The MBDA Enforcer missile system is on the cusp of a significant milestone, with full-scale production scheduled to commence for the German Army in the near future. This lightweight, high-precision missile system has generated a buzz in the defense industry and holds immense promise for enhancing the capabilities of infantry and Special Forces. During an international media visit to MBDA’s Schrobenhausen facility near Munich on October 29, 2023, company officials from MBDA Germany provided insights into the German Enforcer program and the future prospects of the Enforcer family. The Enforcer missile system, pending approval from the Bundeswehr, is set to go into full-rate production before the end of 2023. This development marks a significant step towards equipping the German military with an innovative, versatile, and effective munition system. The Enforcer missile launcher is currently in its final qualification phases, with the first deliveries to the German Special Forces expected in 2024. The Enforcer is a portable, shoulder-launched weapon developed by MBDA Missile Systems, specifically tailored to meet the requirements of infantry and Special Forces. German Special Forces requested the development of this lightweight missile launcher, intending to complement the Wirkmittel 90 (RGW 90) already in use.
Under a contract signed in 2019, up to 3,000 Enforcer systems will be delivered to the German Special Forces, where it will be designated as the Wirkmittel 1,800+. This disposable, shoulder-launched guided weapon system offers a versatile solution for engaging a variety of targets, including lightly armored vehicles, static and moving targets, and threats behind cover. The Enforcer missile system introduces a new dimension to lightweight, disposable, shoulder-launched munitions in the 2 km class, promising improved target range and enhanced performance compared to heavy machine guns and grenade launchers. Weighing less than 7 kg, with the entire system (including sight and two munitions) at less than 20 kg, the Enforcer missile launcher is designed for flexibility and ease of use in asymmetrical conflict zones. Its compact size and dimensions make it highly portable and efficient, providing dismounted infantry with a precise and effective guided missile. What sets the Enforcer missile system apart is its lock-on before launch (LOBL) feature, making it exceptionally accurate. The system also possesses airburst capabilities, rendering it effective against hidden targets.
The Enforcer is designed to minimize collateral damage, ensuring that it can be easily operated by a single soldier. With its seeker head guiding the missile directly to the center of the predetermined target, the Enforcer performs seamlessly during day and night operations, even in enclosed spaces. The Enforcer missile system aligns with the Bundeswehr’s Leichtes Wirkmittel 1800+ requirement for a lightweight, day/night, precision-guided, shoulder-launched 89 mm weapon with a range of more than 1,800 m. However, the Enforcer’s versatility extends beyond these specifications. New applications, including anti-tank, air-launched, and very short- and short-range air defense (V/SHORAD), are being explored, broadening its potential use cases. The Enforcer’s adaptability is evident in its potential to be armed with a tandem-shaped warhead, designed for the destruction of light vehicles. Furthermore, MBDA is actively developing an anti-tank version known as the Enforcer X. There is also a concept in the works for an air-launched Enforcer, compatible with both fixed- and rotary-wing manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
In response to the Bundeswehr’s Nah- und Nächstbereichsschutz (NNbS) V/SHORAD and counter-small unmanned aircraft system (C-sUAS) requirement, MBDA is working on a new version of the Enforcer missile with larger fins. This version could be installed on the Skyranger 30, based on the Boxer 8×8 armored vehicle, with three cells each carrying three Enforcer missiles. This adaptation will address the NNbS requirement, providing a solution against Class 1 UAVs weighing less than 150 kg. The Enforcer missile system is set to revolutionize the capabilities of the German Army, offering a lightweight, precise, and highly adaptable solution to address a range of operational needs. Its innovative features, such as LOBL guidance, airburst capabilities, and minimal collateral damage, make it a valuable addition to the Bundeswehr’s arsenal. The ongoing exploration of new variants and applications further underscores the Enforcer’s potential to enhance Germany’s defense capabilities and ensure security in an evolving threat landscape.