MBDA is showcasing the latest missile technologies at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) 2023 Exhibition.
Particular highlights of the company’s presence are options to equip the new FA-50 combat aircraft recently chosen by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. Together MBDA’s ASRAAM air combat missile and Brimstone precision strike missile give unprecedented combat performance for a light fighter. They enable an aircraft to dominate the close air combat fight and easily engage all ground targets from the best protected tanks to moving vehicles and attack vessels – all with a very high loadout.
MBDA has been a long-standing partner to the Malaysian Armed Forces for ground based air defence with the Jernas system. Today the company is proposing its next-generation GBAD system based on the CAMM family of missiles to provide cutting-edge layered air defence for the Malaysian Army and Malaysian Air Force. These provide significantly enhanced range and performance compared with Jernas, 360° all-weather coverage, and minimised support requirements.
In the naval domain, the Royal Malaysia Navy have already selected MBDA’s VL MICA naval air defence system for one class of vessels, with the same system also offering great potential for other Malaysian naval vessels. MBDA will be exhibiting the latest version of this potent system, the VL MICA NG that provides the highest levels of performance to protect naval vessels thanks to its new dual-pulse rocket motor and dual seeker options – AESA RF or Imaging IR.
Meanwhile MBDA is also exhibiting its capabilities in the battlefield space, with its latest generation Akeron MP man-portable anti-tank missile that meets the needs of infantry and special forces.
METEOR is MBDA’s revolutionary ramjet powered and network-enabled beyond visual range air-to-air missile, which is widely recognised as a game changer for air combat. Key to this is Meteor’s throttleable ramjet engine, active radar seeker and datalink that combine to provide unmatched end-game speed and manoeuvrability at greatly extended ranges, resulting in its all-important ‘No-Escape Zone’ being several times greater than any other existing or planned BVR weapons. Meteor is integrated on fighter aircraft including Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale and is being integrated to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and KF-21.
ASRAAM is designed to dominate air combat, giving any platform equipped with ASRAAM the ability to see first, shoot first and kill first. With its large rocket motor, and clean aerodynamic design, ASRAAM has unrivalled speed and resultant aerodynamic manoeuvrability and range. ASRAAM gives it a high kinematic capability that delivers superior end-game performance for within visual range air combat and near beyond visual range – providing a potent capability for light combat aircraft such as FA-50.
BRIMSTONE is perhaps the world’s premier air launched anti-tank missile, capable of defeating even the very best protected of tanks, as other moving targets with very high precision. Equipped with a high performance dual-mode seeker with all-weather RF and semi-active laser for operator-in-the-loop engagements to give unmatched ability to engage any type of surface target. Weighing just 50kg and carried by fast jets on triple launchers, it provides a high loadout potential for light strike aircraft such as FA-50 compared with legacy missile such as AGM-65.
SPEAR is a first-of-class network enabled miniature cruise missile designed to defeat challenging targets such as mobile long-range air defence systems at over-the-horizon ranges in all weathers and in highly contested environments. Weighing under 100 kg it provides a high-load out potential with the ability to saturate air defences thanks to being carried externally on triple launchers on a range of combat aircraft or within the payload bay of F-35s on quadruple launchers.
MICA NG is the only missile in the world featuring two interoperable seekers (active radar and imaging infrared) to cover the spectrum from close-in dogfight to long beyond visual range. Its ability to fly out to BVR in passive mode before the seeker locks on in the final stages of the end game has earned it the nickname “silent killer” as the target has little time to react or to deploy effective countermeasures. MICA NG features updated technologies throughout to significantly enhance the range and performance of this highly capable air combat missile.
GBAD and NBAD
ASTER B1NT is the latest generation of the potent Aster family of long-range air defence products for naval and ground based air defence. The Aster 30B1NT meets a key dual requirement of one missile for both ground and naval systems, protecting against missile threats (including short-range, medium-range and tactical ballistic missiles) and aircraft, and with increased resistance to electronic counter measures.
CAMM and CAMM-ER are MBDA’s latest addition to its catalogue of air defence systems for both naval (SEA CEPTOR) and land applications (EMADS). The CAMM family provides the latest air defence technologies including a highly advanced digital RF seeker, two-way datalink and soft-vertical launch, and are purpose built for air defence. The system is able to counter all modern threats, including swarms and low-radar cross section targets in all weathers from multiple directions and in the fact of electronic countermeasures. CAMM and CAMM-ER share the same advanced electronic components (the seeker, datalink, etc), with the main difference being their rocket motors, which are optimised for engagements at different ranges within a layered air defence system. CAMM is optimised for engagements at ranges of up to 25 km, including of late emerging threats at close range, while CAMM-ER has a larger rocket motor that is optimised for extended range engagements over 40 km.
MISTRAL has proven itself a major success story with a 96% success rate in all firings. This highly versatile IR missile, the missile can be deployed as a man portable air defence system (MISTRAL MANPADS) or from a number of land and ship based launch systems, such as the SIMBAD RC system for naval air defence.
VL MICA NG is the new generation MICA air defence weapon system offering excellent self-defence and local area defence capability for a wide range of surface combatant vessels and land applications. VL MICA NG is available with two state-of-the-art seekers (IR or RF) and with a new dual-pulse rocket motor providing extended range engagement capability out to 40 km. It can counter the most severe infrared and electronic countermeasure scenarios with a very high kill probability.
SEA VENOM is a new generation an over-the-horizon sea-skimming anti-ship missile for shipborne helicopters, and is suitable for a wide range of platforms – exhibited at LIMA on two helicopter platforms the AW159 Wildcat and H160. It will safely engage hostile vessels amongst civilian assets, even in congested littoral environments and will defeat a broad spectrum of targets including small fast-moving craft through to larger ships – at sea or in port – as well as coastal land targets.
MARTE ER is the latest member of the Marte family of anti-ship missile weapon systems designed to meet operational requirements in complex littoral environments and blue water scenarios. The high sub-sonic MARTE ER is equipped with a turbo-jet engine giving it a range of well over 120 km, thus enabling it to engage enemy vessels well over the horizon. Other enhancements include an optimized terminal guidance system and 4D waypoints including altitude and time for simultaneous time on target attack. MARTE ER offers rotary and fixed wing aircraft, ships and land based coastal defence systems a significant operational advantage.
EXOCET probably ranks as the world’s best known anti-ship missile. Exocet features low signature, sea-skimming flight at very low altitudes, late seeker activation, enhanced target discrimination and Electronic Counter Counter Measures (ECCM) combine to make this a redoubtable weapon indeed. Exocet is offered in three variants: the submarine launched SM39, the air launched AM39 and the surface launched MM40. The latest surfaced launched version of Exocet is the MM40 Block 3 variant within the EXOCET family is a 200+ km class weapon suitable for launch from ships or from coastal batteries. Already in service, this latest generation EXOCET features 3D waypoints, low sea-skimming flight profile and the ability to strike coastal land targets as well as ships.
AKERON MP is the world’s only fifth generation land combat missiles designed for dismounted infantry as well as for integration on combat vehicles and aircraft. With a range in excess of 4,000 m, Akeron MP has a programmable warhead capable of defeating all targets, from the best protected main battle tanks to personnel and structures. This network enabled missile fires in fire and forget mode, with a unique operator-above-the-loop functionality that enables Akeron MP to be quickly and easily redirected in flight for aim point refinement, or lock-on after launch functionalities.
ENFORCER is a lightweight missile system that enables the effective engagement of a wide range of targets, including lightly armoured static and moving targets and threats behind cover. ENFORCER provides the soldier with a highly mobile, easy to use and cost effective battlefield solution to reliably strike modern threats faster and more precisely. Mission experience of international armed forces has revealed the need for lightweight, precision stand-off weapons for use by infantry, special forces and special operation forces of all services. MBDA’s answer to this operational need is ENFORCER, a shoulder-launched guided weapon system suitable for engaging a wide target set to reach highest precision beyond the range of unguided weapons.