PARIS — The first stage of integrating the MMP medium-range missile onto France’s new Jaguar armored reconnaissance and combat vehicle was successfully carried out last month when the weapon was fired from the retractable pod on the vehicle’s turret and hit a fixed target.

The firing took place April 14 but was only just announced May 11 by the missile’s producer MBDA and the vehicle’s maker Nexter, one of the three members of the consortium with Arquus and Thales.

The integration of the 33-pound, 140mm MMP onto the Jaguar was described by David Marquette, Nexter’s Jaguar project manager, as “a major milestone” for the effort that is being carried out in stages.

The system is expected to be able to destroy fixed or mobile-hardened land targets including the latest generation of tanks using direct or beyond-line-of-sight targeting.

The MMP is being integrated into the Jaguar’s turret by Nexter, alongside the remote controlled weapon station developed by Arquus, the Scorpion common vehicle/electronics technology developed by Thales, and the 40mm canon developed by CTAI, a 50-50 joint venture between Nexter and BAE Systems.

During the demonstration, the Optrolead Paseo battlefield surveillance sight interfaced with the missile system offering real-time optronic acquisition by day and night. Paseo, supplied by Safran Electronics and Defense, is a stabilized panoramic sight that provides fire-on-the-move capability. It can detect a target more than 9 miles away, recognize it at 4.72 miles and identify it at 2.49 miles, which happens to be the range of the MMP.

Frédéric Michaud, head of the battlefield sector for sales and business development at MBDA, said “this firing marks an important first step of the work conducted with Nexter to develop the Jaguar turret and integrate the MMP into a weapon system built on the latest technological solutions. This two-missile turret configuration considerably expands the vehicle’s firepower.”

The Jaguar, together with the Griffon multirole armored vehicle and the Serval, will equip France’s cavalry regiments to replace the current AMX10 RC, ERC 90 and VAB HOT armored vehicles. Belgium has also bought the Griffon and Jaguar.

Christina Mackenzie was the France correspondent for Defense News.

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