French Industry Team Embark on a Laser Guided Mortar Bomb (MPM) Development Program

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Nexter Munitions and TDA, a subsidiary of the Thales Group have launched a technology demonstration program developing low-cost precision semi-active laser (SAL) guidance kit under the Metric Precision artillery Ammunition demonstrator (MPM) program initiated by the French armament development authority (DGA). The team is expected to demonstrate and test-fire a 120mm laser-guided mortar bomb within four years (by the end of 2012).

Employing SAL terminal guidance, these munitions will be particularly effective in an urban terrain, where the risk of fratricide and collateral damage prevents the use of statistical and non-precision weapons. MPM equipped munitions will be designed to operate with standard target designators, further contributing to joint inter-service operability in effective operations within coalition framework. The guidance kit will comprise navigation, guidance, control, and target detection and acquisition using SAL assemblies that could be inducted into various types of ammunition, from 68mm rockets carried by helicopters, through 120mm mortar bombs and tank ammunition, 155mm artillery projectiles to 227mm GMLRS rockets.