COLOGNE, Germany – Eying another export application of its Mistral missile, European missile maker MBDA on Wednesday announced a successful test of the weapon against a small, fast-moving surface target.
The test, which the company said happened “at the end of 2018,” adds a new naval target set for the air-to-air weapon. Armies can already deploy the Mistral missile in a shoulder-fired MANPAD setup, and the weapon can be mounted on helicopters.
The ability to destroy fast boats falls in line with governments’ fears of so-called asymmetric attacks. The term refers to guerrilla-style tactics, employed by terrorist commandos or pirates, that prize speed and surprise over traditional firepower.
A remote-controlled, semi-rigid boat more than 3 kilometers off the coast served as a target in the demonstration. The Mistral was launched from a SIMBAD-RC automated naval turret, also made by MBDA, mounted on land for the test. Installed on a ship, the turret is remote-controlled, meaning sailors can fire the weapon without exposing themselves to danger on deck, according to the company.