The demonstration was witnessed by a number of foreign delegations and was performed by an automated SIMBAD-RC naval turret firing from land against a fast moving, remotely-controlled, semi-rigid boat more than three kilometres off the coast.The scenario was intended to be representative of the self-protection of a vessel against asymmetric (commando or terrorist) attack.
In its latest version currently in service with the French armed forces, the Mistral is an air defence missile equipped with an imaging infrared seeker with advanced image processing capabilities that allow it to engage low thermal signature targets from a long distance (such targets include UAVs, missiles and fast boats), whilet at the same time offering excellent resistance to countermeasures.
MBDA chief executive Antoine Bouvier said, "The demonstration of the SIMBAD-RC Mistral combination against surface targets reflects our policy of giving our systems additional capacities to supplement those they were originally designed to provide."
The SIMBAD-RC is a remotely-controlled very-short-range naval air defence system that provides highly efficient capacities against a wide range of threats, from combat aircraft through anti-ship missiles to small-sized threats such as UAVs.
The system is easy to install and thus provides small units or support vessels with a true self-defence capacity, or can even ensure reinforced defence for the other types of surface vessels. Each turret supports two ready-to-fire Mistral missiles.
The turret is remotely operated, allowing the operator to remain under cover in the vessel’s operation centre, and thus ensures longer operational availability in case of a combat alert.
"MBDA is constantly striving to help armed forces make optimum use of their investments in our products," Bouvier added.
In total, MBDA group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development. MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo.