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French Navy conducts first synchronised firing of MdCN naval cruise missile

MdCN is launched from the FREMM frigate Aquitaine on 18 April. (French Navy)

The French Navy has successfully conducted its first simultaneous test launch of the Missile de Croisière Navale (MdCN)naval cruise missile from a frigate and a submarine.

The test-firing was carried out by the service's lead multimission (FREMM) frigate Aquitaine, positioned off the coast of Brittany, and one of its Suffren (Barracuda)-class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs), located off the coast of Biscarrosse, on 18 April, the Ministry of Armed Forces of France confirmed the same day.

During the test the two vessels launched a co-ordinated strike against a ground target located at the DGA's Biscarrosse missile test centre at Landes in southwestern France – with both missiles engaging their target “in perfect synchronisation”, the Ministry of Armed Forces of France said.

In a statement issued the same day the French Navy said the test was carried out in operational conditions to strengthen the operational know-how and combat skills of the service.

“This ambitious firing was carried out in human and material conditions identical to those encountered in operation. The French Navy has thus demonstrated its ability to synchronise strikes against land in depth, from different units, and against a single target,” it said. “The tactical and technical lessons of this shooting will contribute to developing the combat skills of the French Navy, always engaged in high-intensity preparation.”

Developed by MBDA under a contract awarded by the Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) in 2006, the MdCN is a long-range land-attack cruise missile intended to provide the French Navy with a sovereign deep-strike capability against high-value fixed targets, from its FREMM frigates and Suffren-class SSNs.

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