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MBDA Unveils Long-Range, Ground-Launched Cruise Missile

MBDA unveiled a long-range, ground-launched cruise missile at the ILA Berlin Air Show last week.

The European defense firm has been developing the Joint Fire Support Missile (JFS-M) for the Bundeswehr’s (German military) Future Long-Range Indirect Fire System and could share it with allies in the future.

The guided missile system has a reported range of 499 kilometers (310 miles) and is intended for use with German platforms such as the MARS II/MLRS-E artillery rocket and ADLER III command and weapon deployment system.

It has also been adapted for use with the US M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System and High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), according to Aviation Week.

Joint Fire Support Missile
Joint Fire Support Missile. Image: MBDA

Confuses Air-Defense

The system launches a salvo of missiles that approach the target from different directions, confusing air defenses and concealing the system’s launch position.

The missile’s “GPS navigation, 3D flight planning and image-supported navigation sensors” and AI-supported “Automated Target Recognition and Identification” enable effective targeting of moving targets such as surface-to-air systems, MBDA stated. 

Advantages Over Ballistic Missile

The system will overcome challenges Ukrainian artillery faces against its Russian counterparts in urban warfare, the company added.

Compared to a faster and more expensive ballistic missile, the JFS-M does not require coordination to “deconflict the airspace into which they are being fired from other coalition users,” Aviation Week wrote, adding that efforts are being made to increase the system’s speed.

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