A successful firing, by the French navy, of the latest generation of MBDA’s Exocet missile – Mer-Mer 40 Block 3c (MM40 B3c) – took place from the multi-mission Alsace frigate (FREMM DA) off the coast of the DGA missile test centre (DGA EM) of Ile du Levant on 20 September 2023. Exocet MM40 B3c is the latest generation of MBDA’s Exocet family of anti-ship missiles for integration on a wide variety of platforms including surface ships, submarines, fast jets, helicopters and coastal batteries. Previous versions of Exocet are in service with several navies around the world.
MBDA CEO Eric Béranger said: “I am extremely proud of the success of this operational evaluation firing of the Exocet MM40 B3c, performed from the multi-mission Alsace frigate. It proves the new capabilities of the missile’s latest generation, whose major developments keep it at the forefront in a high-intensity context. Exocet is a real symbol for MBDA, and this success is further proof of the skill and technical excellence of MBDA’s people. I would also like to thank the DGA and French navy for this firing.”
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 B3c generation builds on the successive improvements made to Exocet throughout its service. MM40 B3c includes all the characteristics for which Exocet is renowned, in particular its all-weather capability and high flexibility of use. In addition, this latest missile benefits from new seeker technology and the development of new algorithms designed to meet the latest operational requirements of anti-ship warfare.
The Exocet is built by MBDA, a European missile company. Development began in 1967 by Nord as a ship-launched weapon named the MM38. A few years later, Aerospatiale and Nord merged. The basic body design was based on the Nord AS-30 air-to-ground tactical missile. MBDA has continued to develop Exocet since it entered service. This has enabled the missile to adapt to new battlefield conditions while maintaining its exceptional all-weather capability. The Exocet MM40 B3c is MBDA’s response to new conflicts with an evolving threat spectrum, in particular high-intensity combat in complex electronic warfare environments.
MBDA is a unique multi-national European group, a world-leader in the field of complex weapon systems, playing a key role in keeping nations safe. Created in the spirit of international co-operation, MBDA and its 14,000+ employees work together to support the national sovereignty of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, and their allies worldwide. As an accelerator for innovation, MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and manufacturing complex weapons to meet the full range of current and future operational requirements of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%) and Leonardo (25%) jointly own MBDA.
Despite being a European joint venture, MBDA has maintained national divisions since its creation: MBDA France, MBDA UK and MBDA Italy. They were formed by simply grouping in their respective countries the assets and activities of the various French, British and Italian businesses that had merged to create MBDA. In March 2006, LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH, the German missile subsidiary of EADS, was acquired by MBDA and Spanish assets followed in 2010, leading to the formation of two additional national divisions (MBDA Germany and MBDA Spain). MBDA works with over 90 armed forces worldwide and also has a number of subsidiaries, including one in the United States (MBDA Inc).