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Eurosatory 2024: MBDA and Safran team up on Thundart guided artillery rocket

Thundart guided artillery rocket. (Janes/Amael Kotlarski)

MBDA France and Safran Electronics & Defense unveiled the Thundart guided artillery rocket at the Eurosatory 2024 defence exhibition held in Paris from 17 to 21 June.

Developed as a candidate for the French Feux Longue Portée-Terre (FLP-T), or Land Long Range Fires, increment one programme, the Thundart will have a range of 150 km. The rocket, which appears to be 227 mm in calibre, is designed to be backwards compatible with the French Army's current Lance Roquette Unitaire (LRU), or Unitary Rocket Launcher. The LRU is the French version of the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).

Although few technical details were available at the exhibition, the partnership will see MBDA take charge of the propulsion and warhead, while Safran will focus on the guidance systems.

Launched in 2024, the FLP-T programme has been allocated EUR180 million (USD193 million) as part of the French 2024–2030 Military Program Law. The FLP-T seeks to rapidly develop a domestic replacement for the nine LRU systems, three of which were donated to Ukraine, with the rest currently in service with the French Army. The LRU has a current out-of-service date of 2027.

The first increment of the programme will focus on developing a domestic 150 km strike capability, with a second increment aimed at a 500 km strike capability. The plan within the Military Program Law is to acquire 13 new rocket artillery systems by 2030, with the aim of fielding 26 systems by 2035. Aside from MBDA/Safran, a consortium of Arianespace and Thales is also seeking to develop a solution for the FLP-T increment one programme.

For more information on this developing field of defence technology, please seeGuided Artillery Rockets .

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