MBDA has launched a new family of advanced long-range air-to-surface missiles which can be used for multiple purposes and can be launched from multiple platforms.
The European World leader of advanced missile systems MBDA has renamed its MMP and MHT missiles under the name AKERON MP and AKERON LP respectively.
The AKERON missile family is a lightweight long range missile system, which can effectively neutralize the threats of modern era battlefield. The missile system can be used to destroy fixed or moving land targets, including the latest generation Main Battle Tanks and other armoured vehicles. The Missile can also be used to wipe out enemy bunkers and fortifications.
The Missiles of the Akeron family can be launched from multiple platforms such as land, air (attack helicopters and UAVs) and Navy warships.
According to the official website of MBDA – “The Akeron family ‘incorporates the latest technologies in terms of high-resolution multi-band imagers, multi-effect warheads (anti-tank, anti-infrastructure, anti-personnel), data links, and multi-mode guidance algorithms based on AI techniques’.
These technologies ensure ‘robust and precise guidance at any distance, in all conditions’, the company added. ‘Each has their own specifications in order to be perfectly adapted to the missions of the combat units and platforms using them.’
Akeron provides operators with the ‘broadest spectrum of tactical options’ to manage targets based on a wide number of modes of engagement, according to the manufacturer.
‘These include ‘fire and forget’, human-in-the-loop, locking the target before firing (LOBL), or locking on after firing (LOAL), which facilitates firing beyond line of sight (BLoS),’ it added.
MBDA also claimed the missiles are ‘ideal for integration into the digital environment of the battlefield, and suited for collaborative combat’.
Technical Specifications of the 5th-generation Anti-tank AKERON Missile System
The Akeron family consists of two missiles AKERON-MP and AKERON-LP.
These two missiles are currently the most advanced 5th generation long-range anti-tank missiles, which are equipped with a wide variety of latest technologies such as fire-and-forget mode, collaborative modes, triple mode seeker, SAL Channel, and multipurpose munitions system with Anti-Tank, Anti-personnel and Anti-infrastructure modes.
The Akeron Missile has a weight of 35kg and it has the range of 8 Kilometres to 20 Kilometres. The Missile is lightweight enough to be launched from Unmanned Aerial Combat Vehicles same like the American Hellfire ATGM.
Akeron Missiles are selected by France and Spain to Arm the Next-generation of Airbus Eurocopter Tiger Attack Helicopters (Tiger MkIII).
Described by MBDA as “a unique family of fifth-generation tactical combat missiles”, the Akeron series comprises MBDA’s previously named Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP) anti-tank and its Missile Haut de Trame/Missile Longue Portée (MHT/MLP) long-range missile, now renamed Akeron MP and Akeron LP respectively.
Fifth generation ATGM criteria
There is no official definition of 5th generation ATGM. However Several ATGMs have been marketed as 5th generation. One would be the Spike missile, and the French MBDA Missile Moyenne Portée. They appear to have the following:
- passive dual-band seeker (TV and uncooled IR);
- multipurpose tandem warhead;
- smokeless propellant;
- less collateral damage;
- possible counter-active protection system (CAPS) capability
- man in the loop technology;
- emphasis on targets other than tanks;
- other updates such as AI for the missile.