SCALP Naval has just completed its series of aerodynamic trials at ONERA's wind tunnel facility in Modane, France. This milestone was achieved less than two years after the French DGA (Délégation Générale pour l'Armement) notified the development contract for its MdCN naval cruise missile programme in December 2006.
The year 2008 has been especially rich in technical events for the programme. It started with a preliminary design review during which several system aspects were validated with the national client, notably: the general architecture of the missile; its launch platform interfaces (surface vessel vertical launch and submarine torpedo-tube launch); mission planning as well as the range of activities leading up to the next milestone, namely the detailed design concept.
During the course of the year, several partial trials were also carried out on the principal components of the vertical launch container and of the watertight submarine-launch capsule as well as on the warhead. The principal sub-assemblies of the Microturbo TR50 turbojet, which will provide missile propulsion during cruise phase, have also been tested. A distinctive feature of the turbojet motor is its endurance, required to provide the missile's very long range.
Most recently, the first test at system level was carried out at the DGA's Centre d'Achèvement et d'Essai des Propulseurs et Engins (CAEPE) near Bordeaux on 2nd September 2008. This involved a test firing of a missile mock-up fitted with the booster system within the Sylver A70 vertical launcher as a contribution towards eventual launcher qualification with regard to its safety aspects. Sylver A70 is being provided by DCNS under the prime-contractorship of MBDA within the FREMM integration contract.
These partial trials have prepared the way for the first firings of SCALP Naval which will take place from 2009 onwards. These test firings will be in both launch configurations, namely from the Sylver A70 launcher in its FREMM frigate configuration and from a submarine launch system in a Barracuda submarine configuration.
The Livre Blanc, France's defence and national security planning document published in June 2008, reaffirmed the priority conferred on the MdCN programme to provide the French Navy with a new, precision deep-strike capability from its FREMM frigates as of 2013 and from its Barracuda submarines as of 2015.
Source: SCALP NAVAL GETS READY FOR ITS FIRST FIRING
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