French Army officials have told MONch that the force expects to perform the maiden combat deployment of its new MBDA MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée/Medium Range Missile) optronically-guided anti-tank surface-to-surface weapon to support Operation Barkhane, the ongoing French military campaign in Africa’s Sahel region to combat Islamist insurgents operating in this area, by the end of the year. The MMP programme was launched in 2009 and was intended to provide a successor to the French Army’s MBDA MILAN (Missile d´Infanterie Léger Antichar/Light Anti-Tank Infantry Missile). The Armée de Terre (French Army) has already received an initial batch of 50 missiles and 20 firing posts, which are being used for training, with a further 400 firing posts and 1,950 missile scheduled for delivery by 2025.
The missile has two selectable fusing options; anti-structure and anti-personnel, for its warhead. The weapon can either be locked onto its target before or after launch. MMP missiles and firing posts are expected to be delivered to the French presence in Mali this September, representing the first combat deployment of the weapon. French Army officials told MONch that the weapon will be deployed with infantry at company level and with cavalry at the platoon level. This will result in six infantry companies being equipped with the MMP, along with twelve cavalry platoons.
The MMP will also equip the French Army’s new Nexter/Thales/Arquus JAGUAR six-wheel drive armoured reconnaissance vehicles which will be equipped with two missiles in the ready-to-fire position.