Naval Warfare

Nexter and MBDA Present NARWHAL Naval Turret Equipped with AKERON MP Missile System

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Nexter and MBDA Present NARWHAL Naval Turret Equipped with AKERON MP Missile System

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Nexter and MBDA Present NARWHAL Naval Turret Equipped with AKERON MP Missile System
Nexter and MBDA Present NARWHAL Naval Turret Equipped with AKERON MP Missile System

The NARWHAL is a remotely operated 20mm naval turret that can be integrated just as easily onto small patrol boats as onto frigates. Equipped with state-of-the-art optronics, including a day/night sight and a laser range finder, it is effective at more than 2,000 metres thanks to its 20M621 gun. The NARWHAL turret presented on the Nexter stand is paired with a manual target designator: the Short Range Pointer (SRP), designed by the German firm Hensoldt. With this easy-to-use tool, an onboard operator can quickly designate a target to the NARWHAL by pointing a laser beam. The NARWHAL is already a commercial success, in service with six different navies. To meet their needs and those of future customers, our engineers are working to add new capabilities and options that enhance its operational effectiveness.

Nexter NARWHAL Naval Turret Equipped with MBDA AKERON MP Missile System.
Nexter NARWHAL 20mm Remote Controlled Naval Turret Equipped with MBDA AKERON MP Missile System.

The Akeron MP (Akeron Moyenne Portée), formerly known as MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée; English: Medium-Range Missile), is a French fifth generation, network-enabled, anti-tank guided missile system. Featuring both fire-and-forget and command guidance operating modes, it also integrates third party target designation for indirect firing scenarios through its lock-on after launch capability for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) use. The AKERON MP missile has been available to French forces since 2017 and has already been selected by five countries, including three in Europe. It is the only latest-generation land combat missile in service to have been successfully engaged in operations on multiple occasions. The AKERON MP is capable of dealing with all battlefield threats in all types of environment: extreme heat and cold, urban spaces, maritime areas, and mountainous terrain.

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Nexter NARWHAL Naval Turret
Nexter NARWHAL Naval Turret

AKERON MP offers both “fire-and-forget” and “man-in-the-loop” capability. 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. Despite these new features, it was still to remain effective against modern AFV and MBT armour. A tandem warhead is used, making it effective against conventional, composite and reactive armour. Upon detonation, the warhead also sprays 1,500 tungsten splinters, effective against personnel out to 15 metres (49 ft).

MBDA AKERON MP anti-tank guided missile system Sea Launced
MBDA AKERON MP anti-tank guided missile system Sea Launced

The integration of MBDA’s anti-missile system on the NARWHAL turret means that the AKERON MP is now available on a new naval platform, as the system also comes in a dismounted version on a light firing post, as well as on a range of other platforms, such as armoured vehicles, light vehicles, ECUME semi-rigid commando boats, fast patrol boats, or larger ships for close protection needs. Finally, a naval capability is being implemented on the AKERON MP missile to facilitate the acquisition of small targets and signatures from naval platforms, including with a mast-mounted configuration, and provide these platforms with an enhanced self-defence capability in coastal environments against sea- or land-based asymmetric threats.

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