French Upgrading Block 2 Exocet MM40 to Block 3

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KUALA LUMPUR: The story below is self explanatory. With RMN stock of Exocets getting older day by day, isnt it time for us to follow suit on the French order? Of course, its prudent to wait for the economic crisis to be over and until the Block 3 upgrades are inducted into French navy service but its the best option to boost the attack potential of the navy without too much expense and risk.

According to MBDA website, a new propulsion system will be provided to the Bock 3 missile to extend its operational range out to 180 km. Block 3 missiles will be fully compliant with evolving vertical launch requirements.

Block 3’s new airframe will feature reduced radar (RCS) and Infrared (IR) signatures as well as enhanced maneuverability allowing flight stealth conditions for increased survivability. The guidance package will combine GPS/INS and a new J-band seeker providing new attack profiles and reduced jam vulnerability. The Block 3 will be armed with a new warhead to better adapt to the coastal attack role.

DGA orders Exocet Block 3

The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) notified MBDA in late December 2008 an order for the conversion of 45 Exocet Block2 anti-ship missiles into Block 3 missiles. The missiles will be delivered to the French Navy in 2011 and 2012.

This order follows the contract for the development of the Exocet MM40 Block 3 notified in January 2004. The DGA cleared the Block 3 missile qualification in April 2008.

These missiles will be provided to the Horizon-class frigates on which the work of integrating facilities for firing was also completed in 2008. In the longer term, the MM40 Block 3 will be the main anti-ship missile for the multi-mission frigates (FREMM).

The development of the Exocet Block 3 missile focus on the presence of a turbojet engine that replaces the solid propellant in earlier versions, as well as the integration of latest generation avionics with a GPS receiver. These changes double the range of the missile while allowing a variety of attack angles against a given naval target or to attack targets in the coastal environment utilizing their geographic coordinates.

–Malaysian Defence

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6 Comments

  1. The question is whether the MM-38s on the Perdana and Handalan class FACs will still be operable by the time money is available. The good news is that the Kasturi class have been fitted with 8 MM-40s and a new ESM, the DR-300, to replace the Super Rapids.

    Marhalim: Yes, the MM-38s on the FAC class vessels will soon been at the end of their expected lives. Some had been with us since 1974! In the 90s, NDSB which had been taken over by Boustead was given a contract to extend the life of the Exocets, I cannot recall how many, but I dont think the missiles will be operational beyond 2010.

    The bigger question is whether they will fund the procurement of a new FAC or corvette fleet soon. Based on current financial means, I doubt it….

  2. Marhalim,

    On a replacement for the FACs, it remains to be seen if the RMN’s doctrine/future plans still has a place for FACs, I doubt it. Apart from the installation of the DR-300 ESM, I’m unaware of any other upgrades done to the Handalan and Perdana class FAC. Together with the Model 11 105 pack howitzers, Aloutte 111 fleet, we can add the Handalan, Perdana and Jerong class to the long list of items that will have to be replaced in the coming years. If only money was available….. and it wasn’t frittered away on things that look nice but are not needed.

    Marhalim: Yes, its the “something is better than nothing syndrome” that has been plaguing our defence and security sector the last 40-odd years….plus the national interest mentality…

  3. Hopefully we will get a good PM. Please enhance our military… Pak Lah please step down.. you make our defence weak. Also KJ (……..)

  4. Country like Malaysia is a maritime country. we need to enhance our navy as well as air force. Recently there are a lot of crisis which can triger the conflict in this region. we can see recently how china send their FFG as well as DDG to the SCs and the OP Fajar (protect our MISC) ships in Teluk Aden. we need to boost our ageing fleet and replace with a new combatant ships. The size bigger than FAC M is good enoug such as corvette. We are affordable with that size of ship. what the important here are the speed and the armament that be put on. Dont repeat PV project which no gigi at all. The only good about the PV are the size, its like a big FAG G. My suggestion are few squadron of corvette consisting 6 in number in each squadron and a fleet of MPA as well as maritime strike capability for the air force. Let spend money for our own country.

  5. wow new block 3 have range 180km, could rival harpoon. but if TLDM want to fully utilise its capability, at this range will require airborne radar such as lynx heli to relay information of enemy warship’s location, since ship’s radar not effective more than 40km due to earth round shape. even this airborne radar should have long range to place itself out of enemy’s medium range SAM.

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