Naval Warships to receive newer Exocets missiles for anti-shipping
French DGA (General Directorate for Armament) recently made announcements regarding various advanced weapons systems contracts taken on behalf of the French Ministry of Defense with Europe leading missile manufacturer MBDA.
DGA recently announced that it had received on behalf of the French Navy the first four (4) out of forty five (45) new Exocets MM 40 Block 3 that had been ordered since 2008. Complete delivery of the 45 missiles lot is set to occur before middle of 2013. The Exocet MM40 Block 3 is a ship-borne anti-shipping missile with advanced capabilities in range, targeting and inertial navigation systems. The rocket booster plus turbojet-powered missile can reportedly cruise and attack targets out to ranges of up 180 km. This latest version of the much famed Exocet will equip two new generations of frigates entering service within the French Navy; the 2 Horizon Class Aerial Defense frigates and subsequently the 11 Fremm (Frigates Multi Mission) set to enter service beginning this year.The Exocet missile has been sold in numbers upwards of 3,500 units in 35 countries since 1972. It has developed a fearsome reputation starting during the Falklands war between Britain and Argentina in 1982 when an aircraft launched Argentinean AM 39 version struck and damaged HMS Sheffield beyond repair.
Rafale fighter jet also to receive new Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air to Air (BVRAAR) missiles from MBDA UK
The DGA also announced a new order for 200 Meteor missiles destined for the Rafale fleet of fighter jets both naval and air force variants. The meteor missile is the result of a joint effort between UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden to provide long range air-to-air missile capabilities for the F-35, Rafale , Typhoon and Gripen fighter aircraft. The meteor is due for delivery starting in 2018. In French Air Force and Navy service, the new missile will complement the modern short range Mica (about 1,000 units for the Mirage 2000 and Rafale fleet) in the air superiority role. Meteor is a Mach 4 capable missile designed for very long range (BVR: beyond visual range) engagements thanks to its combining an inertial navigation system and Thales active radar seeker for target lock-on during terminal phase of flight. Estimated range of engagement is said to be approximately 100 km.
What is DGA?
DGA is the agency responsible for implementing and managing defense acquisitions programs policies within the French Ministry of Defense. It is currently overseeing 80 programs with order book valued at Euros 20.9 Billions.
A note on MBDA
MBDA is a multi national industrial group formed in 2001 from leading missiles manufacturing companies mainly from Italy, France and Germany. Major shareholders are composed from BAE Systems (37.5%), EADS (37.5%) and Finmeccanica (25%). The company currently seats on Euro 12 Billion worth of orders and recorded Euro 2.6 Billion worth of orders for the year 2009.
-Direction Generale de l Armement