France eyes 5 weapons for future missile
By: Pierre Tran
VERSAILLES, France ― The French Army is studying five weapons in a technical evaluation for a new air-to-ground missile in a planned upgrade of the Tiger attack helicopter, said Army Sgt. Maj. Jean-Luc.
That assessment will allow the Army’s specialist Stat unit for weapon assessment to draw up a file of operational needs for the Future Tactical Air-Surface Missile, dubbed MAST-F, Jean-Luc told reporters May 15.
Jean-Luc’s full name is not being provided for security reasons.
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The acquisition of a new missile is part of the Tiger Mk3 modernization project, which has been announced as part of Franco-German military cooperation in a bid to boost European defense.
The five weapons under consideration are MLP, a long-range version of the MBDA MMP anti-tank missile; EMMH, a Franco-German cooperative project based on the MLP; Brimstone 3, a British missile; Spike ER of Rafael; and the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile from Lockheed Martin, said Philippe Gouyon, a military adviser to MBDA.
The Army Stat unit will draft its file of operational needs, which will serve as the basis for program requirements set by the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office, and issued to industry in a public tender.
A cooperative Franco-German EMMH missile will require bilateral agreement, which will not be a simple matter, as there are separate requirements, a defense executive said.
It’s possible Spain may also join the process. Spanish participation is needed to qualify for European Union funding for development of the EMMH missile, as the European Defence Fund requires three EU partner nations to attract financial support.
The French Army is due to take the MMP to Mali in September, its first overseas deployment, said Jean-Luc.
Jean-Luc is one of 27 instructors who train those who will in turn train other troops to fire the MMP. There has been training of the special forces of the Air Force, Army and Navy.
A first firing of the MMP from the Jaguar combat and reconnaissance vehicle is due early next year. The Army received its first 50-strong batch of MMPs in December, part the replacement of the Milan anti-tank weapon.
The MBDA presentation of the MMP was part of a press trip organized by the defense industry association Gicat.
Standard 3 is also closely associated with the replacement of the successor of the air / ground missile , recalls the annexed report of LPM 2019-2025. The French army wants to replace the missiles AGM-114 Hellfire II with a new long-range missile, through a program called "Missile Air-Surface Tactical Future" (MAST-F). In August 2017, Airbus Helicopters also won the market for the integration study of MAST-F on the Tigre helicopter. Who, from Lockheed Martin with a modernized version of Hellfire, or MBDA and its MHT, EMMH, and Brimstone 3 will be retained? Response by 2020 to a minimum.
A second development concerns the ammunition fired by the 30 mm gun 30M781 produced by Nexter. Although the Explosive Explosive Semi-Perforating Shell (OSPEI) has largely demonstrated its effectiveness on the Afghan theater, it would have been less successful in the sandy environment of Mali, where shells sank deep into the ground before explode. The ALAT would therefore be currently looking for a new munition with a lower penetration, in favor of a better explosive capacity. Source: forcesoperations.com
EC665 TIGER HAD: Details
Missile Moyenne Portée: Details
Brimstone 2: Details
Spike ER: Details
Joint Air to Ground Missile (JAGM): Details