Monday, 24 June 2013

MBDA Increases its Influence in Precision Attack Weapons


MBDA unveiled CVS302 HOPLITE that is designed to supply an indirect precision attack capability for land and naval artillery in 2035 and beyond, representing the fourth and latest of MBDA’s annual Concept Visions projects. The HOPLITE system consists of a mission control system and two missile variants, HOPLITE-S and HOPLITE- L, both of which can fly over 37.5nm (70km) in less than two minutes at low altitude or up to 92nm (160km) at high altitude in less than four minutes.
HOPLITE-S is a 3.2m long, 120kg ‘utility’ missile for simple, supported engagements, carrying a spot-scanning LADAR (Laser Radar) seeker for SAL (Semi Active Laser) detection among other functions. When the missile is third party-designated or attacks on coordinates, its LADAR sensor is used for aim-point refinement. One-way data link allows mission updates and re-tasking. HOPLITE-S can be utilised in more complex scenarios with targeting assistance from the 135kg HOPLITE-L missile.
The latter is designed for complex, isolated engagements, requiring an operator-in-the-loop (OITL) capability. Its multi-mode seeker allows passive and active 3D imaging. According to MBDA, it is robust to adverse weather conditions, heavily cluttered scenes, and countermeasures. HOPLITE-L can decelerate to subsonic speeds to provide time for OITL targeting over its two-way data link. This, and its LADAR channel, can be used to direct HOPLITE-S onto targets in coordinated salvo attacks, resulting in a high-value increase in capability compared to current systems.
The overall system is able to quickly traverse contested airspaces, and closely coordinate salvo firings to provide an exceptional fire support capability. Its one-shot one-kill precision simplifies operations while reducing collateral damage risk and mission cost.

In its upcoming fourth issue, NAVAL FORCES will report at length on the CVS302 HOPLITE project.

 
HOPLITE-S (top) and HOPLITE-L (below) use an Air Turbo Rocket (ATR) propulsion system, with its integrated boost motor, to cruise at over Mach 2.
(Photos: Courtesy of MBDA)

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