The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA, Direction générale de l’armement) placed an order for 200 Akeron MP (formerly known as Missile Moyenne Portee/MMP) produced by MBDA. This deal was signed on December 29 in accordance with the French Military Programing Law 2019-2025. Last year, 200 MMP missiles had been received by the DGA and delivered to the joint munitions service (SIMu). As a reminder, Luxembourg placed an order for 90 MMP missiles in the summer of 2022, thus becoming a new country added to the list of European countries working with MBDA. Entering French service from 2017 onwards, the Akeron MP was developed by MBDA France and is intended as a replacement for the MILAN and American-made FGM-148 Javelin.
The Akeron MP (Moyenne Portee, Medium-Range), 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 was designed to overcome some of MILAN’s limitations in the context of small-scale and counter-insurgency operations post-2000, rather than the Cold War tank war of the original MILAN requirement. Man-portable missile were often used against strongpoints and improvised armour within populated areas. Reducing collateral damage to nearby civilians became a major political factor in such campaigns.
Particular developments over existing missiles were for it to be safe for operators within a confined space 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. The missile and its guidance system offer three different operating modes:
Man In The Loop with optical fiber data-link
Lock-on after launch (LOAL) for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and using third party target designation.
Despite these new features, it was still to remain effective against modern Armoured Fighting Vehicle and Main Battle Tank armour. A tandem warhead is used, making it effective against conventional, composite and reactive armour. The missile measures 1,300 millimetres (51 in) in length for a 140 millimetres (5.5 in) caliber.Upon detonation, the warhead also sprays 1,500 tungsten splinters, effective against personnel out to 15 metres (49 ft).The missile has a range of 4,000 metres (4,400 yd) based on a French requirement, but in May 2018 two test firings were able to hit targets at 5,000 metres (5,500 yd). At commercial launch, MBDA introduced the MMP as the first land combat missile of 5th generation.