MBDA unveils next generation weapons

MBDA, the maker of some of the most important weapons in European inventories including the Storm Shadow/Scalp EG conventionally armed stand-offmissiles, the Meteor air-to-air missile and the ASMP-A airto- ground missile, revealed a range of concepts for weapons and so-called ‘effectors’ at the Paris Air Show 2019.

The company envisions a future combat environment where: “Aircraft and air effectors will need to be able to enter denied areas, detect threats before being detected, force hidden threats to uncover early enough to suppress them and to always react quicker than the adversary … networked effectors will take an essential part in the combat ‘cloud’, exchanging tactical information and target coordinates in real-time with platforms and other network nodes.”

Models of subsonic and supersonic conventionally armed stand-offmissiles resembling the company’s present offerings were on show and MBDA says a supersonic version of Storm Shadow or ASMP-A could target shipping and AWACS-type aircraft.

MBDA’s ‘enablers’ will be used to penetrate enemy defences and deliver multiple effects, lethal or non-lethal. Deployed from ‘remote carriers’ such as combat or transport aircraft or ships, the stealthy, networked payloads will, working in conjunction with other attacking weapons systems, be used for intelligence gathering, targeting, and deception of enemy sensors.

Also proposed is the 1m (3ft 2in) 10kg (22lb) ‘hard kill’ antimissile system designed to counter incoming missiles. The highly manoeuvrable weapon would be used in conjunction with chaff, flares, decoys and jamming.

The weapons are proposed to equip the British-led Tempest and Franco-German- Spanish Future Combat Air Systems. MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%).