MBDA has successfully concluded the first test firing of its medium-range, lightweight Marte extended range (ER) anti-ship missile.

Carried out at an Italian test range, the missile’s maiden launch marked a major milestone in its development phase.

The missile travelled more than 100km on a planned course that included several waypoints and sea-skimming flight, successfully testing all flying phases of the weapon system.

MBDA Italia managing director and sales and business development executive group director Pasquale Di Bartolomeo said: “This test is a further confirmation of the robustness of the ER version of the Marte family of multi-platform anti-ship missiles that can be launched by ships, helicopters, coastal batteries and fast jets.

“The Marte family has a strong and successful history both at domestic and international levels: most recently with Marte ER being ordered earlier in 2018 by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) for their new NH90 helicopters.

“Weighing 315kg, the 3.6m-long unit is the third-generation weapon system within the Marte family of missile systems and is derived from the company’s Mk2/S variant.”

“Marte is a single product family that can cover several missions, offering our customers a high level of operational flexibility in the area of maritime superiority, a domain where MBDA in Italy has been able throughout its long history not only to maintain but also to grow, as well as further develop competencies and know-how.”

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Weighing 315kg, the 3.6m-long unit is the third-generation weapon system within the Marte family of missile systems and is derived from the company’s Mk2/S variant.

Featuring fire and forget launch capability with mid-autonomous mid-course guidance, the high-subsonic weapon can perform under all weather conditions.

Currently, MBDA’s Marte ER programme is progressing at full speed in order to meet customer requirements.

With completion of an 18-month system definition phase, the missile is currently in the process of being fully integrated on to the Eurofighter Typhoon combat jet platform.