- Advanced Technology
- Délégation Générale pour l'Armement
- Network Centric Warfare
- United Kingdom
The first successful guided firing of the MILAN ER (Extended Response)
development missile took place on 18 May at the DGA test centre in Bourges,
southwest France (ETBS). Milan ER is the latest generation of MBDA's MILAN land
combat missile which is in service with over 40 customers worldwide.
The development firing served to prove the aerodynamic properties of the system
as well as guidance and control characteristics, the correct behavior in-flight
of the new components of the missile at medium range, and, particularly, the jet
deflection device and the remote control wire (the missile was fitted with a
The operation was carried out in the same way as for the MILAN missiles
currently in service, including the aiming of the line of sight, firing
mechanism and starting phase of the missile and the sighting by the gunner up
until the point of impact on the target.
This test was the first step in a series of development firings scheduled to
take place before the end of the year to validate the range performance and
maneuverability characteristics of the missile, as well as the operational use
with the ADT firing post. The ADT firing post has already been trialed at the
ETBS test range in March this year completing the industrial development phase
of the program. The firing post is now undergoing qualification.
The guided firing was the latest in a series of major trials undertaken in 2006
under the MILAN ER development program. These include:
- Testing of the extended propellant grain (Roxel UK);
- Initial troubleshooting bench tests of the new jet deflector (Roxel France);
- Optimization of the performance of the warhead (Ruag, Switzerland);
- Production of the prototype guidance control unit specific to the Milan ER
missile (MBDA Deutschland);
- Guided firings of the missile in MBDA firing tunnel.
The Milan ER benefits from all the performance and operational characteristics
which made the MILAN family popular (ergonomics, reliability, simplicity,
robustness and ease of use) and also features the next generation technologies
needed to meet the new requirements in combat while keeping a total lifecycle
cost that is compatible with the budgetary restrictions of the armed forces. The
new technologies concern the warhead, propulsion system, maneuverability
in-flight and the operating range (3,000m). For the ADT firing post, the latest
technologies concern full digitization of the system and the resulting
additional applications (incorporation of the thermal imager; video
inputs/outputs for remote operation; remote vision; new instruction and training
tools; built-in-test; maintenance tools and geo-positioning tools).
The Milan ER is, as a consequence, a new generation system ideally suited for
incorporation into Network Centric Warfare (NCW) systems.
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