SOFINS 2017: Guided Munitions
French SOF Command to integrate a specialist guided munition
The French Special Operations Command is to consider plans to integrate a specialist guided munition on board a variety of special operations platforms, defence and industry sources have revealed to MILITARY TECHNOLOGY.
MBDA has already offered up its MMP Land Combat Missile System, ahead of its entry into service with the French Army in January 2018 when systems become available for live fire training in France. Alternative solutions could include Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ family of Spike guided munitions.
Commanders from the Special Operations Forces Maritime Component (FORFUSCO) and Land Component Special Forces Command are to evaluate weapon integration on board tactical ground vehicles as well as surface vessels, sources stated.
MBDA explained to MILITARY TECHNOLOGY that it was already in discussion with land force SOF components regarding the integration of MMP on board its range of special operations vehicles, including the Poids Lourds Des Forces Speciales (PLFS) or Heavy Special Forces Vehicles (a variant of the Renault Trucks Defense Sherpa Light platform).
A Sherpa Light special operations vehicle was exhibited at the Special Operations Forces Innovation Network Seminar (SOFINS) on 28th March with integrated MMP launcher to illustrate the concept.
Additionally, sources informed MILITARY TECHNOLOGY that a concept study would also be initiated to consider the integration of a guided munition on board the Vehicle Leger Forces Speciales (VLFS) or Light Special Forces Vehicle, currently still in development but also on display at SOFINS.
Other options for integration of a guided munition on board SOF platforms include FORFUSCO’s Multi-Purpose Command Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat or ECUME which is used by SOF teams to conduct anti-piracy boarding missions; hostage rescue operations; anti-drug trafficking operations; as well as nautical raids from harbours, vessels and aircraft, French SOF officials explained.
The platform, which is air-droppable, comprises a set of inboard diesel engines and a modular platform allowing it to be adjusted dependent upon operational requirements, official sources explained.
Sources associated with the project explained that MBDA would be meeting with FORFUSCO this week to discuss the potential to upgrade ECUME vessels with such a capability. The MMP is stabilised for maritime operations, MBDA explained to MILITARY TECHNOLOGY.
According to MBDA, the MMP comprises a “fifth generation land combat missile system designed for dismounted infantry as well as for integration on combat vehicles. Feature both fire-and-forget and man-in-the-loop operation, network-enabled MMP also receives third party target designation for indirect firing scenarios.”
The munition has been designed as a lightweight man-portable weapon, weighing a total of 26kg, capable of being operated in day and low light conditions as well as from confined spaces. The munition has a maximum range of 4km and features an uncooled infrared or TV channel dual-band seeker.
Rafael’s Spike multi-purpose missile family is already integrated on board a variety of platforms including helicopters, armoured vehicles and maritime platforms, according to the company’s website.
The family comprises Short Range, Medium Range and Long Range munitions as well as Extended Range and Non Line of Sight solutions.