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.
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