French Army tests MMP 5th generation land combat missile system in Djibouti

French Army clears MMP 5th generation land combat missile for desert operations

From August 25 to September 22 in Djibouti, the French Army Technical Service (STAT), the French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement), with the support of MBDA the projects main contractor successfully conducted evaluation of the  Missile Moyenne Portée (Medium-Range Missile, or MMP) 5th generation land combat missile system to operate in a semi-desert environment like seen in most African and Middle Eastern environment.

For this purpose, nine firings were successfully carried out, all missiles hitting their targets. The successful firing confirms the reliability of the weapon system in a hot environment as well as its performance in operational firing scenarios. Furthermore, naval personnel from the Commando Regiment also conducted two test fires aboard a Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat ECUME (Embarcation Commando à Usage Multiple Embarquable) – embarked multi-purpose commando boat.

Commandos conducted two test fires aboard a Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat ECUME (credit: French Army Technical Service (STAT))

The first missile test from the sea against a land-based target and the second missile test on a sea-based target. Both successfully hitting their targets. The MMP has become the first 5th generation land combat missile system of its class to have been successfully implemented on ECUME.

French Forces in Djibouti (FFDj) are expected to commerce deployment to their current operational theatres in the Sahel/Sub Saharan Africa belt (credit: French Army Technical Service (STAT))

With the successful missile tests,  French Forces in Djibouti (FFDj) are expected to commerce deployment to their current operational theatres in the Sahel/Sub Saharan Africa belt which have similar environmental and weather conditions as those found in Djibouti.

The results pave the way for deployment of the MMP weapon system as part of Operation Barkhane in the coming weeks.

The MMP 5th generation land combat missile was designed for dismounted infantry, as well as for integration on combat vehicles, the MMP land combat missile system can hit both mobile and stationary targets located more than 4,000m away in all conditions.

Operation Barkhane

In 2014, French President François Hollande announced that French troops would be committed to combating violent Islamist militants in Africa indefinitely; to secure the Sahel region and to prevent trans-border passage of jihadist group.
The intervention effort code-named ‘Operation Barkhane‘ after a crescent-shaped dune in the Sahara desert. Operation Barkhane would succeed Operation Serval and Operation Epervier – French military mission in Mali and Chad respectively assuming total control of both missions’ resources while operating across all G5 Sahel borders.

About the Author

Sarah Lesedi
Defense technological enthusiasts, African lover. Chief Chronicler at Sarah Lesedi blog.

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