We recently informed the European multinational MBDA about the award of the development contract for the new anti-tank missile MHT for the MAST-F program to arm the French combat helicopters Arme de Terre. This is one of the pieces of equipment for the Mk3 version of the European Tigre attack helicopter, a modernization that Spain was interested in but that precluded participation in this missile.
Spain joined the Franco-German initiative to define the Tigre Mk3, which is expected to keep it in service until 2040. However, a number of improvements have already been made to the FAMET attack helicopters during this program, as we analyzed in 2019.
Participation in MBDA’s proposed MAST-F missile, which would hypothetically replace the Spike ER of the Israel Rafael Advanced Defense Systems currently in use by the Land Army Tigers, has not been confirmed then or now. These are two weapon systems of similar design with main and multi-purpose anti-tank capabilities, electro-optical guidance that includes a fiber optic link for precise guidance and the ability to change targets while the missile is already in flight. Both have a range of 5 miles and are incorporated into missile families for various applications such as Rafael’s Spike and MBDA’s MMP.
Industry sources confirm that during the talks between the nations involved in the Mk3 modernization, Spanish participation in the MAST-F rocket was proposed several times without success.
We remind you that in November 2006 the Department of Defense decided in favor of the Spike ER anti-tank missile against the US hellfire missile. This initiative culminated in December 2015 with the launch of the first Spike ER missiles by FAMET helicopters. at the National Training Center (CENAD) of San Gregorio. (Jos M Navarro Garca)
Photo: HAD-E Tiger helicopter with Spike ER missiles (Airbus Helicopters)
French Defense Minister Florence Parly during the announcement of the signing of the MHT (French Ministry of Defense) missile on November 13th
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