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MBDA offers SPIMM for ‘bolt-on' ship self-protection

MBDA has unveiled details of a new self-protection system designed to provide otherwise unarmed containerised ships with a short-range defence capability in high threat zones.

Known as SPIMM (Self-Protection Integrated Mistral Module), the new system was unveiled in February at the IDEX 2019 exhibition in Abu Dhabi. MBDA sees the Middle East as a key target market for the system in light of recent attacks on vessels off the coast of Yemen.

SPIMM leverages MBDA’s existing Mistral ‘fire and forget’ infrared-guided missile and SIMBAD-RC remote control turret to provide protection against both airborne and surface threats. These include anti-ship missiles, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, and fast inshore attack craft; the latter capability was demonstrated for the first time in a trial conducted in December 2018.

According to Christophe Leduc, MBDA’s product executive for naval defence systems, the development of the SPIMM concept reflects navies emerging need for a system that can be temporarily installed on support ships, logistics vessels, and chartered commercial vessels as they transit littoral waters or chokepoints where there is a heightened threat of attack. “Such ships are generally not equipped with a relevant self-defence capability [that is] able to cope with threats such as anti-ship missiles, and may not have an escort 24/7,” he said. “Also, the addition of a permanent self-defence system is costly, requires a specially trained and qualified crews, and is simply not needed the majority of the time.

“SPIMM is our response. The system enables the urgent and rapid adaptation of these ships to cope with new threats or for using them in contested areas,” Leduc added.

The SPIMM concept has been developed by MBDA to provide disadvantaged units with ‘bolt-on’ self-protection. (MBDA)

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