Akeron Family: MBDA’s Fifth Generation Tactical Combat Missiles

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Akeron Family: MBDA’s Fifth Generation Tactical Combat Missiles
Akeron Family: MBDA’s Fifth Generation Tactical Combat Missiles

Akeron Family

MBDA has presented AKERON, a unique family of fifth-generation tactical combat missiles, a quantum leap from the third and fourth generation weapons currently available on the market.

The Akeron series comprises MBDA’s previously named Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP) anti-tank and its Missile Haut de Trame/Missile Longue Portée (MHT/MLP) long-range missile, now renamed Akeron MP and Akeron LP respectively.

The guided anti-tank MMP – Missile was launched in 2010 and has been in service with the French military since 2017. Its MHT – Missile variant was announced in 2020 and designed to meet a French requirement for an air-to-ground weapon for the Tiger helicopter.

The two weapons will now be marketed as Akeron MP and Akeron LP respectively. In a media release announcing the name change, MBDA describes Akeron as a “family” of weapons and implies that further Akeron products may be developed. As yet there is no other Akeron product listed on the company’s website, but the release implies that the company may be developing a maritime variant. “The missiles of the AKERON family meet current and future operational needs for dismounted combat as well as from land, air (helicopter, UAV) and even naval platforms,” the release says. In 2018, French commandos fired two MMPs from a turret fitted to a RHIB.

With AKERON, MBDA is now offering a family of missiles that can adapt to the needs of collaborative tactical combat. Today’s combat units operate in a variety of complex environments. These can be urban areas, open countryside, deserts or mountains, during the day or at night; and can also feature a combination and/or variety of forces, both allied and adversary. To respond to the wide range of threats they face, operators must be equipped with a versatile and precise capability enabling them to destroy fixed or mobile land targets – including the latest-generation tanks and light combat vehicles – but also neutralize dismounted adversaries or adversaries in hardened or defensive fighting positions. All whilst minimizing the risk of collateral damage. Operators also need to be protected during engagements with simplicity of implementation, the capacity to “fire and forget” or engage a target while remaining hidden from sight. Designed for these operational realities, the AKERON family of missiles incorporates the latest technologies in terms of high-resolution multi-band imagers, multi-effect warheads (anti-tank, anti-infrastructure, anti-personnel), data links, and multi-mode guidance algorithms based on AI techniques. All ensuring robust and precise guidance at any distance, in all conditions. Each has their own specifications in order to be perfectly adapted to the missions of the combat units and platforms using them.

Operators thus have the broadest spectrum of tactical options to deal with their targets, thanks to the many possible modes of engagement. These include ‘fire and forget’, human-in-the-loop, locking the target before firing (LOBL), or locking on after firing (LOAL), which facilitates firing beyond line of sight (BLOS). The missiles of the AKERON family meet current and future operational needs for dismounted combat as well as from land, air (helicopter, UAV) and even naval platforms. They are also ideal for integration into the digital environment of the battlefield, and suited for collaborative combat.

AKERON LP

AKERON LP is a most advanced 5th generation long range multi-role guided missile in development today, with high level technologies in term of optronics, warhead, RF data link, guidance and image processing algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence principles and data fusion.

AKERON LP
AKERON LP

CHARACTERISTICS

  • Lightweight long-range missile, optimal for Fire & Forget, Man-On-The-Loop and collaborative modes.
  • Three mode seeker with TV and Uncooled IR imagery in high resolution, and SAL Channel.
  • Multipurpose Munition with Anti-Tank, Anti-infrastructure and Anti-personnel selectable modes.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 30-40kg class

Length: 1.8m in tactical canister

Warhead: Multipurpose with selectable mode

Range: +8 km up to 20km

Multimode seeker: SAL/TV/uncooled IR

Datalink: Bidirectional RF

AKERON MP

AKERON MP is the only 5th generation missile which is combat proven & in service, in the world. It has been operationally tested and proven in extreme climates (desert and sub-arctic conditions). The system’s design includes the growth potential necessary for future modern land combat systems.

AKERON MP
AKERON MP

CHARACTERISTICS

  • Lightweight medium range munition, optimal for Fire & Forget and Man-On-The-Loop modes.
  • Day and night capability with high resolution dual mode uncooled IR/TV seeker.
  • Multipurpose Munition with Anti-Tank, Anti-infrastructure and Anti-personnel selectable modes.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 15kg (including tube)

Length: 1.3m in tactical canister

Diameter: 140mm

Range: 4,000m+ all modes, all conditions

Data Link: Real time (fiber optics)

MBDA Akeron LP missile to arm Tiger Mk III attack helicopter

The MBDA Akeron LP missile has been selected to equip the Airbus Helicopter Tiger Mk III rotorcraft, the rotorcraft manufacturer announced on 8 June 2022. Commenting on the same day MBDA revealed its new Akeron family of missiles, a representative of Airbus Helicopters said that the long-range version of the missile will arm the upgraded Tiger Mk III rotorcraft for France and Spain.

“To respond to the wide range of threats they face, operators must be equipped with a versatile and precise capability enabling them to destroy fixed or mobile land targets – including the latest-generation tanks and light combat vehicles – but also neutralize dismounted adversaries or adversaries in hardened or defensive fighting positions. All whilst minimizing the risk of collateral damage. Operators also need to be protected during engagements with simplicity of implementation, the capacity to ‘fire and forget’ or engage a target while remaining hidden from sight,” MBDA said.

Author: Ali Hassan

#TeamPakistanStrategicForum

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