MBDA Delivers First MPCVs in Surface-to-Air Configuration
MBDA has just completed the integration and factory acceptance test of the first Multi-Purpose Combat Vehicle (MPCV) vehicles designed to operate the Mistral surface to air missile. Built for export, these vehicles represent the first production batch. In the next few days, they will be shipped for delivery to the customer country before the end of the year, as announced at the contract signing in February 2011.
In parallel, MBDA is completing the installation of a final assembly line in the customer country so that the customer will be able to carry out the final integration of its own combat vehicles using MBDA provided MPCV kits. In Bourges, MBDA personnel have also trained the customer’s technical staff during the integration of the first MPCV’s.
On the occasion of the delivery, Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA, said: “With the MPCV program, MBDA once again demonstrates its mastery of the architecture of air defence systems. Self-funded by MBDA, the MPCV was developed in four years. It then took less than three years after the signing of the first contract to integrate the systems on a vehicle chosen by the end customer, deliver at the agreed date and implement a technology transfer under which the customer will be able, in complete autonomy, to keep its equipment in operational condition.”
With this first version in full production, MBDA is now ready to move ahead with a land combat version of the MPCV. This will deploy the totally new MMP surface attack missile which is currently being developed by MBDA.
Developed by MBDA in cooperation with Rheinmetall Defence Electronics (RDE) of Germany, the MPCV has been designed to meet emerging requirements for a highly mobile weapon system which can be adapted for different missions, either air defence or land combat, depending on the type of missiles it operates. The first development, which is now being delivered, is aimed at air defence and comprises a motorized and stabilized turret that includes electro-optical sensors, a small caliber gun and four, ready-to-fire Mistral missiles with four more missiles stored in the vehicle for re-loading. Additional versions dedicated to land combat are planned for development.
This automatic system in its air defence configuration was validated by several Mistral missile firings, including the engagement in only a few seconds, of two targets approaching simultaneously from two different directions. The success of this test demonstrated MPCV’s ability to counter a saturating attack.
Mistral is a short-range (6 km class) surface-to-air missile capable of intercepting a wide variety of aerial targets including those with even a low infrared signature. It is characterised by an outstanding success rate (96% from more than 4,500 live firings), a high effectiveness against manoeuvring targets, and has demonstrated its capabilities against fixed-wing aircraft, nap-of-the-earth helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles as well as moving land vehicles and Fast Inshore Attack Craft at sea.
Mistral, in its land, naval and airborne applications, has been selected by 40 Armed Forces of 28 countries. More than 17,000 missiles have been produced.