MBDA MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée or Medium-Range Missile) is a French fifth generation man-portable anti-tank guided missile designed for dismounted infantry as well as for integration on combat vehicles. It was developed by MBDA Missile Systems and is intended as a replacement for their MILAN, which has been sold worldwide. The MMP programme originated in 2009 to develop a successor to MBDA’s forty-year old MILAN. This was particularly in response to a French Urgent Operational Requirement of 2010 which had led to the purchase of the US-made Javelin, rather than MILAN; 260 Javelins were ordered because of its fire-and-forget capability, which also led to MBDA’s improved MILAN-ER offering being rejected because it lacked such a feature. The UK, previously a major user of MILAN, had also converted to Javelin.
The MMP was designed to overcome some of MILAN’s limitations in the context of small-scale and counter-insurgency operations post-2000, rather than the Cold War tank war of the original MILAN requirement. In theatres such as Iraq and Afghanistan, man-portable missile were often used against strongpoints and improvised armour within populated areas. Reducing collateral damage to nearby civilians became a major political factor in such campaigns. Particular developments over existing missiles were for it to be safe for operators within a confined space, i.e. reduced backblast on launch, and for improved guidance that could target non-IR cold targets as well as AFVs with a reduced risk of collateral damage. Compared to its predecessors it contains a great deal of modern and COTS electronics, rather than the previously slow-moving development of military procurement.
The missile and its guidance system offer three different operating modes:
- Man In The Loop with fibre optic data-link
- Lock-on after launch (LOAL) for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and using third party target designation.
At Eurosatory 2016, MBDA also unveiled its new IMPACT turret. This 250 kg motorized turret was presented on a Dagger, a small armored vehicle produced by Renault Trucks Defense. It carries the day/night sensors of the MMP fire control, as well as two ready-to-fire missiles and a 7.62 mm machine gun and its ammunition for self-defense. In 2017, MBDA offered its MMP to the Australian Defence Force as an integrated ATGW on both the Rheinmetall Boxer (on the 30 mm Lance turret) and the BAE Systems AMV35 vehicles (on the 35 mm BAE Hägglunds turret) under the Australian Army’s LAND 400 program. The missile is also being offered with its Infantry Firing Post for the Army’s LAND 4108 program, which is seeking a replacement to the in-service Javelin ATGW.
The missile has a range of 4 km based on a French requirement, but in May 2018 two test firings were able to hit targets at 5 km. The French Army accepted in November 2017 the delivery of a first batch of 50 MMP missiles and 20 firing posts. These first items will be used to train future users. The weapon system will be deployed in operations in the course of 2018 and the delivery of 400 firing posts and 1,950 missiles across all of the French Armed Forces by 2025 is already planned. In December 2017, Qatar reportedly opened negotiations with MBDA in order to acquire MMPs for up to 400 million euros. Most of Qatar current anti-tank missiles are to be dismantled and the country is looking to renew its stocks. Doha currently possesses around 650 missile -mostly HOT and old version of the Milan- that should be destroyed.