MBDA has been awarded a contract to develop and deliver its SIMBAD-RC naval air defence system to an undisclosed foreign customer.
Under the first export contract, MBDA will deliver remotely-controlled SIMBAD-RC systems for installation onboard the customer's fleet of patrol vessels. Each vessel will be equipped with two systems.
A short-range anti-air self defence system, SIMBAD-RC has been designed to provide efficient strike capabilities against a wide range of threats such as anti-ship missiles, combat aircraft and unmanned air vehicles.
Equipped with one or two Mistral 2 missiles, the SIMBAD-RC gyro-stabilised automatic launcher turret features a thermal camera, an optional day camera for large field of view and provides self-defence capability to patrol vessels and support craft, or complements the air defence capabilities of other ship types.
MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier said: "Building upon a market standard like the Mistral missile, of which 17,000 units have already been produced, we have developed a simple, highly automated system that largely extends the operational use of the missiles that are already in-service."
Developed to meet the growing needs of navies that operate in either littoral or blue waters, the single operator twin launcher system can be integrated with the ship's combat system, radar and electro-optical sensors.
The SIMBAD-RC is an upgraded version of the SIMBAD system currently in service with the French Navy, and also features a compact terminal (SMU-RC) to manage up to two turrets.
The first prototypes are currently undergoing production and initial deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2015.
Image: MBDA-built SIMBAD-RC naval air defence system. Photo: courtesy of MBDA.