MBDA has been selected to develop the Future Tactical Air-to-Surface Missile (MAST-F) programme as the main French Army air to ground armament for the TIGER combat helicopter.

The company proposed its Missile Haut de Trame/Missile Longue Portée (MHT/MLP – high tier/long-range missile) for the MASST-F requirement. This builds on the technologies of the Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP), the first 5th-generation land combat missile to enter service. Its modular architecture will facilitate integration onto a broad range of air and ground platforms, in addition to the TIGER.

MHT/MLP weighs 20% less than other weapons in its category – translating to a 100kg weight saving for a TIGER carrying eight missiles, with consequent savings in fuel consumption and increased endurance. With a range of over 8km – even when fired from a stationary platform at low altitude, its multi-effect warhead will defeat targets from modern MBTs to hardened bunkers. Effective by day and night in beyond-line-of-sight mode, MHT/MLP features a two-way datalink via which the operator can access images from the missiles high-resolution visible and IR seekers. This enables a new target to be selected inflight, or a point of impact to be commanded, increasing tactical agility.

The MHT/MLP missile combines new technologies, developed with the support of the DGA, with the tried and tested components of the MMP, making it an effector at the forefront of today’s tactical land combat missiles. It offers a flexibility of use unmatched in today's armed forces, while minimising development risks. And with its all-European design authority, the MHT/MLP programme will fully contribute to the strategic autonomy objectives set by France and the European Union,” commented MBDA CEO, Eric Béranger.

MHT/MLP is destined to become the principal air-to-surface weaponry for French Army TIGER helicopters. (Image: MBDA)

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