French missile specialist MBDA has carried out the first demonstration of the LynkEUs beyond line sight (BLOS) engagement capability developed as part of the European Union’s PESCO project.
To enable the MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée) missile system for mounted and dismounted forces to engage its targets beyond the line of sight, MBDA connected the weapon terminal with a Novadem NX70 drone via radio.
During the demonstration, the drone enabled the detection and identification of a tank located outside the MMP operator’s field of vision. The transfer of the coordinates for the target to the MMP firing station illustrated the possibility of engaging a target not directly seen by the operator.
The missile was “locked-on” to the target during its flight by the MMP operator after detecting the tank via the video stream from the MMP seeker, which was continuously transmitted to the firing station via fiber optics. The demonstration successfully concluded with a direct hit on the target, MBDA said.
Carried out with the support of the French Army and of the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA – French Procurement Agency) at the Canjuers military camp in the south of France, the firing was part of the LynkEUs project that will seek to define an initial operational concept for a European BLOS capability.
The concepts and tests completed for the PESCO BLOS project will contribute to the development of a family of man-on-the loop BLOS missile systems with back image, based on the MMP medium range missile.
“These experiments notably included real-time engagement simulations in virtual reality but also combining, in the field, real equipment (drones, weapon terminal) and MMP simulators implemented by Land Forces units. We are very satisfied with the results of this work, which made it possible to understand the forces’ needs to finalize the system carrying the BLOS capability for dismounted combat,” Philippe Gouyon, Military Advisor at MBDA, said.
“This firing also concludes a year-long tactical evaluation conducted with the Army and Novadem exploring all the capabilities of the system and thus, allows MBDA to propose an MMP / drone combination that meets the needs of remote observation and target designation of contact units.”