have awarded Dassault Aviation, Airbus, together with their partners MTU Aero Engines, Safran, MBDA and Thales, the initial framework contract (Phase 1A), which launches the demonstrator phase for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

Demonstrator phase launched: Future Combat Air System takes major step forward

This framework contract covers a first period of 18 months and initiates work on developing the demonstrators and maturing cutting-edge technologies, with the ambition to begin flight tests as soon as 2026.

Since early 2019, the industrial partners have been working on the future architecture as part of the programme’s so called Joint Concept Study. Now, the FCAS programme enters into another decisive phase with the launch of the demonstrator phase.

This phase will, in a first step, focus on the main technological challenges per domains:

  • Next Generation Fighter (NGF), with Dassault Aviation as prime contractor and Airbus as main partner, to be the core element of Future Combat Air System;
  • Unmanned systems Remote Carrier (RC) with Airbus as prime contractor and MBDA as main partner;
  • Combat Cloud (CC) with Airbus as prime contractor and Thales as main partner;
  • Engine with Safran and MTU as main partner.

A Simulation Environment will be jointly developed between the involved companies to ensure the consistency between demonstrators.

The launch of the Demonstrator Phase underlines the political confidence and determination of the FCAS partner nations and the associated industry to move forward and cooperate in a fair and balanced manner. The increased momentum enables industry to deploy the necessary resources and best capabilities to develop this decisive European defence project. FCAS will be the cornerstone project guaranteeing Europe’s future operational, industrial and technological sovereignty.

The next important step in the FCAS programme will be the onboarding of Spain and the involvement of additional suppliers from Phase 1B onwards, which will succeed Phase 1A after its successful conclusion.

Missile on target

MBDA’s Marte Extended Range (ER) anti-ship missile has completed its second firing carried out at the Poligono Interforze del Salto di Quirra (PISQ) test range in Sardinia. This firing confirmed the overall design and performance of the missile marking a critical milestone in its development path.

New Marte Extended Range (ER) missile on target in second test firing

Compared to the first firing, which took place at the end of 2018, several additional features and functionalities were tested. These included an integrated navigation system, proximity fly-over fuze, with weapon controller and actuation system in advanced configuration. The missile also featured the terminal guidance with a new seeker, engineered and developed by the MBDA Seeker Division.

The floating target was hit with «almost zero» miss distance after a flight of about 100 km/62 miles. The missile pushed its envelope to the limit with several major manoeuvres including very low sea skimming at very high speed.

Hitting the target confirmed the perfect behavior of the missile and the telemetry system recorded a huge amount of data. Flight data showed very good alignment with simulation outcomes.

The Marte ER programme is progressing at full speed in order to meet customers’ requirements and the full integration of Marte ER on the Eurofighter Typhoon platform is proceeding at pace in order to implement an anti-ship capability onto the fighter.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Weight 315 kg/694.5 lbs.
Length 3.60 m/11.81 feet
Maximum body diameter 316 mm/12.44 inch
Range Well beyond 100 km/62 miles
Speed High subsonic

 

Enforcer missile

MBDA has been awarded by the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) a contract for the acquisition of Enforcer missile systems for the German Armed Forces. Signed on 20 December, the contract will fulfil the German requirement for a lightweight, day/night, precision-guided, shoulder-launched weapon system with an effective range of more than 1,800 m/1.118 mile.

Germany procures Enforcer missiles from MBDA

Thomas Gottschild, Executive Group Director Strategy and Managing Director MBDA Germany said: «The German customer has chosen the Enforcer after a detailed, competitive evaluation for the ‘Leichtes Wirkmittel 1800+’ requirement. With this contract, we are partnering with the German Armed Forces to ensure the Bundeswehr has this comprehensive weapon for years to come».

Éric Béranger, CEO of MBDA said: «With the addition of the shoulder-launched Enforcer, MBDA is now firmly embarked in a complete renewal of its family of battlefield engagement weapons that started with Brimstone 3 and Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP), a Medium Range missile introduced last year into the French Army. Enforcer, MMP and Brimstone now form the core of a portfolio that we hope will see many further developments».

Enforcer provides low-collateral precision effects capabilities against the threat from lightly armoured static and moving targets, targets behind cover, and against targets at long range also in urban environments. Resulting from a multinational MBDA development effort, the Enforcer will complement the ‘Wirkmittel 90’ shoulder-launched unguided munition capability in the German Armed Forces. MBDA is now set to complete qualification, and prepare for series production.

The modular design of the Enforcer system enables a range of future development options, including a prospective ‘family’ of Enforcer munitions for land, air and sea applications.

 

The Enforcer concept is a new lightweight, disposable shoulder-launched guided munition in the 2 km/1.2 mile class. Modular design offers prospect of a future family of Enforcer munitions

Key features of Enforcer at a glance:

  • Fire-and-forget missile system
  • Range up to 2,000 m/1.243 mile
  • High precision over full range
  • Lock-On Before Launch (LOBL)
  • Capability against lightly armoured and soft skinned targets
  • Effect against targets behind cover through airburst capability
  • Multi-effects warhead
  • Enclosed space firing capability
  • Lightweight (missile + launch tube < 9 kg/19.84 lbs.)
  • Day and night operation
  • System weight (sight and two munitions) < 20 kg/44.09 lbs.
  • Missile weight < 7 kg/15.43 lbs.
  • Modular architecture

Major trials milestone

MBDA has successfully completed a series of trials of the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile Extended Range (CAMM-ER) air defence missile, validating the high-performance of the system.

CAMM-ER completes major trials milestone

The trials have been conducted in the past months and saw a series of successful firings of CAMM-ER that proved the performance of the missile at extended ranges and high altitudes while conducting a number of challenging manoeuvres.

CAMM-ER is the extended range member of the new-generation CAMM air defence family of weapons. 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 to provide extended range out beyond 40 km/25 miles.

CAMM and CAMM-ER form the basis for MBDA’s Enhanced Modular Air Defence Solutions (EMADS) offering. EMADS brings together best-of-breed systems and technologies from across MBDA’s European base to save time, development costs and provide a flexible system for air defence provision. CAMM-ER, meant to replace the existing Aspide munition, is expected to be integrated in the Air Defence system of the Italian Air Force and Italian Army. CAMM-based air defence systems are known as Land Ceptor and Sea Ceptor by the British Army and Royal Navy. The Italian Navy is also evaluating how to include the missile family with its future surface combatants.

MBDA has successfully completed a series of trials of the CAMM-ER air defence missile, validating the high-performance of the system

Missile defence

November 12, 2019, the Council of the European Union gave the green light to the TWISTER (Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance) capability project for implementation within the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework. This international missile defence project which already includes five European countries, seeks to develop with support from the European Defence Fund a European multi-role interceptor to address emerging threats and be brought into service by 2030.

MBDA ready to meet the challenge of Europe’s missile defence

In addressing this capability gap, the interceptor component of the TWISTER project will ultimately become a key element in the contribution made by European countries to NATO’s territorial, population and armed forces defence mission while meeting the European Union’s level of ambition in the field of missile defence. By rationalising and pooling capabilities, the PESCO Member States will benefit from an operational capability in a class of its own and guarantee their strategic autonomy and freedom of action.

This new endo-atmospheric interceptor will address a wide range of threats including, manoeuvring ballistic missiles with intermediate ranges, hypersonic or high-supersonic cruise missiles, hypersonic gliders, and more conventional targets such as next-generation fighter aircraft. This Interceptor will integrate existing and future land and naval systems.

MBDA is committed to meeting this need through next generation technologies and architectures building on national and company funded studies which have been conducted over the past five years. MBDA will also draw on its experience of industrial cooperation at European level, its long heritage of leading complex air defence programmes and its solid industrial relationships across the wider European landscape to establish a skills and capability led team.

«MBDA enthusiastically welcomes the Council’s decision», says MBDA CEO Éric Béranger, «and will commit all its energy and extensive missile defence experience in future collaborative and cross-border R&T and R&D activities. This next generation interceptor project provides a unique opportunity for Europeans to converge their efforts in the field of missile defence and to secure sovereignty in an area vital to their strategic autonomy. These high-end interceptors are technologically demanding and their development will represent a qualitative leap forward for Europe’s entire missile sector. Our industrial model as a European champion gives us the critical mass necessary to deliver this challenging project through cooperation with our European industrial partners».

The TWISTER project is the second missile systems project to be supported under the new European defence agenda following the Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) capability programme which became part of PESCO in November 2018 and for which MBDA has put forward its 5th generation ground combat system., the only solution under European design authority that gives front-line combat units the ability to fire beyond the direct line of sight while maintaining man-in-the-loop decision-making.

Brimstone & UGV

MBDA has unveiled at DSEI 2019 how the Brimstone precision strike missile can equip Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to serve as an organic force-multiplier for the tactical commander. This development, utilising the Milrem Robotics Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) UGV, adds to Brimstone’s «One Missile, Multi-Platform» versatility.

MBDA showcases Brimstone application on Milrem Robotics’ unmanned ground vehicle

Carrying six Brimstone missiles per UGV, the development comes in response to the British Army’s «Prototype Warfare» drive, which includes a renewed need to counter massed armour formations in high-intensity warfare and to «fight differently». Such operational requirements demand long-range, all-weather performance, ability to defeat all-known Defensive Aid Suits (DAS), salvo-firing and moving target capability. Brimstone is uniquely able to meet these challenges.

The THeMIS is a versatile and robust unmanned system with low noise and heat signatures that can negotiate demanding terrains while keeping the operator in a safe distance.

Using digital targeting data provided by the remote operator over standard secure military networks, the system will be capable of engaging line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight targets, with a choice of radar and Semi-Active Laser (SAL) engagement modes.

Andy Allen, MBDA UK Head of Land Domain Sales and Business Development said: «This cassette magazine, with its high weapon loadout, is optimised to counter mass armour. Pairing the combat-proven MBDA Brimstone missile with a flexible and mission deployed UGV such as the Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS provides the tactical commander with the capability to rapidly and remotely deliver high volumes of precision anti-armour effects, importantly in all weathers, against all known DAS and at extended ranges. This land vehicle adds to the Brimstone suite of platforms (fast jet, rotary, RPAS) and underscores its ‘One Missile, Multi-Platform’ versatility».

The modular elevating launcher has a high load-out to provide the assurance of immediate fire support for multiple targets. The integration solution will take advantage of the high off-boresight agility of the Brimstone missile to avoid the complexity of rotating turrets.

General (retd) Riho Terras, President of the Defence Division at Milrem Robotics said: «The THeMIS has proven itself as a reliable and robust vehicle in very difficult conditions, e.g. in Mali during Operation Barkhane. Combining it with the anti-armour capability of MBDA’s Brimstone shows how existing and proven systems can work seamlessly together with novel technology. It is our aim and privilege to work with strong and innovative partners on creating new warfare systems based on the THeMIS».

Integrating Brimstone to THeMIS follows on from previous work to fit the Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP, Medium-Range Missile) missile to the UGV. The two weapons offer complementary solutions for delivering organic/battery-level precision anti-armour effects at medium and extended ranges.

Air defence solution

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 an air defence solution that features MBDA’s Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) iLauncher integrated with a Polish Jelcz 8×8 truck chassis.

MBDA, PGZ showcase CAMM air defence solution on Jelcz vehicle

The two parties also re-confirm the will expressed in the Strategic Partnership Agreement for Missile Technology signed 2 February 2017 between PGZ-MBDA for co-operation on missile programmes.

Based around the CAMM family of interceptors, the MBDA proposed co-operation contains a very high level of Polish content and will see extensive transfer of technology and know-how with both the missile and iLauncher being progressively built in Poland. If selected the joint PGZ-MBDA solution offers the best solution for Polish industry and sovereignty.

Sebastian Chwałek, Deputy CEO of PGZ, said: «Implementation of the Narew programme by PGZ is fundamental for our future and the security of Poland. This is why we are demonstrating that there are no limitations for us in foreign co-operation. By joining our competences in communication and command systems, which are key for air defence, with our foreign partners’ missile technologies, we are ready to deliver a final product to the contracting party in a short time».

Jan Grabowski, MBDA’s Delegate in Poland, said: «This further deepening of the relationship between PGZ and MBDA is a great success for European defence co-operation. CAMM provides the Polish military and Polish industry with the best capabilities and technologies available on the world market, and the benefits of a true, European, partnership on missile technologies. Co-operation on CAMM is key to enabling deep co-operation on further missile programmes».

The CAMM family represent the latest generation of air defence technology. Utilising a next-generation active radar seeker and soft-launch technologies, CAMM is able to rapidly defeat large numbers of the most challenging modern air threats and is suitable for both land and maritime applications.

Tank Destroyer

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 a Tank Destroyer armed with the Brimstone precision strike missile. PGZ Companies and MBDA also signed a statement of co-operation at MSPO to confirm readiness to co-operate on offering this solution to Poland and export markets, recognising the combination of MBDA’s Brimstone missile with PGZ’s armoured vehicle expertise offers the best solution for Poland’s Tank Destroyer requirement from a military capability, sovereignty and industrial perspective.

MBDA showcases Tank Destroyer vehicle with PGZ at MSPO 2019

Sebastian Chwałek, Deputy CEO of PGZ, said: «We are growing our co-operation with MBDA into new areas. We have agreed on the ways of offering those solutions in export markets. By combining our competences with the experience of our British partners, we are able to achieve a lot and deliver the most modern solutions to both Polish and allied armed forces».

Adrian Monks, MBDA Sales Director in Poland, said: «Pairing the combat-proven MBDA Brimstone missile with the diverse range of current and future Polish platforms provides the ability to deliver rapid military capability for Poland and for wider markets, whilst strengthening our co-operation with PGZ Group on missiles».

The most important part of the Joint Statement of Co-operation is MBDAs’ declaration that Brimstone missile technology and know-how will be transferred to PGZ, with MESKO SA responsible for missile production. This co-operation is another field of the business relationship developed on the strategic co-operation between PGZ companies and MBDA.

The flexibility of the integration solution and ease of integration with the existing Polish targeting systems makes it flexible to be installed onto or within multiple Polish platforms, including those from WZM SA, HSW SA and Obrum, in any configuration and number of missiles.

The development comes in response to Poland’s requirement for a Tank Destroyer able to counter massed armour formations. With its long-range, all-weather performance, ability to defeat Active Protection Systems (APS), salvo-firing and moving target capability, Brimstone is uniquely able to meet this challenge.

The system is capable of engaging line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight targets, with a choice of engagement modes using digital targeting data provided over standard secure military networks fully interoperable with NATO.

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 a Tank Destroyer armed with the Brimstone precision strike missile

High-energy laser

Rheinmetall and MBDA Deutschland have agreed to collaborate in the high-energy laser effectors domain. The two companies intend to construct, integrate and test a laser demonstrator for the German Navy’s corvette K130.

Rheinmetall and MBDA to develop high-energy laser effector system for the German Navy

Capable of engaging targets at the speed of light with extreme precision and minimal collateral damage, lasers constitute a whole new dimension in defence technology. Now, for the first time ever, this capability is to be investigated under quasi-operational conditions using a demonstrator installed onboard a German corvette. The details and division of responsibilities between the two companies will be determined as soon as the performance specification is made available by the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support, Germany’s military procurement agency.

Looking ahead to the joint project, Peter Heilmeier, Head of Sales and Business Development at MBDA Deutschland GmbH, notes that «cooperation between Rheinmetall and MBDA will be particularly beneficial for the Bundeswehr. Both companies will be leveraging their respective special strengths to make this German Navy project a resounding success».

Werner Krämer, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH, sums up the venture as follows: «We’re going to be cooperating very closely to put the military potential of laser technology to work for the Bundeswehr, boosting its operational readiness and combat effectiveness. Compared to other countries, too, our two companies possess extraordinary capabilities. Lasers offer new tactical possibilities on land, at sea and in the air. In partnership with the German Navy, we want to press ahead with this new technology».