MBDA’s Marte ER anti-ship missile aces final firing

French missile system manufacturer MBDA has successfully conducted the final test-firing of a new Marte ER anti-ship missile.

Carried out at an Italian test range in Sardinia in late November, the firing represents “a key milestone” in the validation process of Marte ER. It provided extra confidence in the performance level and reliability of this new missile, according to the company.

Photo by: MBDA

MBDA used a telemetric production standard missile with all functional capabilities and production hardware embedded. The only exception was the use of an inert warhead instead of a live one. The ground-based launching system used was also in its final hardware and software configuration.

Using its mission planning software, the missile carried out a long-range sea-skimming flight. It made three main turns and a pop-up/dive maneuver during the last turn. A straight segment then followed up to the RF seeker activation point. Target identification, selection, and tracking were extremely fast and proportional guidance started soon after.

During its terminal phase, the missile successfully performed its anti-close-in weapon systems maneuver, hitting the target just above the waterline at high transonic speed. This confirmed the effectiveness of Marte ER’s terminal guidance with its new solid-state RF Seeker, the company noted.

The first firing of Marte ER was completed in November 2018. Themissile flew for more than 100 km on a planned trajectory that included several waypoints and sea-skimming flight, successfully testing all flying phases.

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Now, the firing showed Marte ER’s turbojet engine behavior was excellent for both “in flight start time” and thrust level, according to MBDA.

This firing was the last one in the development path of Marte ER, which is expected to enter into operation early next year.