MBDA Mistral Missile Tested on Leonardo M-40 Target Drone
MBDA Mistral Missile Tested on Leonardo M-40 Target Drone

MBDA Mistral Missile Tested on Leonardo M-40 Target Drone

Leonardo has announced that it has performed a series of flights with its M-40 target drone in order to carry out realistic tests of MBDA’s new Mistral surface-to-air missile. During the trials, which were performed in Italy, the M-40 was used to simulate modern airborne threats. The test series of six flights with the M-40 culminated in the live firing of a Mistral missile at one of the drones. The missile successfully intercepted the target, proving its capabilities and providing MBDA with valuable data on the missile’s performance. Other nations, including some of those attending the trial, have registered interest in a similar service model and the M-40 is also available for purchase as a standalone product.

 MBDA Mistral Missile Tested on Leonardo M-40 Target Drone
MBDA Mistral Missile Tested on Leonardo M-40 Target Drone

Fifteen international delegations witnessed the trials, the centerpiece of which was the live firing of a Mistral missile at an M-40 drone. The missile intercepted the target, proving its capabilities and allowing MBDA to collect valuable data on the missile’s performance. In total, the M-40 drones carried out 6 flights between October the 28th and November the 6th. Leonardo offers the M-40 alongside its Mirach 100/5 target drone, which has been used for over 20 years by a range of Armed Forces: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, UK, Algeria, Argentina and Israel have all used Mirach family drones to train. The twin-engine Mirach 100/5 is ideal for occasions when customers need to simulate the highest-performance threat systems.
 MBDA Mistral Missile Tested on Leonardo M-40 Target Drone
MBDA Mistral Missile Tested on Leonardo M-40 Target Drone

The Mirach 40 (M-40) is a reusable state-of-the-art multi-threat aerial target system, designed and manufactured completely inhouse. The M-40 is also available as a standalone product. It is inexpensive to fly and offers 60 minutes of endurance, making it a cost-effective option for a wide range of training and proving requirements. The system simulates many of the common threats, including very-low-altitude sea skimming missions, formation flights, and 3D “g-controlled” manoeuvres within a flight envelope between 5 and over 8000 meters, and a presentation speed up and over 200m/s.
 MBDA Mistral Missile Tested on Leonardo M-40 Target Drone
MBDA Mistral Missile Tested on Leonardo M-40 Target Drone

A fleet of M-40 drones is currently in service with the Italian Armed Forces. Leonardo operates the targets on behalf of the Armed Forces on a managed service basis, providing trained crew and all necessary support. The Italian M40 is launched via a pneumatic catapult, which
provides benefits in terms of mission reliability and safety/environmental/logistics footprint for the lack of pyro boosters. Proposed worldwide to train and qualify a wide variety of weapon systems, it combines reliability, performance and life-cycle cost effectiveness to make it the target drone system of choice for realistic aerial threat simulation.
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