MBDA has received a contract from the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) for production and delivery of Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP) medium-range missile to the French Army.
The contract will see the company will manufacture a total of 400 launchers and 2,850 missiles. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
The missiles delivered under the contract are expected to replace the army's existing MILAN wire-guided anti-tank system from 2017, and will be employed by both front-line combat units and Special Forces.
MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier said the contract will contribute to maintaining important skills in the French missile sector with its numerous sub-contractors, including Sagem for MMP.
"Calling on its 40 years of experience in the ground combat missile domain, MBDA has conceived a new generation missile, which combines all the requirements expressed by the French Army and highlighted by the unique operational experiences gained from its activities in Afghanistan, as well as in Africa and Asia," Bouvier said.
''I am confident in the export potential of this new programme, which in the next ten years should represent several times the size of the order concluded with France.''
Under development by MBDA Systems since 2009, the MMP is a lightweight, next-generation surface attack missile system designed for destruction of both stationary and moving ground targets, including tanks, armoured and non-armoured vehicles and infrastructures with minimum collateral damage.
The man portable missile can be fired from portable firing posts, battlefield vehicles and army aviation platforms, and feature both fire and forget, and man in the loop capabilities, which enable the operators to immediately move to another position after firing, and accurately neutralise various types of targets encountered on all theaters of operation, respectively.
An initial batch comprising 175 launchers and 450 missiles will be handed over to the French Army by 2019, while delivery of remaining units remains undisclosed.
Image: The MMP missile can be fired from portable firing posts, battlefield vehicles and army aviation platforms. Photo: © MBDA I Chapuis.