Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Marte anti-ship missile tested on Airbus C295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

An inert Marte MK2/S anti-ship missile round was successfully released from underneath the wing of an Airbus C295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), also known as the Persuader.

The test was conducted by Airbus in collaboration with MBDA to validate the aerodynamic integration of the Marte missile on C295, the handling qualities and performance tests.

The ability to install weapons such as missiles under the wing of an C295, gives the C295 MPA the option of performing new missions. The C295 MPA currently has the ability to carry MK46 torpedoes in the anti-submarine warfare role.

The Marte MK2 from MBDA is a family of light-weight, subsonic, fire-and-forget, medium-range, sea-skimming anti-ship missiles that can be used in all-weather conditions. The Marte specifications are:
  • a length of 3.85 m
  • a finspan of 1 m
  • a diameter of 0.32 m
  • a weight of 310 kg
  • a warhead of 70 kg
  • a maximum range of 45 km depending in release altitude
The Marte MK2 is powered by a solid-fuel rocket booster and sustainer and guided by an active radar seeker. It also incorporates some advanced features such as waypoint planning.

Besides the C295, the Marte Mk2/S is already integrated on the AW-101 and the NH90 NFH helicopters in service with the Italian Navy. An extended range version, the Marte ER with a turbojet engine, is being developed for the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The Airbus C295 is a twin-engined turboprop aircraft originally developed for the transport role. In addition to the maritime patrol role, a variant of the C295 is being developed for Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C).

This version comes fitted with a 360 degrees, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar housed in a radome and mounted on top of the fuselage. The radar is provided by Israel.


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