21st March 2019 – In early 2019, the DGA (French Procurement Agency) and the French Army (STAT) organised a campaign to test the MMP land combat missile in extreme cold conditions. Performed on the Swedish state firing range at Vidsel, located near the Arctic Circle with temperatures between -15 °C and -30 °C, the cold weather campaign of the MMP was a complete success.
Three firing scenarios, representative of the operational uses of the MMP at long range, were successfully completed. In each case the missile successfully hit its target, confirming in particular the smooth operation of the system’s image processing algorithms under typical winter and subpolar conditions (snowy background).
- The first scenario was made in LOBL mode (Lock On Before Launch) on a vehicle moving at 70 km / h.
- The second scenario successfully engaged a cave target in low trajectory and in LOBL mode.
- The third scenario, using the Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) mode, was made using GPS coordinates transmitted by the FELIN system (French Army Digitized Soldier System). Lock-on was achieved during flight against a tank not visible from the launch position. The tank was then successfully struck on its roof.
The campaign has confirmed the robustness of the equipment used in extreme conditions of negative temperatures. It also has confirmed the system’s ease of use and good ergonomics (compatibility with the cold weather infantry equipment for example), in highly demanding conditions for the equipment and for the user.
This campaign complements the technical and operational evaluation of the system conducted by the French army and the DGA since the start of deliveries at the end of 2017, in particular following the hot weather campaign carried out in Djibouti last August.
In service in the French army since 2018, the MMP is to date the only 5th generation land combat missile of the world to be deployed in military theaters of operations.
Photos © Laurent Guichardon – MBDA and Anders Åberg