MBDA has successfully completed the final test firing of the Marte extended range (ER) anti-ship missile, which was conducted late last month.

The test-firing marked a major milestone in the Marte ER’s validation and development. It was conducted at an Italian test range in Sardinia.

This final testing showcased the new missile’s performance level and reliability.

For the testing, MBDA used a telemetric production standard missile equipped with complete functional capabilities and production hardware.

However, the company noted that the event saw the use of an inert warhead in place of a live one.

The ground-based launching system used was also in its last phase of hardware and software configuration.

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The missile executed a long-range sea-skimming flight with the support of its mission planning software.

MBDA said that the missile made ‘three main turns and a pop-up / dive manoeuvre’ during its final turn, when a straight segment led to the activation point of the radio frequency (RF) seeker.

The latest launch of the missile witnessed rapid target identification, selection and tracking.

The terminal phase of the missile successfully executed manoeuvring of its anti-Close-in Weapon Systems. The target was lying just above the water line and hit at high transonic speed.

This phase showcased its terminal guidance’s effectiveness with a new solid-state RF Seeker.

MBDA said it also demonstrated the behaviour of the missile’s turbojet engine, which was considered to be ‘excellent for both in-flight start time and thrust level’.

This firing is the last in Marte ER development. The missile is expected to become operational early next year.

MBDA completed the second test firing of the Marte ER anti-ship missile in February last year.

Built by MBDA, Marte is designed to meet the modern combat mission requirements of naval forces.