The French Navy is interested in the MMP missile for the close defense of its frigates

If the frigates of the French Navy are capable of defending themselves against aircraft, submarines, anti-ship missiles and buildings targeting them, they find themselves, paradoxically, relatively deprived of solutions today to fight against a small suicide boat, or against proximity attacks when passing key points, such as the Bosphorus, or the Suez Canal. The Missilier MBDA has understood the risk, and now offers a naval module allowing it to implement its anti-tank missile MMP, already tested by the French Navy this year using RHIB to equip Marine commandos.

As revealed the website, the French Navy has undertaken to launch a study, which will take place over 3 months at the beginning of 2020, to assess the relevance and feasibility concerning the use of this missile aboard its first-tier frigates, namely the frigates Horizon, FREMM and FDI, in order to strengthen their defensive capabilities in the face of asymmetric attacks. It seems that the hypothesis of the six-fold launcher proposed by MBDA is not taken into account, in favor of portable launchers, which can possibly be mounted on machine gun mounts which already equip the portholes of buildings. This choice is judicious, because it will allow MMPs to be positioned in the blind spots of 76mm cannons, without requiring significant overhaul of the ships, and while preserving their capabilities to evolve towards new weapons and equipment. Remember that the FREMM thus have reserved spaces to accommodate new SYLVER vertical silos, making it possible to deploy up to 48 missiles, compared to 32 today, while the FDI will be able to increase to 32 missiles, compared to 16 in the model adopted by the Royal.

MMP profile Defense News | Defense Contracts and Calls for Tenders | Surface fleet
The MMP has a guided range of 4 km, but can hit targets up to 5 km away thanks to its seeker

By proceeding in this way, the French Navy would kill two birds with one stone, by simultaneously strengthening the close defensive capabilities of its vessels, and by providing additional firepower to its commandos when they approach a ship, or when they proceed to missions on land, with reactivity and a reinforced dissuasive capacity in their missions. In other words, there are only positives to this solution, and we can only hope that it will be adopted quickly.

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