At the Paris Air Show yesterday, MBDA unveiled the CVS 401 Persues concept missile system representing the Concept Visions group’s vision of a multi-role strike weapon system for 2030 and beyond. 

The new system would launch for anti-ship strikes, land attacks and to engage time-sensitive targets, officials said in a statement. Perseus is envisioned to replace the current generation of heavy anti-ship and cruise missiles for a more complex tactical environment.  This new system will also have to be modular and deliverable from a maritime environment, namely from a surface vessel, a submarine, a carrier-based platform or a maritime patrol aircraft. 

The new missile system is designed as a tactical weapon system operated through an advanced Operations & Mission Planning System at the crossroads of naval, land and air warfare.

The advanced supersonic–up to Mach 3–agile and stealthy airframe is powered by a revolutionary ramjet motor built around a highly compact Continuous Detonation Wave Engine, the statement said. This solution, at the very edge of propulsion technology, opens up the possibility of developing a smaller airframe with more energetic efficiency, the statement said. This airframe will make Perseus an unrivaled penetrator of enemy defenses and an effective weapon for use against fast moving, relocatable targets that it will be able to reach in a matter of minutes even at ranges up to 300 kilometers. 

An advanced dual-mode sensor package comprising an Active Electronically-Scanned Array radar combined with a laser radar allows for all-weather operations in all configurations of terminal engagement, MBDA’s statement said. Radar modes such as Synthetic Aperture Radar and Doppler Beam Sharpening allow for long-range target detection and discrimination in complex land and naval tactical environments including those involving advanced countermeasures. 

The navigation system reinforces a robust weapon system. The lethal package includes two guided effectors that are ejected from the modular payload bay and a third warhead remaining on-board for a dispersed lethal effect on large or multi-element targets such as a major warship or a ground based missile system. 

Additionally, the missile’s new modular composite structure allows for reductions in the overall mass of the weapon and fosters opportunities for through-life capability enhancement, simplifying maintenance operations through the whole life cycle and supporting the eventual development of a family of products. 

Perseus features a highly original shape to optimize key performance characteristics and adaptability for integration on a range of naval and air platforms. 

Digital simulations have evaluated the weapon’s flight characteristics, maneuverability, and propulsion as well as the detection capabilities of its sensors and the efficiency of its multiple military warhead. 

As Perseus will be a tactical missile, the question of its operational deployment and access to tactical theater data has also been considered so that a coherent and efficient weapon system architecture can be proposed. 

A team of nine British, French, German and Italian engineers from MBDA, together with representatives from the Royal Navy and the French navy, has evaluated the requirement and the solution for Perseus from operational analysis to key performance specifications. 

Executive Group Director Technical and Managing Director MBDA UK Steve Wadey said: “The aims of MBDA’s Concept Visions process are to promote innovation with our customers, supply chain and employees to shape the future of the missile systems market. By bringing together and synthesizing the know-how of our diverse group of highly talented engineers with that of equipment end-users, MBDA is able to offer the market a radical and accomplished vision of future missile system concepts and a demonstration of world leading innovation”. 

CVS 401 Perseus is the second project that MBDA has exhibited to show its vision of the future within the company initiative known as Concept Visions. This initiative was presented for the first time at last year’s Farnborough Air Show when MBDA displayed its CVS 101 concept comprising a family of urban combat missiles, the 1 kg Sniper and 5 kg Enforcer, able to be operated in a network-centric environment and enabling the delivery of a heavy punch at the lower levels of a force structure. 

MBDA is jointly held by BAE Systems 37.5 percent, EADS 37.5 percent and 25 percent is held by Finmeccanica.