Air-Launched Weapons

MBDA discloses European Modular Missile development

09 May 2018

MBDA has disclosed detail of a revival in Franco-German co-operation in the guided-missile sector through the joint development of a lightweight air-to-ground missile solution for the Airbus Helicopters Tiger attack helicopter.A model of the European Modular Missile (EMM) on display at the ILA Berlin Air Show in April. (R Hughes)A model of the European Modular Missile (EMM) on display at the ILA Berlin Air Show in April. (R Hughes)

Intended as an anti-armour/anti-structure solution for the respective Mark III mid-life upgrade of the French/German Tiger attack helicopter fleets, the European Modular Missile (EMM) initiative is underpinned by a mandate from the 19th Franco-German Ministerial Council meeting in July 2017, which established a range of joint capability projects, including the ‘next generation’ of Tiger helicopters and the joint development of an air-to-ground missile. In parallel, the French Military Planning Law (Loi de Programmation Militaire – LPM) 2019–25, presented in February 2018, also makes provision for an EMM capability under the Future Tactical Air-Surface Missile (Missile Air-Surface Tactique Futur – MAST-F) requirement, with the intent that the programme should be launched with Germany.

France and Germany have similar requirements for a new air-to-ground anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) weapon: France to the replace AGM-114 Hellfire and Germany to replace the HOT 3 (Haut subsonique Optiquement Téléguidé 3) missile. MBDA is proposing EMM as a capability enhancement for the Tiger Mk III upgrade – this is backed up by the Ministerial agreement in 2017, which provides for a co-operatively developed solution; accordingly both countries could potentially converge their upgrade and weapon requirements for the Tiger Mk III programme.

“MBDA’s EMM solution for this requirement stems from an industrial co-operative agreement between MBDA in France and MBDA in Germany to see what could be reused from existing technologies within the company and where delta development is needed,” an industry official told Jane’s .

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