Qatar Emiri Naval Forces Bolsters Coast Defense with New MBDA Missile Defence System
Qatar Emiri Naval Forces Bolsters Coast Defense with New MBDA Missile Defence System

Qatar Emiri Naval Forces Bolsters Coast Defense with New MBDA Missile Defence Systems

Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF) inaugurated a new coastal anti-ship missile system at the new Al-Houl Naval Base. It provided no further details but released a short video clip showing components for the MBDA Exocet and Marte ER coastal anti-ship missile systems lined up at the base for the event, according to the open-source intelligence company Janes. The MBDA announced during the DIMDEX show held in Doha in March 2016 that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Qatar that would pave the way for a EUR640 million (USD678.34 million) contract to supply the QENF with a coastal defence system with both the Exocet MM40 Block 3 and smaller Marte ER anti-ship missiles.

Qatar Emiri Naval Forces coastal anti-ship missile systems.
Qatar Emiri Naval Forces coastal anti-ship missile systems. (Photo by MOD Qatar)

The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The relatively compact missile is designed for attacking small- to medium-size warships, although multiple hits are effective against larger vessels, such as aircraft carriers. It is guided inertially in mid-flight and turns on active radar homing late in its flight to find and hit its target. Its rocket motor, which is fuelled by solid propellant, gives the Exocet a maximum range of 70 kilometres (43 mi; 38 nmi). It was replaced on the MM40 Block 3 ship-launched version of the missile with a solid-propellant booster and a turbojet sustainer engine which extends the range of the missile to more than 180 kilometres (110 mi; 97 nmi).

Exocet MM40 Block 3 land based system
Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missile (AShM). (Photo by MBDA)

Marte is an Italian anti-ship missile family. Marte is a sea skimming, subsonic, anti-ship missile, it carries a 70 kilograms (150 lb) semi-armour piercing warhead. It has been built in several versions, with differing guidance systems, and is suitable for launching from ships or aircraft. Marte ER is a sea-skimming, high subsonic anti-ship and land attack missile. Turbojet engine Williams WR WJ-24-8G extends range to over 100 km, total weight of 340 kilograms, first tested in 9 November 2018. The missile is fire-and-forget capable and designed to operates in all weather conditions. Mobile Coastal Defence System (MCDS) has the capability to launch both Marte MK2/N and / or Marte ER missile. The system needs midcourse guidance to use the maximum range of Marte ER.

MARTE NG Mobile Coastal Defence System
MARTE NG mobile coastal defence system (MCDS). (Photo by MBDA)

MBDA is a European multinational developer and manufacturer of missiles. It was created in December 2001 after the merger of the main French, British and Italian missile systems companies. “MBDA” is an initialism of the names of said missile businesses: Matra, BAe Dynamics and Alenia. The company is closely associated with Exocet, probably one of the world’s most famous anti-ship missile systems. However, this is only one of a number of ship, fixed and rotary wing aircraft launched anti-ship missiles that MBDA supplies to the modern navy. MBDA is also associated with the most advanced of naval air defence systems, capable of defending against multiple attacks by aircraft and incoming anti-ship missiles. M

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