With the Multipurpose Modular Launcher, Naval Group positions itself against the American RIM-116

The French Naval Group presented a new system called Multipurpose Modular Launcher, during the NID 2023 event, likely to compete with, and in many aspects exceed, the CIWS RIM-116 Ram from the American Raytheon. But what are the characteristics of the LMP, and why is it so innovative?

Since the beginning of the 80s and the appearance of the first close protection systems, such as the American Phalanx or Ram, or the Russian AK-630, many French sailors and specialist analysts openly regretted that the French Navy and the national defense industry, have not engaged in this area.

The fact is, if French frigates were traditionally known to be efficient, particularly in the field of anti-submarine warfare, and innovative, as was the case with the La Fayette class Light Furtive Frigates, they were also often considered severely underarmed for their tonnage, particularly with regard to close anti-air and anti-missile defense.

Thus, while the US Navy's 4-ton OH Perry-class anti-submarine frigates were all protected by a Phalanx anti-missile system, the 000-ton French T-70s, no more than the FLF of 4 tonnes, were not provided with similar protection.

The success of the American CIWS RIM-116 RAM

Aware of the operational, but also commercial, potential of the CIWS concept, the American Raytheon associated with the German Diehl BGT Defense, developed, from the end of the 70s, the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile or RAM system.

RIM-116 RAM
The RAM equips the ships of 10 naval forces today.

This consisted of a Mk49 launcher armed with 21 cells, and as many RAM missiles, derived from the AIM-9 Sidewinder infrared-guided air-to-air missile. With a relatively low mass of seven tons, it allowed compact naval units to have effective close-in anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense, capable of intercepting several anti-ship missiles launched simultaneously against the ship.

The success of the RAM was immediate. It was quickly chosen by the US Navy to protect its Nimitz and Ford class aircraft carriers, its America class LHA or its Freedom and Independence class LCS, among others.

Ten other naval forces followed the US Navy, from Greece to Qatar, South Korea, Germany and Saudi Arabia, and were recently chosen by the Royal Netherlands Navy as part of the modernization of its ships, including the Rotterdam-class LPDs.

The LMP Multipurpose Modular Launcher from Naval Group

It is therefore with satisfaction, if not relief, that many learned that Naval Group had presented, on the occasion of NID 2023 dedicated to the innovations of the French industrialist, the Multipurpose Modular Launcher or LMP, which is none other than the French response to the American RIM-116.

Concretely, the LPM is a mobile modular system of 3 tonnes, composed of 4 containers each capable of implementing 4 Mistral 3 anti-aircraft or anti-missile missiles, 2 anti-submarine grenades, infrared decoys or 10 laser-guided rockets of 70 mm.

Naval Group LMP Multipurpose Modular Launcher
The LMP presented by Naval Group during NID 2023

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