Members of 15 foreign delegations, as well as representatives of the European Defence Agency (EDA) and of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) have been given the opportunity to witness the full range of capabilities of MBDA’s 5th generation MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée) ground combat missile during a live firing demonstration. This demonstration – organised on 12th October 2018, at the Canjuers base in the presence of the French Army and the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) – took place in two phases: a dynamic phase, in which representatives from around the world watched three firings conducted by the French Army Technical Section (STAT), and a static phase, based on presentations and workshops making use of standard operational equipment for simulations, training and support.
The three firings – all of which struck their targets precisely – showcased the missile’s various operating modes by confronting it with different scenarios, against both fixed and mobile targets at ranges of 2.5 km to over 4 km, proving the accuracy of the MMP in all circumstances, even when fired at hidden targets beyond line of sight. The demonstration, which included firings with the seeker locking on to the target both before and after launch, and using both infrared and TV guidance, also highlighted the MMP’s ‘fire and forget’ and ‘operator in the loop’ capabilities.
Its ability to engage targets beyond direct line of sight by means of a network-centric enabled tablet computer, or via images relayed by micro-UAVs, was also demonstrated, illustrating how the MMP operates in symbiosis with coordination systems and field sensors. The delegations also discovered different configurations of the MMP: a standard firing post fixed on an Arquus SHERPA Special Forces light combat vehicle; with an Impact remote-controlled turret mounted on an Arquus SHERPA armoured vehicle; and with a T40 gun turret mounted on a Nexter VBCI infantry fighting vehicle.
This demonstration follows on from September’s hot weather campaign carried out by the French Army in Djibouti, which validated the MMP’s suitability for use in a desert environment and secured the green light for its deployment in support of the Operation Barkhane in the Sahel-Saharan Strip. In France, the MMP programme includes provision of 400 firing posts and 1,950 missiles across all branches of the French Armed Forces by 2025. In addition to the MILAN and the Javelin, the MMP will also replace in the French Army the ERYX, and HOT missile mounted on the VAB Armored Fighting Vehicle as well as arm the EBRC Jaguar.