The French Direction Générale d’Armement (DGA) has successfully completed the final qualification firing of the Missile de Croisière Naval (MdCN) system, also called the naval cruise missile (NCM), from the DGA Missile Test Centre in Biscarrosse, France.
The launch, which was executed from a frigate, was mainly aimed at determining the missile’s range performance, while satisfying overall flight objectives.
Built by MBDA as part of the DGA contract in 2006, the MdCN missile system will be installed on the French Navy’s Frégate Européen multimission (FREMM) vessels and its Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarines by 2015 and 2018, respectively.
Based on the naval version of the Storm Shadow / SCALP air-launched cruise missile system, the MdCN is intended to offer deep-strike capabilities within enemy territory.
The MdCN will be offered in two variants, including a vertical launch from the FREMM frigates via the compact A70 vertical launcher and a submarine configuration, where the weapon is fired through torpedo tubes.
With a range of several hundred kilometres, the MdCN can be carried overtly or covertly on combat vessels, including frigates and submarines. It can be stationed at a safe stand-off distance for longer periods within international waters.
The latest firing follows the completion of a second qualification test in April, which involved validating flight capabilities at high altitude after being launched from a platform.
The MdCN went through its first in-flight test from a vertical launcher in May 2010, followed by its successful debut submarine trial in June 2011.
Image: The MdCN system during the final qualification firing. Photo: courtesy of DGA-EM.