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MdCN missile enters service with French Navy: Report

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The MdCN cruise missile being test fired. A file photo

PARIS (BNS): The French Navy has quietly started deploying the MdCN cruise missile system onboard its newly-acquired FREMM multi-role frigates, according to a news report.

The first of the sea-based MdCN weapon system having "deep strike capability" entered service with the French Navy in February this year, the Mer et Marine news portal reported on June 6.

The MBDA-designed MdCN (missile de croisière naval) missile has been developed to arm the FREMM frigates and the future Barracuda-class of nuclear-powered attack submarines of the French Navy.

The final qualification test firing of MdCN was successfully carried out by the French DGA in October 2014, paving the way for the weapon's series production.

The MdCN is designed for vertical launch from the FREMM frigate using the compact A70 SYLVER vertical launcher. In its underwater configuration, the weapon will be fired from torpedo tubes.

Each FREMM frigate will be equipped with two A70 eight-cell vertical-launch silos for a total of 16 MdCN missiles designed, developed and produced in France by MBDA, the news report said.

The French Navy has officially received four FREMM class frigates so far, with two more slated for delivery by 2019.

The Navy has ordered a total of eight such new-generation warships which will carry state-of-the-art weapons and systems including the MdCN cruise missiles, Aster anti-air missiles, Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles and MU90 torpedoes.

While the exact configuration of the MdCN system is not known, the missile's estimated weight is around 1,400kg, with an overall length of 6.50m, and a diameter of 0.5m.

The missile provides a unique operational capability "with long range metric precision strike against politically / military sensitive targets," according to MBDA.

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