The French defence procurement agency (Direction générale de l’armement - DGA) realized successfully the first development launching of the Missile de Croisière Naval (MdCN, naval cruise missile) on May 28th, 2010. This was performed by the DGA Missiles Testing centre located in Biscarrosse (Atlantic coast, south-west of France), from a vertical launcher representative of a real surface ship system. The MdCN will provide a deep strike capacity to the French Navy’s FREMM multimissions frigates by the end of 2014 and the nuclear-powered attack submarines of Barracuda type by 2017.
All the objectives of this in-flight test were fulfilled. It allowed in particular the validation of the departure phase of the missile, followed by the cruise flight after the successive separations of the container and the booster.
This first in-flight success demonstrates the technical maturity reached after 3-year development, during which numerous sub-systems of the missile were successfully tested.
In accordance with the objective of the French White Paper on Defence and National Security, the DGA ordered 200 ammunitions to MBDA, i.e. 150 for frigates and 50 for submarines.
With a thousand kilometres class range, the MdCN is intended to strike targets deep into the adversary's territory. This weapon system is complementary of the airborne cruise missile Scalp-EG from which it is diverted. Embarked aboard combat ships positioned at a security distance in international waters, in a prolonged, patent (frigates) or discreet (submarines) way, the MdCN is adapted to missions of destruction of high strategic value infrastructures, weakly or averagely hardened.