Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Have we upgraded our Otomats?

Browsing through MBDA's press release on our recent test-firing of their Otomat SSM, provides a clear explanation of what was involved in the Over The Horizon targeting capabilities owned by our navy.

8th October 2008


On 23rd September 2008, a live firing of a TG2 (guide mode 2) OTOMAT missile was successfully carried out from the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN) Laksamana class corvetteNadim. The firing satisfied a contractual obligation requiring MBDA to validate the OTOMAT TG2 system (over the horizon re-vectoring system) installed on board the Super Lynx helicopters supplied to the RMN by AgustaWestland. The firing, carried out in an open sea scenario, was planned against a target beyond the launch ship’s radar horizon with the missile flight comprising two phases.

The initial phase (TG1 Phase – guide mode 1) involved the missile being directed from the launch ship towards the TG2 helicopter. The subsequent phase (TG2 Phase) saw the missile directed towards the real target position by the TG2 helicopter. This involved a 30° turn after in-flight re-vectoring of the missile with the new navigation and attack data provided by the helicopter. OTOMAT’s flight exceeded 60 Km, with the missile following the planned trajectory and approaching the target with exceptional accuracy. Target impact occurred at the planned altitude and with the correct detonation of the warhead. The firing activities were carried out by the RMN supported by an MBDA team. Top level RMN representatives were present on board a helicopter hovering above the target area to witness the operation.

Fabrizio Giulianini, Executive Group Director Sales and Business Development of MBDA, said: “This latest success for OTOMAT confirms its role as a leading anti-ship missile system within the modern naval operational scenario. This missile’s already excellent performance has been further improved with the addition of a new land attack capability. With this new configuration, OTOMAT will offer one of the best solutions for navies up to 2020 and beyond”. With sales exceeding 1,000 missiles worldwide, the OTOMAT anti-ship missile system has been updated to a new, fully digital Mk II Block IV standard. In this new configuration the missile has been updated and upgraded to face future naval threats, typically brown water scenarios and land attack requirements thanks to its new on-board navigation system and its operational range of 180 Km. The updating programme was launched thanks to the support and funding of the Italian Navy. For the Italian Navy, the programme covers the updating to the new standard of the missiles that will be installed on board its Durand de La Penne class Horizon destroyers and on its future FREMM frigates. Qualification firings for the Italian Navy were completed at the end 2007.

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