MBDA test fires updated Marte missile for first time

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MBDA’s Marte ER anti-ship missile has completed its first test firing, successfully passing a major phase in its development.

The firing trial was carried out on 9 November at an Italian test range. The Marte ER (Extended Range) missile flew for more than 100km (62 miles) on a planned trajectory that included several waypoints and sea skimming flight, successfully testing all flying phases.

The Marte ER is the third generation of the missile system, which is used by the Italian Navy on its NFH90 and AW101 helicopter. The Marte MK2N version has a range of more than 30km (19 miles), while the latest extended range version has been designed for a range of beyond 100km.

The Marte ER features a turbo engine instead of a rocket motor. The missile can also be used on fast jets and is being integrated for use on the Eurofighter Typhoon to give the fighter an anti-ship capability.

MBDA said the development program for the Marte ER is progressing at “full speed” after completing its 18 months system definition phase and that its integration on the Eurofighter Typhoon platform is proceeding “at pace”.

Pasquale Di Bartolomeo, managing director of MBDA Italia said, “This test is a further confirmation of the robustness of the ER version of the Marte family of multi-platform anti-ship missiles that can be launched by ships, helicopters, coastal batteries and fast jets.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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