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On September 20, 2023, the French navy successfully fired the next version of MBDA’s Exocet missile – Mer-Mer 40 Block 3c (MM40 B3c) – from the multi-mission Alsace frigate (FREMM DA) off the coast of the DGA missile test facility (DGA EM) at Ile du Levant. 

The Exocet MM40 B3c is the most recent model of MBDA’s Exocet series of anti-ship missiles, designed for integration into a broad range of platforms such as surface ships, submarines, jets, helicopters, and coastal batteries. Previous variants of Exocet have been deployed by a number of navies across the globe.

Since its introduction, MBDA has worked to improve Exocet. As a result, the missile has been able to adapt to changing combat circumstances while preserving its all-weather performance. The Exocet MM40 B3c is MBDA’s answer to new conflicts with a changing threat landscape, particularly high-intensity fighting in complex electronic warfare scenarios.

The B3c generation builds on the incremental enhancements made to Exocet during the course of its service, according to its makers, MBDA. The MM40 B3c has the features for which Exocet is known, particularly its all-weather capabilities and flexibility of usage, and the newest missile has been designed to have improved seeker technology via new algorithms tailored for recent anti-ship warfare operations.

“I am extremely proud of the success of this operational evaluation firing of the Exocet MM40 B3c, performed from the multi-mission Alsace frigate,” remarked MBDA CEO Eric Béranger. “It proves the new capabilities of the missile’s latest generation, whose major developments keep it at the forefront in a high-intensity context. Exocet is a real symbol for MBDA, and this success is further proof of the skill and technical excellence of MBDA’s people. I would also like to thank the DGA and French navy for this firing.”

According to GlobalData’s ‘Global Missiles & Missile Defense Systems Market 2023-2033’ report, the UK and France are working together on a Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon programme to replace the UK’s use of the Harpoon missiles and France’s use of the Exocet, in an example of a recent trend among the allied countries of Europe to cut down on procurement costs through joint production.

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By GlobalData