MBDA (UK)

Contains threads on equipment developed by the UK defence and aerospace industry, but not in service with the British Armed Forces.
Ron5
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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Ron5 »

Timmymagic wrote:That is true. But it's likely that the JNAAM if it leads to a production variant will be the de-facto Meteor mk.2. MBDA will want to market it to keep the pole position, and if you're an airforce in the market for a top range missile and prepared to pay the price you'll want the best.

Wasn't trying to knock the UK. You are correct that the UK is getting payoff from the decision to identify a2a missiles as something to be invested in as part of the complex weapons suite and to become a national expertise. And I do note that investment was largely with MBDA, a multi-national company.

As a flip side of the same coin, you can see the downside in places where there are no areas where a national expertise was declared to be worthwhile. The army, for example, the current mess over there is pretty bad with just about every important piece of equipment becoming obsolete with no homegrown capability to replace. What a different it would have been if say, armored vehicles had been labelled a strategic interest with a line of funding similar to complex weapons.

We can only dream of a combined Bae/Rheinmetal company founded 20 years ago, enjoying consistent MoD funding, that had produced a steady stream of armored vehicles that had equipped both the German and UK armies for all that time, as well as generating exports. Not too late to start. I think the UK still has expertise in some aspects of AFV development to bring to the table.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Timmymagic »

Not a colossal surprise as the initial German order for Meteor was very small (<200 missiles, so small in fact their overall workshare was adjusted for once..), and they have Amraam B that need replacing. Presumably, they're moving in a similar direction to the UK with their limited numbers of Amraam C reserved for Tranche 1 Typhoon's and Meteor used on Tranche 2 and 3 Typhoon (when they're upgraded) and for FCAS.


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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Timmymagic »

Ron5 wrote:
Timmymagic wrote:That is true. But it's likely that the JNAAM if it leads to a production variant will be the de-facto Meteor mk.2. MBDA will want to market it to keep the pole position, and if you're an airforce in the market for a top range missile and prepared to pay the price you'll want the best.

Wasn't trying to knock the UK. You are correct that the UK is getting payoff from the decision to identify a2a missiles as something to be invested in as part of the complex weapons suite and to become a national expertise. And I do note that investment was largely with MBDA, a multi-national company.

As a flip side of the same coin, you can see the downside in places where there are no areas where a national expertise was declared to be worthwhile. The army, for example, the current mess over there is pretty bad with just about every important piece of equipment becoming obsolete with no homegrown capability to replace. What a different it would have been if say, armored vehicles had been labelled a strategic interest with a line of funding similar to complex weapons.

We can only dream of a combined Bae/Rheinmetal company founded 20 years ago, enjoying consistent MoD funding, that had produced a steady stream of armored vehicles that had equipped both the German and UK armies for all that time, as well as generating exports. Not too late to start. I think the UK still has expertise in some aspects of AFV development to bring to the table.
Don't worry, wasn't taking it as that. For the Army I think multinational development of MBT's has been a desire since before Chieftain. Chieftan, MBT-70, Challenger 1 (or Shir 1) were all multinational projects to a differing degree. Challenger 2 was in many ways the first unilateral MBT for years. Clearly for the volumes we're buying multinational development needs to be the way forward. IFV's, APC's and other armoured vehicles should remain a national capability though as they're comparatively easier to develop and the volumes are higher. The real industrial gaps that annoy me are artillery and comms. Both UK strengths. Artillery has been allowed to wither on the vine. Comms was destroyed by picking GD with the execrable Bowman when the UK Racal had a far, far better proposition.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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" [how] different it would have been if say, armored vehicles had been labelled a strategic interest with a line of funding similar to complex weapons."
Not hard to fathom that... as we were the world leaders (then)
- at the same time, we would have lost more by not going for A2A (and more) in missiles
- both :) would have been the way to go
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Re: MBDA (UK)

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We may have done even better if the Government stipulated back in the late 1980s, early 1990s that a single company was to take precedence in a given area, so BAe would have been allowed to consolidate UK manufacturing in aerospace, Vickers for land warfare and say Vosper Thornycraft for naval, as an example. These three companies once consolidated would have been free to seek international partnerships but the Government would retain a "Golden" share to endure the UK retained ownership.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Timmymagic »

Update on JNAAM..prototype by 2022.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... evelopment

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Timmymagic »

Found this...its quite old, but it does show an early image of what a clipped wing Meteor could look like..

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Both FCASW concepts in one place...subsonic, stealthy (Storm Shadow direct replacement, apparently preferred by the UK) and Supersonic (with A2A capability for HVT's, Exocet replacement, apparently favoured by France). Hopefully both get the go-ahead as they look pretty complimentary.


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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Bound to happen, but it looks like MBDA are at least looking at the Remote Carrier concepts exhibited at the Paris Air Show as potential missiles. To note these were the Remote Carrier 100 and Remote Carrier 200 (the 100 and 200 refers to their all up weight in kilos). These aren't huge missiles.


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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Ron5 »

Good stuff Timmy, thanks.

I notice one of the missile pictures shows Phasa which nicely links into the other posts you've made today.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Ron5 wrote:Good stuff Timmy, thanks.

I notice one of the missile pictures shows Phasa which nicely links into the other posts you've made today.
I think thats actually Zephyr in the image (they do look very alike...nothing whatsoever to do with former Zephyr staff moving across the road to Prismatic I'm sure...). Suspect with Zephyr under Airbus' wing, and the FCASW supersonic weapon being favoured by the French that they'll use Zephyr in any images to illustrate and potential FCAS destined weapons.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Didn’t know this. The UK produces vital components for the French MMP and MICA NG.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Must make MMP the nailed on replacement for Javelin. The man in the loop capability would be wanted as well for ROE.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Timmymagic »

Worth looking through the whole MBDA tweet thread regarding UK/France co-operation. There's a couple of nuggets there, including that FCASW starts the design phase next year...


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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Timmymagic wrote:Worth looking through the whole MBDA tweet thread regarding UK/France co-operation. There's a couple of nuggets there, including that FCASW starts the design phase next year...
May I be the first to say "about effing time"

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Phil R »

Do I spy a clipped wing Meteor in that tweet?
Not all 4 wings clipped as I expected, just the lower pair.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Timmymagic »

Phil R wrote:Do I spy a clipped wing Meteor in that tweet?
Not all 4 wings clipped as I expected, just the lower pair.

Phil R
Yes and No. It's definitely cropped, but it might not be final fin design. All of the firing trials and deployment of Meteor have been using the longer finned Meteor version (for all 4 fins). Until they fire one with the cropped fins we won't be sure if we're seeing the final configuration.

You can see the longer fins on the lower portion of the missile, surrounding the intakes, here on an operational RAF Typhoon on QRA taking off with live Meteor. So its not that this is the usual configuration.

Image

Here's the full image that the cropped image in the tweet comes from.

Image

And a CGI of an F-35B firing a cropped fin version. This will hopefully be the configuration of RN F-35B operating on CAP from QE Class (4 Meteor and 2 Asraam, given up on the gun...). It also illustrates why we're not going to see a 'Sidekick' like device for F-35B and Meteor, there just won't be room.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Ron5 wrote:
Timmymagic wrote:Worth looking through the whole MBDA tweet thread regarding UK/France co-operation. There's a couple of nuggets there, including that FCASW starts the design phase next year...
May I be the first to say "about effing time"
Which version though...or is it both. We just don't know.

There have been some commentators (who are respected) who have said the RN weren't keen on FCASW. Not sure if that was early days, or if its current. It appears to be HMG on a political level as a result of Lancaster House who are pushing it along (with presumably the RAF). Can't imagine why the RN wouldn't be keen, as FCASW solves so many issues for them, it might just be the supersonic version that they're, allegedly, less keen on.

- Long Range land attack from F-35B - Potentially if integrated, a clear gap in the UK weapon lineup
- Long range land attack from Typhoon to replace Storm Shadow when it hits its OSD.
- Anti-Shipping strike from F-35B (and potentially Typhoon and P-8, which would help the RN) - Potentially, another clear gap
- Extreme long range A2A against enemy MPA, AAR and AEW from F-35B if the supersonic version is adopted (which is a good thing surely) - Not a massive gap with the arrival of Meteor, but an additional capability
- Sub launched AShM to bring back the capability lost with the withdrawal of Sub-Harpoon
- Sub Launched Land Attack to replace Tomahawk - V important as it will be delivered in an encapsulated version as both Astute and Suffren Class lack VL systems. All future USN SSN's have VL tubes or VPM. Consequently any US land attack cruise missile will be VL only, development of UK only, torpedo tube launched encapsulated version would be very costly (UK Tomahawk are far more expensive as a result).
- Ship Launched Land Attack - New capability, particularly important given the IOC of T26 and end of Tomahawk production coinciding.
- Ship Launched Heavyweight AShM - A gap of a modern AShM exists already and only get worse.

By the looks of it it looks like exactly what the RN needs, if anything their need is greater than the RAF's (who could at least continue wiith Storm Shadow and US Harpoon on P-8).

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Lord Jim »

On paper FGASW looks great, but is still planned to be one missile not a family (Ok sub launched versions are a derivative) so whatever ends up being produced, to cover all those roles, is going to be very expensive, and more than its competitors.

If it fits in the Mk41 then it would give the T-26 a useful AShM as well as a decent land attack capability, supplementing a cheaper AShM like the NSM. We need the latter as the cost will not allow the FCASW to be purchased and installed in the numbers needed, but rather it will be a "Silver Bullet" weapon for high value targets.

A sub launched version, as long as it can go out the TTs will also boost the Astute's capabilities much like the T-26 and provide an alternative to the TLAM.

The RAF will probably end up being the key user, with it probably being used initially on the Typhoon, replacing Storm Shadow and then on whatever emerges from the Tempest Programme.

As for exports, well I think only the Middle East nations are likely buyers, possibly for their Typhoons, but with LRASM and BrahMos to name two, the market is already filling up with what are cheaper options.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Lord Jim wrote:On paper FGASW looks great, but is still planned to be one missile not a family (Ok sub launched versions are a derivative) so whatever ends up being produced, to cover all those roles, is going to be very expensive, and more than its competitors..
By all accounts MBDA are proposing 2 missiles for the requirement with some shared systems/sensors. That makes sense as the desire to replace Storm Shadow/SCALP in a stealthy deep strike role AND Exocet (it's role, rather than performance) would need 2 seperate designs. Even if 2 seperate missile shapes are produced I'd still expect different versions to be produced (like Spear with the potential for different seekers heads/payloads). A RF sensor may only be required for a number of roles, with a passive sensor being preferred for land attack.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Timmymagic wrote: By all accounts MBDA are proposing 2 missiles for the requirement with some shared systems/sensors.
But surely only one design will be selected and produced.

P.S. How realistic is the long range AA version? Seems a tad far fetched.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

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Ron5 wrote:
Timmymagic wrote: By all accounts MBDA are proposing 2 missiles for the requirement with some shared systems/sensors.
But surely only one design will be selected and produced.

P.S. How realistic is the long range AA version? Seems a tad far fetched.
Got a feeling we might see both. Main driver appears to be both governments rather than the services. From the gossip the French want Supersonic Cruiser, the UK wants subsonic, stealthy long range. No way the requirement from both can be met by one missile. So I suspect in order to keep it all sweet I think the governments will give both the green light, with some fluff around shared sensors etc. And truth is MBDA needs both in its lineup. It's heavyweight AShM lineup is looking old at present, its the only major issue in its entire product lineup. AAM's look fantastic, Ground munitions look good with Enforcer, MMP and potentially Brimstone. SAM's are strong. Cruise missiles are good for now with KEPD, SCALP and Spear. They've earnt a lot of money with AShM's in the past and they'll want that to continue. 2 missiles lets them cover the all customers needs. The Remote Carrier 100 and 200 look like they will make useful missiles as well.

The Supersonic Cruiser concept being usable as an extreme range AAM is definitely credible. But only against slow large targets like AAR, AWACS and MPA. And to be honest thats worth it, but only if its a secondary capability.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Slow targets... howabout fast ones, flying high, in a direct line?

Like the Tu-160s; much larger and much faster than the B-1B with a top speed greater than Mach 2.05.
- making it rain with long-range cruise missiles like the Kh-55MS... it can carry a dozen of those
,,, or should we quickly call the Americans, to fire an SM-6
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Re: MBDA (UK)

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:Slow targets... howabout fast ones, flying high, in a direct line?

Like the Tu-160s; much larger and much faster than the B-1B with a top speed greater than Mach 2.05.
- making it rain with long-range cruise missiles like the Kh-55MS... it can carry a dozen of those
,,, or should we quickly call the Americans, to fire an SM-6
Depends which direction they're flying fast in....straight ahead perhaps, crossing or retreating? Not so much.

It's worth mentioning that MBDA's mentioning of the Supersonic Cruiser's anti air capability was very much as a secondary capability. It might be that it could do the job in a very limited capacity, or would need a different dedicated RF or IR sensor to do so. If that was the case I suspect no-one would bother. The hard part is always going to be getting a decent target track in order to launch the missile in the first place at extreme range.

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Re: MBDA (UK)

Post by Timmymagic »

Some good news...7 year demonstration and manufacture contract



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