NHIndustries and MBDA started integration of MARTE ER missile on NH90 maritime helicopter

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Naval Defense Industry News - Italy
 
 
 
NHIndustries and MBDA started integration of MARTE ER missile on NH90 maritime helicopter
 
Navy Recognition learned during the Farnborough International Airshow 2014 that NHIndustries and MBDA started integration of the MARTE ER (Extended Range) anti-ship missile on the NH90 NFH maritime helicopter. NHI and MBDA representatives explained that fitting trials already occured in June 2014 while flight and separation tests were planned for the fall of 2014.
     
Navy Recognition learned during the Farnborough International Airshow 2014 that NHIndustries and MBDA started integration of the MARTE ER (Extended Range) anti-ship missile on the NH90 NFH maritime helicopter. NHI and MBDA representatives explained that fitting trials already occured in June 2014 while flight and separation tests were planned for the fall of 2014.
Italian Navy (Marina Militare) NH90 NFH fitted with 2x MARTE ER anti-ship missiles at Farnborough International Airshow 2014

     
The integration work of this new missile is to answer the interest of two potential customers for a long range anti-ship missile capable of being launched from the NH90. The first customer is the Italian Navy which has already taken delivery of some of its 46 NH90 in NFH (Nato Frigate Helicopter) configuration it has on order. These helicopters are expected to be deployed on board Italian Navy's frigates for anti-submarine and anti-surface missions. The second potential customer is Qatar which signed during DIMDEX 2014 (naval exhibition held in Doha in March which we were covering) a letter of intent for 12 NH90 TTH and 10 NH90 NFH, from Airbus Helicopters.

When asked if the air launched version of the Exocet (AM 39) would ever be integrated on the NH90, an MBDA engineer explained the Exocet is physically too long and heavy: Initial studies have shown that during separation, the missile creates too much aerodynamic turbulences for the helicopter as well as affects its center of gravity too much.
     
Navy Recognition learned during the Farnborough International Airshow 2014 that NHIndustries and MBDA started integration of the MARTE ER (Extended Range) anti-ship missile on the NH90 NFH maritime helicopter. NHI and MBDA representatives explained that fitting trials already occured in June 2014 while flight and separation tests were planned for the fall of 2014.
Detailed view of the MBDA MARTE ER anti-ship missile fitted on the NH90 NFH at Farnborough International Airshow 2014

     
The Marte missile family
The all-weather Marte MK2 is a fire-and-forget, medium-range, sea-skimming anti-ship weapon system. It is equipped with mid-course inertial and radar-based terminal guidance and is capable of destroying small craft and seriously damaging larger vessels. The missile weighs 310 kg and is 3.85 metres long. Marte was first developed in the 1980s with the 30km range MK/2 version being deployed on helicopters. Subsequent models followed for integration on different platforms and thus a family of missiles came into being.

The Marte MK-2/S, where “S” stands for “Short” and indicates shorter munitions in order to enable simpler on board integration, has already been integrated on AW101 and NH-90 NFH helicopters in service with the Italian Navy. The Marte MK-2/A was then developed for launch from fixed-wing aircraft (fighter or patrol aircraft). Finally, in response to the growing interest for a lightweight, rapid-response surface-to-surface naval missile system for littoral operations, Marte MK2/N was developed.

The new version of the missile, called Marte ER (Extended Range), keeps the basic characteristics of the Marte family, but extends its range. The new product is different from previous versions thanks to two main features: turbojet propulsion (leading to a four-fold increase in range compared to the rocket motor version), and the new ISO-calibre cylinder cell. The missile, equipped with these new important components, still preserves a series of elements that were already present in previous versions of the Marte missile, providing a number of significant commonalities that are widely appreciated by the market.

Thanks to these improvements, the new missile has a range that now exceeds 100 km and a much increased speed, both in the cruise and final attack phases. However, it is shorter than the previous model. Logistic systems, such as the transport and stocking canister in the helicopter version and the trolley for moving and hooking the missile to aircraft, are the same as those used in the Mk2/S model, offering clear user advantages.
 

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