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MBDA unveils new supersonic cruise missile 'Perseus'
Posted On: Jun 22, 2011
A concept design of Perseus supersonic cruise missile system.
European missile manufacturer MBDA has unveiled Perseus – a new-generation supersonic cruise missile system that will provide multi-role strike capability by 2030 and beyond.
The new weapon, that will travel at a speed of Mach 3 (over 3,000 km/hour), would be used to attack most advanced warships as well as land targets.
Perseus will be integrated on a wide range of naval and air platforms, including surface vessel, submarine, carrier-based platform or a maritime patrol aircraft, and will carry multiple military warheads.
“To replace the current generation of heavy anti-ship and cruise missiles, a new system will be required that is capable of launching anti-ship strikes, land attacks and engaging time-sensitive targets such as relocatable missile launchers in an ever more complex tactical environment and with the minimum risk of collateral damage,” MBDA said.
“This new system will also have to be modular and deliverable from a maritime environment, namely from a surface vessel, a submarine, a carrier-based platform or a maritime patrol aircraft,” the company said while unveiling the project details at the ongoing Paris Air Show on Tuesday.
Perseus will feature multiple operating modes against a wide land and maritime target set with the added capability of being able to overcome the most effective of enemy missile defences.
It is designed to be a tactical weapon system operated through an advanced Operations & Mission Planning System at the crossroads of naval, land and air warfare, the missile producer said.
The missile will be powered by revolutionary ramjet motor built around a highly compact Continuous Detonation Wave Engine.
“This revolutionary solution, at the very edge of propulsion technology, opens up the possibility of developing a smaller airframe with more energetic efficiency.
“This airframe will make Perseus an unrivalled penetrator of enemy defences and an effective weapon for use against fast moving, relocatable targets that it will be able to reach in a matter of minutes even at ranges of up to 300 km,” MBDA said.
The weapon will also feature an advanced dual-mode sensor package, comprising an Active Electronically-Scanned Array combined with a laser radar, that will provide it all-weather operation in all configurations of terminal engagement.
The weapon’s general performance with regard to its flight characteristics, manoeuvrability, propulsion as well as the detection capabilities of its sensors and the efficiency of its multiple military warhead have all been evaluated through digital simulations.
“As Perseus will be a tactical missile, the question of its operational deployment and access to tactical theatre data has also been considered so that a coherent and efficient weapon system architecture can be proposed,” MBDA said.
A team of nine British, French, German and Italian engineers from MBDA, together with representatives from the Royal Navy and the French Navy, has evaluated the requirement and the solution for Perseus from operational analysis through to key performance specifications, the company said.
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