France’s defence procurement agency, the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), has accepted the delivery to the French Armed Forces of the first batch of 50 missiles and 20 firing posts from the new MMP system.
The deliveries were conducted between 15 and 23 November and will gradually replace the Milan, the HOT missiles mounted on VAB Armoured Fighting Vehicles and the ERYX for some of these missiles. Issued to French Army infantry and cavalry units, as well as Special Forces, the MMP program will see the delivery of 400 firing posts and 1,750 missiles across all of the French Armed Forces by 2025, with first operations deployments expected in 2018.
The DGA, which awarded MBDA the MMP contract in 2013, qualified the system last July, clearing the way for serial production. According to MBDA, MMP offers both ‘fire-and-forget’ and ‘man-in-the-loop’ capabilities and can be used by day and by night.
“Its multi-purpose warhead is effective against a wide variety of targets such as vehicles, armour, infrastructures and personnel. Its extreme accuracy gives it the ability to strike at a range of over 4,000 metres while minimising the risk of collateral damage,” managing director MBDA Australia Andy Watson said. “The missile can also be fired from confined spaces, a crucial characteristic for urban combat, by dismounted infantrymen.”
MMP is to be fitted on the EBRC Jaguar armoured reconnaissance and combat vehicle, due to be delivered to the French Army in 2020.
MMP is being offered to the ADF as an integrated Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (ATGW) on both the Rheinmetall Boxer and the BAE Systems AMV-35 vehicles under consideration for Army’s Land 400 program. The missile is also being offered with its Infantry Firing Post for the Land 4108 program, which is seeking a replacement to the in-service Javelin ATGW.
Watson said MBDA is committed to building, maintaining and developing the MMP system in Australia if selected. The company has created an Australian Partnering Network of eight local engineering and technical services companies, including Ferra Engineering, Cablex, and Safran, that would carry out the work.