The new version of the Exocet significantly improves the performance of the French missile

The anti-ship missile family MM40 Exocet is evolving to a new standard, already in service on certain units of the French Navy. The MM40 Block3C would have a new seeker capable of discerning its targets, that is to say of recognizing and hitting targets with the greatest military value. This capability is also integrated into the new American LRASM missiles replacing the Harpoons, and the Norwegian NSMs, presented as new generation missiles.

The French Navy will receive 15 new MM40 B3C missiles by 2020, probably to equip the last two FREMMs (8 units each), and the MM40 B3 missiles currently in service will gradually be brought to this standard. On the other hand, there is no mention of the AM39 missiles fired by the Rafales M or the Atlantic 2, nor to the SM39 launched from French nuclear submarines. However, it is likely that these two versions will also be brought to this standard, which provides a decisive operational advantage.

The MM40 missile has a range of more than 200 km and a high subsonic cruising speed. There is therefore a delay of more than 10 minutes between launch and impact, a period during which the configuration of the target can evolve. It is precisely in this area that the MM40 B3C brings strong added value, since it is capable of identifying from a set of targets, the one which is of the most interest (an aircraft carrier, an assault ship , a supply tanker...). 

To identify targets, the missile consults an internal infrared silhouette database, a database enriched by the French Navy which deploys ships and aircraft on all seas permanently. 

Note that the French and British work together to the construction of a new missile, a time identified by the name Perseus identified by the acronym FMAN/FMC for Future Anti-Ship Missile/Future Cruise Missile, which will replace both the missiles of the Exocet family (AM39, SM39 and MM40) and the missiles of SCALP cruises used by the French Air Force and Naval Aviation, by 2030. It was therefore necessary to modernize the Exocet (and the SCALP) to maintain the operational performance of the French armies until the delivery of the new missile .

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