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France conducts first end-to-end test firing of SCALP Naval cruise missile

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An MBDA photo.

LEVANT, FRANCE (BNS): The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has successfully carried out the first end-to-end test-firing of the SCALP Naval (MdCN) cruise missile system from an underwater platform.

The fourth developmental trial of the missile's submarine version was conducted at the DGA's Levant missile test center in the Var region of southern France on October 24, 2012.

The missile was test launched from a platform representing a submerged submarine during the trial.

"All test objectives were successfully achieved, notably the validation of the GPS guidance mode in the terminal phase," MBDA, which has designed and developed the cruise missile system, said quoting the French DGA.

This follows on from the validation of the infrared guidance mode which was achieved during the last firing which took place on July 9, 2012, the European missile maker added.

France conducted the first test-firing of the submarine version of SCALP Naval in June, 2011. During the trial, the missile, designated MdCN (missile de croisière naval) in French Navy, was test launched from a submerged platform representative of a launch from a submarine diving.

SCALP Naval was test fired by the DGA for the first time in May 2010 during which the missile was launched using a FREMM frigate configuration from a production series Sylver A70 launcher.

France has placed an order for 200 SCALP Naval missiles with MBDA. The cruise missiles are being designed to equip the French Navy's new FREMM multi-mission frigates and the Barracuda class nuclear-powered attack submarines.

MBDA, which has already produced the Storm Shadow / SCALP air-launched cruise missile system, is developing the naval variant of the cruise missile in two configurations.

In the first configuration, the missile is being designed for vertical launch from the future FREMM frigates using the compact A70 vertical launcher. In the submarine mode, the weapon will be launched through torpedo tubes.

The new long-range cruise missile, with deep strike capability, will use the propulsion, autonomous navigation and guidance and automatic target recognition similar to that of the Storm Shadow / SCALP air-launched cruise missile.

The SCALP Naval is expected to enter service with the French FREMM surface vessels by 2014 and in the Barracuda submarines by 2017.

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