The Brazilian Navy has successfully carried out a firing trial of an Exocet MM40 missile, equipped with a motor developed, produced and certified by Avibras in partnership with MBDA. This is the first time that the Brazilian Navy has carried out such a test which represents the country’s autonomy in obtaining anti-ship missile motors which, in the future, could also be used on other kinds of missile, both national and foreign. The test was carried out in the open ocean from the Brazilian Navy corvette Barroso.
According to Admiral Julio Soares de Moura Neto, Commander of the Brazilian Navy, the firing was an example of a successful programme of technology cooperation, saying: “this test marks one of the great successes of recent times for the Brazilian Navy”. The programme, launched in 2008, benefited from a total investment of around 75 million Reals (€ 30 million).
This firing and the cooperative development carried out between the two companies is part of the Exocet MM40 missile renovation and operational maintenance programme and for MBDA, an element of its strategy aimed at creating long-term partnerships with Brazilian industry.
The objective of this trial was to verify and validate the maximum performance of the missile’s new flight propellant over its maximum range which was achieved without any difficulty.
Another aspect of the trial was the replacement of the Exocet warhead by a telemetry unit supplied by the Brazilian company Mectron which was equally involved in the development. This equipment permitted the real-time measurement of all the relevant parameters of the fired missile (velocity, pressure, cruise trajectory etc.). Two frigates and three helicopters of the Brazilian Navy, equipped with interconnected monitoring devices covering the deployment area, also participated in the exercise.
The success of this test demonstrates the ability of Avibras concerning the development, production and certification of this type of Exocet MM40 missile propulsion technology as well as the possibility of carrying out series production. It also demonstrated the successful technical and personnel cooperation of the different companies involved.
“I welcome the success of this firing exercise which reinforces the cooperation between our government and both national and international companies as well as the way it opens up new markets to the companies involved in the programme”, stated Sami Youssef Hassuani, CEO of Avibras.
“This test reinforces our strategic partnership with Brazil, a prominent power in the global geopolitical arena”, stressed Patrick de La Revelière, Vice President of Export Sales MBDA.
Founded in 1961, Avibras is a 100% privately owned national aerospace company. Its principal capabilities lie in integration of systems, missiles, rockets, armoured vehicles and C2. Its industrial facilities are situated in Vale do Paraiba and in the cities of Sao Jose dos Campos, Jacarei and Lorena located in the state of Sao Paolo.
Among other projects, Avibras is currently supplying the Brazilian Armed Forces with the artillery system ASTROS 2020, comprising armoured vehicles, rockets, missiles and C4 command and control systems. In addition, it is supplying missiles to the Brazilian Air Force and Navy. Avibras is also responsible for the development of the Aeronave Remotamente Pilotada Falcao project (also known as VANT) which aims at giving Brazil total control of all the technology involved in the programme.
Founded through an association of engineers from technology companies and institutions in Sao José dos Campos, Mectron has been active for 21 years in the defence and aerospace markets, developing and manufacturing smart weapons, avionics systems, radars and satellite equipment. In 2011, Mectron integrated the Odebrecht Organisation by means of Odebrecht Defesa e Technologia, active in the management, development and installation of integrated projects in the area of defence, public and national security.
With regards to the defence market, and having as its principal customer the Brazilian Armed Forces, Mectron develops and manufactures the air-to-air missiles MAA-1, MAA-1B et A-Darter (the latter in partnership with south Africa and other Brazilian companies), MSS1.2 the surface-to-surface anti-tank missile, the air-to-surface MAR-1 anti-radar missile and the Acauan GPS and inertial guidance kit for conventional bombs. In the area of avionics, Mectron develops and manufactures the SCP-01 radar on board the AMX aircraft in partnership with the Italian company Selex Galileo, as well as various other installed avionics systems allowing the integration of its other products on different types of aircraft such as the F-5M, AMX and the Super Tucano ALX.
In addition to its participation in the Exocet MM40 maintenance and renovation programme, Mectron has also provided other services to the Brazilian Navy, namely refitting, telemetry and technical support permitting the launch of AIM-9H air-to-air missiles from the A-4 aircraft as well as the Aspide air defence missiles from Brazilian frigates
Exocet is a complete family of all-weather heavy anti-ship missiles suitable for all types of carriers. It is available in several versions:
- surface to surface (MM40) for ships
- air-to-sea (AM39) for aircraft and helicopters
- submarine-surface (SM39) for submerged submarines
- land-sea (BC) for coastal batteries.
Exocet has an OTH (Over The Horizon) firing capacity and a range of other operational benefits including: low signature, late seeker activation, sea-skimming at very low altitude, enhanced target discrimination and ECCM, and high penetrative power against modern naval air defences.
With industrial facilities in four European countries and within the USA, in 2011 MBDA achieved a turnover of € 3 billion with an order book of € 10.5 billion. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems. MBDA is jointly held by BAE Systems (37.5%), EADS (37.5%) and Finmeccanica (25%).