Monday, October 25, 2010

Underwater Test for MBDA's Scalp

During September 2010, a high depth ignition test of SCALP Naval's booster was organised by MBDA. The underwater test, which set the booster in operation for several seconds, was carried out at a significant depth in a Norwegian fjord using an instrumented model of a SCALP Naval rear section secured in a submerged structure.

First analysis of the test results show that the pressure profile of the booster, the ejection of the storage lid protecting the rear end of the missile and the model's water-tight properties all behaved nominally. This latest test adds to the underwater travel tests for which a special installation, replicating submarine launch conditions, has been constructed by MBDA in conjunction with the French Direction Generale de l'Armement Essais de Missiles (DGA EM) Ile du Levant.

These combined tests prepare the way for the first test firing of SCALP Naval from a submarine envisaged during the course of 2011.

On 28th May 2010, MBDA successfully carried out the first firing of SCALP NAVAL from a series production Sylver A70 vertical launcher. During this test flight, lasting several tens of minutes, all launch phases up to and including the missile's cruise flight phase were able to be tested.

SCALP Naval is being developed in two configurations to meet the requirements of the French Navy expressed in its Missile de Croisiere Naval (Naval Cruise Missile).or MdCN programme. The first configuration will allow for vertical launch and is destined for entry in service on surface vessels of the FREMM frigate type as of 2013. The second configuration is a changing environment version destined to equip the Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarines as of 2017.

The two configurations use the same missile and the same ejectable booster. Differentiating the second configuration from the first is the addition of a sea to air transition capsule. This is achieved through a container which totally encloses the missile and its booster, allowing it to be ejected through an immersed submarine's torpedo tubes.

"MBDA is totally mobilised for the MdCN programme", stated Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA, "because this programme, which sets in motion a wide diversity of technologies, is the most eloquent proof of our business's savoir-faire in meeting the strategic needs of the French customer".

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