A joint venture between European missile house MBDA and the Indian company Larsen & Toubro (L&T) unveiled the ATGM5 missile system at the DefExpo 2018 exhibition in Chennai, India.
The joint venture entity, L&T MBDA Missile Systems, is pushing this missile for an Indian Army requirement. It can be either man-portable or vehicle-mounted. At DefExpo the company displayed a model of the missile, plus it had a simulator set up to display its capabilities.
(world only fifth Gen ATGM)
India requires an ATGM for the army’s BMP-2 upgrade project, as well as for the latent Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) programme.
The company, which was incorporated on 5 April 2017, highlighted its ‘Make in India’ credentials, whereby the ATGM5 would be developed, manufactured and supported in India.
It describes the weapon as a multi-target land combat weapon, and it will be based on the MMP. However, the ATGM5 will feature customisation to meet Indian requirements, including a longer range than the 4km offered by the MMP.
MBDA stated: ‘All the skills and new generation technologies that MBDA has developed for the French Army’s MMP are being made available to allow India to design, develop and manufacture ATGM5. The JV is committed to ensuring that India will have the highest level of operational independence in the use of an ITAR-free missile.’
MBDA pointed out that India could gain export potential for the missile as well, as full production rights will be granted.
This battlefield missile is just one of three RfIs that L&T MBDA Missile Systems has responded to.
A second is for short-range surface-to-air missiles (SRSAM) for surface warships of the Indian Navy (IN). MBDA is promoting both the Sea Ceptor and VL MICA for this requirement.
The third RfI responded to is for a medium-range anti-ship missile for surface ships of the IN, with the Exocet MM40 Block 3 on offer. This has a turbojet to replace the rocket motor, giving a 200+km range, plus improved seeker technology.
MBDA also supplies SM39 Exocet missiles for the IN’s new class of Scorpene submarines, the first of which was commissioned on 15 December approximately five years behind schedule.
J.D Patil, senior executive VP and whole-time director of L&T, commented: ‘Our long-standing commitment to India’s defence programme is evident in our approach to offer best-in-class technology solutions. The L&T-MBDA joint venture has been working proactively to make available advanced missiles and missile systems catering to the needs of the Indian defence forces.’
In Australia the MMP missile is competing against the Javelin and Spike LR2 for fitment aboard Rheinmetall Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicles. While the Boxer was announced the winner of this Land 400 Phase 2 tender, there has been no word yet on who has won the ATGM contract.