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MBDA Marte ER ready for delivery after successful final test firing

Following the successful completion of its final test firing, MBDA's Marte ER anti-ship missile will enter into operation early next year. (MBDA)

MBDA's Marte Extended Range (ER) anti-ship missile has achieved a significant milestone with the successful completion of the last of three development and qualification firings, the company announced on 14 December.

The final test firing, which was conducted at the Italian test range in Sardinia in late November, paves the way for the missile's entry into operation early next year, MBDA said.

The latest test used a production-standard missile with an inert warhead in place of a live one. MBDA said the ground-based launcher system was also in its final hardware and software configuration.

Evolved from the existing Marte Mk2 anti-ship missile, Marte ER has been conceived as a multiplatform anti-ship guided weapon capable of being launched by coastal mobile/naval, rotary-wing/slow speed fixed-wing, and fast-jet platforms.

Weighing approximately 300 kg (340 kg with boosters), Marte ER introduces turbojet propulsion, using the WJ-24-8G model supplied by Williams International, to achieve an effective range in excess of 100 km. The ‘fire and forget' missile features a navigation and guidance suite combining inertial navigation system/Global Positioning System and a new solid-state radar seeker for guidance. Lethal effect is delivered by a 70+ kg semi-piercing highly explosive warhead.

The mission planning system allows for 3D waypointing and selectable time-on-target for salvo modes. The Marte ER missile maintains the same launch control system and canister technology of the Mk2/N version.

According to MBDA, the final test firing successfully demonstrated all the missile mission planning and flight phase procedures together with guidance validation activities.

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