MBDA has unveiled details of the SPIMM (Self-Protection Integrated Mistral Module), an all-in-one self-protection air defence module based on the SIMBAD-RC system and designed to equip unarmed containerised of all types, particularly those without a combat system (such as supply ships). The new self-protection system was unveiled in February at the IDEX 2019 exhibition in Abu Dhabi, MBDA sees the Middle East as a key target market for the system in light of recent attacks on vessels off the coast of Yemen.
The SPIMM module consists of a SIMBAD-RC automated naval turret equipped with two ready-to-fire Mistral missiles and a 360° infrared panoramic system to detect and track air and surface threats. The system is entirely controlled by two operators located in a shelter inside the module, which is also used to store four additional missiles. This ISO standard “all-in-one” module, 10 feet long and weighing some 7 tons, can be easily positioned on the deck of a ship using a crane, and requires just a standard electrical connection.
Designed to protect surface vessels against most conventional airborne threats (anti-ship missiles, combat aircraft, helicopters and UAVs), the SIMBAD-RC and Mistral demonstrated, at the end of last year, its ability to neutralise asymmetric threats such as Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC) by day and by night. The development of the SPIMM concept reflects navies emerging need for a system that can be temporarily installed on ships as they transit littoral waters or chokepoints where there is a heightened threat of attack.
The MBDA Mistral missile, in its latest generation currently in service in the French forces, is an air defence missile equipped with an infrared imaging seeker and advanced image processing capabilities allowing it to engage low thermal signature targets such as UAVs, anti-ship missiles and fast craft at a greater distance, while offering excellent resistance to countermeasures. MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the
three armed forces (land, sea and air). MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%).