The French Direction Générale de l'Armement's (DGA) missile de croisière naval (MdCN) has successfully completed the first qualification firing from the DGA missile test range at Biscarrosse, France.
Launched from a platform representing a vessel, the MdCN missile validated its performance of autonomous navigation and terminal guidance by infrared recognition, in addition to demonstrating its range.
The trial has been conducted by several state administrations, including DGA centres of expertise and test centres, DGA and Navy quality control services, as well as the programme's prime contractor, MBDA France.
The DGA awarded a contract to MBDA in 2006 for the supply of 200 MdCN naval missiles for installation on to the French Navy's Frégate Européen multi-mission (FREMM) ships and its Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarines by 2014 and 2017 respectively.
Carried overtly or covertly on combat vessels such as frigates and submarines, the MdCN missile has been designed to provide a range of several hundred kilometres.
The naval variant of the Storm Shadow/SCALP air-launched cruise missile system is being developed in two configurations; the first being a vertical launch from the FREMM vessels using the compact A70 vertical launcher, while the other is a submarine configuration, where the weapon can be launched through torpedo tubes.
Based on the air-launched SCALP cruise missile, the MdCN also provides deep strike capabilities within enemy territory and destroys strategic infrastructure targets.
The MdCN missile, capable of destroying infrastructure targets of high strategic value, underwent its first in-flight test from a vertical launcher in May 2010, while the first submarine trial was conducted successfully in June 2011.
Image: French DGA's MBDA-built MdCN missile undergoing trials. Photo: courtesy of DGA Essais de missiles.