The French Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) has successfully conducted the first full test-firing of the missile de croisière naval (MdCN), a naval cruise missile at the DGA’s Essais de missiles test range, Ile du Levant (Var), France.
Launched from a frigate, the MdCN missile guided itself autonomously by making use of its infrared scene recognition to hit a target with precision.
During the test-firing, the missile also validated its terminal phase while achieving all objectives of the in-flight test.
The MdCN missile provides a range of several hundred kilometres and can be carried on overtly or covertly on combat vessels, such as frigates and submarines, stationed at a safe standoff distance for extended periods within international waters.
Based on the air-launched SCALP cruise missile, the French Navy’s MdCN is being developed by MBDA primarily to carry out deep strikes within enemy territory and destroy strategic infrastructure targets.
The naval variant of the Storm Shadow/SCALP air-launched cruise missile system is available in two configurations; the first being a vertical launch from the FREMM frigates using the compact A70 vertical launcher, while the other is a submarine configuration, where the weapon can be launched through torpedo tubes.
The first in-flight test of the MdCN missile was conducted from a vertical launcher in May 2010, while the first submarine test was completed in June 2011.
The DGA had placed orders with MBDA for the supply of 200 MdCN naval missiles in 2006.
MdCN is scheduled for deployment onboard the French Navy’s FREMM multi-mission frigates and its Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarines by 2014 and 2017 respectively.
Image: MBDA’s SCALP Naval missile being launched. Photo: courtesy of MBDA.