European missiles developer and manufacturer MBDA has launched naval versions of its fifth-generation medium-range missile (MMP) ground combat weapon system.

The missile has been unveiled following the operational evaluation campaign conducted by the French Armed Forces in Djibouti.

The evaluation was carried out to demonstrate and validate the reliability and operational performance of the MMP weapon system in a hot environment, both from the ground and from a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) sailing at high-speed.

During the demonstration, a total of nine missiles were fired with all successfully engaging their targets.

Two MMPs were launched by the maritime force of marines and commandos from an ECUME RHIB. While the first missile was fired from the sea to land, the second MMP firing was conducted from sea to sea.

“We laid the foundations of a family of weapons capable of meeting the most demanding constraints the armed forces may encounter in the field.”

MBDA chief executive officer Antoine Bouvier said: “Today’s launch of a family of naval systems based on the MMP missile is aligned with the trajectory we initiated with the French armies at the launch of the MMP programme in 2011.

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“By  deciding  at that time to introduce the most modern technologies of guidance and propulsion together with a multi-effect warhead, we laid the foundations of a family of weapons capable of meeting the most demanding constraints the armed forces may encounter in the field, in terms of tactical effects, in terms of mobility, as well as in  environmental terms.”

With the successful completion of the tests, MBDA has proposed to integrate the weapon systems on fast-attack craft or semi-rigid boats to carry out a range of missions against hostile ships, coastal defences or armoured vehicles, especially in support of a landing of small units or Special Forces.

Originally developed as a land combat missile system, the 15kg MMP has a length of 1.3m in a tactical canister and features both fire-and-forget and man-in-the-loop operation.