First operational deployment of MMP medium-range missile for Barkhane operation

French Picardie Battle group deploys and impliments the new medium-range missile (MMP) for the first time on the fields in the Three Borders region of southeastern Mali. Technological and innovative, the new missille is efficient and easy to manipulate.

French Army clears MMP 5th generation land combat missile for desert operations
MBDA MMP 5th generation land combat missile fired at Djibouti for desert operations validation in September 2018 (Picture source: French MoD)

The Picardie Battle Group carried out an operation in the Three Borders region of southeastern Mali. On this occasion, the new medium-range missile (MMP) was deployed and implemented for the first time on the fields. MDBA MMP

Arrived on the area of ​​operation at dawn, the soldiers of Picardy leap from their armored vehicle and work each one to their task to set up the MMP from the top of a ridge. Within the group of six soldiers, each occupies a definite function: a gunman, a shooter, an outfitter, a rear gunner, a shooter and a pilot.

The MMP (successor of the famous MILAN) is in place. Sergeant Nicolas then starts the observation with his shooter. In the sighting system of the MMP, movement appears on the ground. The shooter scans each particular point and uses the zoom to refine his search. For Sergeant Nicolas, "The MMP is an exceptional weapon system for day and night observation. The "fusion" mode detects heat sources and allows us, for example, to detect an individual hidden behind a bush or a tree." Before their screening, Sergeant Nicolas and his shooter received specific training on the MMP at the Draguignan Infantry School.

This new missile is a true digest of electronic innovations: with a range of over 4,000 meters, it can be used both as anti-personnel, anti-vehicle anti-inftrastructure missile, an interesting novelty for the field of operations that is the Sahelo-Saharan band where the flanks of some rock bars can serve as shelters for members of armed terrorist groups. On a technical level, the MMP is easy to use, as shown by the sergeant: "To go from an anti-personnel missile to an infrastructure missile, I only have to go to the MMP drop-down menu and check the corresponding box. Then, the sighting system shows what the missile sees. The shooter can therefore change his target at any time thanks to the optical fiber that connects him to the console. The missile is equipped with a day and night camera of a remarkable quality ".

Led by the French armies, in partnership with the G5 Sahel countries, Operation Barkhane was launched on August 1st, 2014. It is based on a strategic approach based on a logic of partnership with the main countries of the Sahel-Saharan strip: Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina-Faso. It brings together some 4,500 military personnel whose mission is to fight against armed terrorist groups and to support the armed forces of partner countries so that they can take this threat into account, notably within the framework of the joint G5 Sahel force currently under operationalization.


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