Egyptian Naval Special Forces Fielding Akeron MP Anti-tank Guided Missile
Egyptian Naval Special Forces Fielding Akeron MP Anti-tank Guided Missile

Egyptian Naval Special Forces Fielding Akeron MP Anti-tank Guided Missile

The video by the Egyptian Ministry of Defense showed a high-level Qatari military delegation visiting several Egyptian units, including one that identified itself as the Egyptian Naval Special Forces, which displayed weapons and equipment that included a MBDA Akeron MP Anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) with a launcher and missile tube in tan rather than the usual green. They were displayed alongside RPG-32 and Nashshab shoulder-launched unguided anti-tank rocket system. Akeron MP has been issued to the Egyptian Navy’s special forces and is capable of delivering immense destructive power against armored targets.

The Akeron MP (Akeron Moyenne Portée), formerly known as MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée; 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. 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.

 Akeron MP Fifth-generation Tactical Combat Missiles
Akeron MP Fifth-generation Tactical Combat Missiles. (Photo by MBDA)

The MMP 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. In theatres such as Iraq and Afghanistan, 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, i.e. reduced backblast on launch, and for improved guidance that could target non-IR cold targets.

The missile and its guidance system offer three different operating modes: Fire-and-Forget, Man In The Loop with optical fiber data-link and 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 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). In May 2018 two test firings were able to hit targets at 5,000 metres (5,500 yd).

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