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A new and powerful missile for the French Army’s Tiger attack helicopters

The so-called Missile Air-Surface Tactique Futur or MAST-F developed by MBDA will be the new missile with which the Tigre attack helicopters of the French army are armed. This initiative, which we analyzed in 2018 on the occasion of the launch of the Tigre Mk3, is the implementation of MBDA’s proposal to the French General Management (DGA) on the basis of the MHT / MLP (Missile Haut de Trame / Missile) Longue Port or mobile long-range missile ) based on the MMP medium-range missile already in use in France. It is a solution that, according to the manufacturer, will make it easier to integrate this missile into various air and land platforms in addition to the Tiger.

The manufacturer claims that the MAST-T offers a 20% weight reduction compared to other missiles, meaning that carrying eight missiles saves 100 kg. Weight in the whole of the helicopter, which allows greater autonomy. With a range of 8 km. The missile has electro-optic guidance with a bi-directional data link that enables the helicopter gunner to precisely guide the missile to the exact point and change the target while the missile is in flight.

For MBDA Executive Director Eric Branger, this milestone means a commitment to European autonomy, which contributes to the strategic autonomy goals of France and the European Union. With around 350 jobs a year for the next five years and ultimately around 250 jobs a year in France for the first ten years of its production, this program will add to the industrial and technological base of defense. in France.

Mk3 Tiger Missile

This news is the result of the contract that MBDA signed with the DGA in October 2017, worth nearly 1,700 million euros, to study the requirements of a future air-surface missile for the French army as part of the Missile Air-Surface Tactique program. Future tense or MAST-F. This solution needs to be defined for the Mk3 entry date planned for 2023 or 2025. In this contract, the properties of three missiles such as the MHT (Missile Haut de Trame, which could be translated as a long-range missile) were examined. It would be the most far-reaching version of the MMP from MBDA itself, the EMMH, which should be a further development of the MMP in combination with a further development of PARS3 and Brimstone 3 also from MBDA.

MBDA aims to become the sole supplier of the Mk3 version of the Tiger. According to MBDA, European users of the Tiger are looking for a unique suite of weapons. The air defense in the ATAM version and its development (Mistral 4 has yet to be defined) is already standardized in the Mistral missile, while the anti-tank or multi-purpose missile has yet to be homogenized. France and Germany are again proposing a single anti-tank missile based on previous experience (PARS 3 LR and now MMP) that would be a very different version of the MMP. MBDA would have an advantage in such an initiative because it participates in both programs (it owns 50% of PARSYS together with Diehl BGT Defense, responsible for PARS 3 LR). (Jos M Navarro Garca)

Photo: Infographic of the tiger with the new missile (MBDA)

MMP missile during the test (MBDA)

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