The decision to equip Tiger attack helicopters with a new Air-to-surface missile developed by MBDA is now official, and 500 units were purchased.
Only one MBDA missile, against three before
French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly authorized the développement of the new MBDA missile MAST-F (Tactic Air-to-surface missile), which permit to pursue the mid-life overhaul of the Tiger helicopters.
«Tiger Standard 3 » program was launched after the Investment Ministerial Committee dated May 2th, 2018, with the goal of contributing to French and European Union strategies of autonomy. This new missile will replace PARS 3 missile, actually used in German Tiger helicopters, and missiles Hellfire (On French Tiger Helicopters) and Spike (used by Spanish Tigers)
First buy : 500 missiles.
Mme Parly also declared, on the same day, the buy of 500 missiles for light aviation of ground forces, with shooting simulators and models for training. There will be other procurements of missiles until 2028, the year of the first missiles deliveries in accordance with the calendar of Tiger program, especially for Germany and Spain
MMP (medium range missile) contribution
MBDA's MHT/MLP concept (High-Tier Missile/Long-Range Missile) is based on MMP technologies. Its modular architecture will enable the MHT/MLP to be easily integrated on various land or air combat platforms beyond the Tiger. The MMP missile is also available in a naval version. With 20% less mass than missiles in its category, the MHT/MLP offers a weight saving of nearly 100 kg for the Tiger helicopter, which can carry up to 8 missiles in combat configuration. This weight gain can be used to improve fuel carrying capacity and platform endurance, with a significant gain in playtime or range.
The range of the MHT/MLP exceeds 8 kilometres, even when fired from a stationary platform at low altitude. Its multi-effect warhead can handle a wide variety of targets ranging from modern battle tanks to heavy-duty infrastructure. The MHT/MLP can be used both day and night, including firing beyond direct sight. This is made possible by a two-way data link that sends back images from the missile's high-resolution visible and infrared optronic sensors to the operator. Thanks to this image feedback, the Tiger's crew will be able to choose the point of impact of the missile on the target, with the capacity, if necessary, to reorient the missile in flight, making it possible to envisage the use of the weapon in nesting contexts.