MBDA’s Marte ER anti-ship missile has completed its first firing, successfully passing a major phase in its development. The firing trial was carried out on 9 November in an Italian test range. The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km on a planned trajectory that included several waypoints and sea skimming flight, successfully testing all flying phases. The Marte ER programme is progressing at full speed in order to meet customers’ requirements. Having completed the 18 months System Definition Phase, 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.
Pasquale Di Bartolomeo, Executive Group Director Sales & Business Development and Managing Director MBDA Italia, commented: “This test is a further confirmation of the robustness of the ER version of the Marte family of multi-platform anti-ship missiles that can be launched by ships, helicopters, coastal batteries and fast jets. The Marte family has a strong and successful history both at domestic and international levels: most recently with Marte ER being ordered earlier in 2018 by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) for their new NH90 helicopters. Marte is a single product family that can cover several missions, offering our customers a high level of operational flexibility in the area of maritime superiority, a domain where MBDA in Italy has been able throughout its long history not only to maintain but also to grow as well as further develop competencies and know-how”.
Marte ER represents the 3rd generation within the Marte family of missile systems and is derived from Marte MK2/S which is already in service with the Italian Navy on its NFH90 and AW101 helicopters. The main difference between the two lies in the introduction of a turbo engine in place of the rocket motor. This missile is going to be integrated on Eurofighter TYPHOON and other fast jets. Marte ER design takes into account that MARTE MK2/S is already qualified and installed on these two platforms. This offers the following advantages:
- Same mechanical, functional & electrical helicopter interfaces
- No platform hardware changes required to manage the MARTE ER missile, only software changes to the Store Management System (SMS) are required to manage longer range performance
- The helicopter, with the new version of SMS software, is able to operate both MARTE MK2/S and MARTE ER missiles
- Same logistic support, in terms of benches, trolley and most handling & maintenance tools and schedule