Military Review

The draft fundamentally new rocket Hoplite was presented at Le Bourget

MBDA (Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia), the largest European manufacturer of combat missiles of all types, presented its Concept Visions program at the anniversary air show in Le Bourget, which provides for the creation of a missile weaponswhich can be attributed to a fundamentally new type. MBDA was founded in December 2001 by merging Aerospatiale-Matra Missiles (structure EADS), Finmeccanica and Matra BAe Dynamics. In 2003, the company employed more than 10 thousands of employees, and in 2005, its annual turnover exceeded 3 billion euros. This company produces a wide range of missile weapons: air-to-air, air-to-surface, ground-to-air missiles, anti-ship and anti-tank missiles.

The Hoplite project is aimed at solving the main problems that modern surface-to-surface missiles have. We are talking about the need to clean up the surrounding airspace directly in the impact zone from its aircraft and often under the monastery, practically slavishly dependent on GPS (for Western countries), not fundamentally strong enough in terms of signal, and also quite easily clogged with modern EW .

Nowadays, surface-to-surface missiles are launched mostly vertically upwards, which takes them into the airspace, which is often already occupied by their own aircraft - and here, even a random collision is not that far away. You can, of course, try to clear the sky before the strike, but in this case the ground troops will lose support from the air. Is this too much of a price for the possibility of a one-time missile strike?

The draft fundamentally new rocket Hoplite was presented at Le Bourget

In order to avoid this, the Hoplite project missiles are going to provide advanced aerodynamic surfaces with variable area and a combination of a solid rocket engine with a turbine and a compressor that will allow the guided rocket to quickly change the direction of flight almost immediately after launch, remaining at a height not higher than 1 kilometers which is usually used mainly by helicopters, and not by airplanes.

In order to part with a heavy GPS addiction, which turned out to be quite inconvenient when using rockets in mountainous areas and seemingly even more inconvenient in case of hostilities with an army of EW weapons, the guided missile will store in its memory terrain data on the route movements (like an avtonavigator card) and check with the route, interpreting the terrain with the help of a system of laser tracking of the landscape. In fact, this is a variation of lidar (active rangefinder of the optical range), the degree of complexity of which is not yet indicated in detail.

The Hoplite-S rocket modification will rely on the lidar used to detect the target while being in one-way communication mode for receiving instructions on attacking the target (if the target moves during the flight or is destroyed by other fire weapons). At the same time, the Hoplite-L modification uses a somewhat more complex combination of a lidar and a computer, capable of detailing the nature of the terrain and independently identifying desired targets on it, which are then transmitted via two-way communication channels to Hoplite-S missiles.

In fact, we see a fleet of UAVs that, ideally, are capable of independent target designation and subsequent destruction of targets without the use of GPS. In fact, the rocket itself will technically become significantly closer to unmanned aerial vehicles with traditional engines. When burning, the rocket fuel with its gases will rotate the turbine, thereby driving the compressor, which takes the outboard air, allowing the rocket to move in space at lower speeds, up to Mach 0,6. Naturally, if you need a breakthrough of the enemy’s air defense system and a quick strike, the guided missile can always perform maneuvers at flight speeds in 3 and more than Mach. At the same time, it will be possible to deploy a rocket from special modular container units, located at least on an advanced military base, even on a ship. With a range of 140 – 160 kilometers, the Hoplite rocket will be able to impact enemy artillery or ground units without the risk of receiving a strike in response.

So far, only a concept appears before us, which in the future may not become a real combat system, but the very fact of this development is remarkable. If the first reaction to this development inevitably looks like “what is all this for, if you already have a UAV?”, Then in the future, undoubtedly, it appears that the interceptability of missiles and UAVs during the war against a developed enemy will inevitably be different: UAVs, which are shock, reconnaissance, can rarely surpass the bombers of the Second World War, and the army, which has its own powerful air defense (and, unlike the Russian armed forces in Georgia in 2008, ready for its intensive use) and striking such targets packs. At the same time, the maximum speed of the rockets, even with the use of such a somewhat unusual engine, will make the solution of this task much more difficult.

It is worth noting that the European manufacturer of guided missiles may well bring their plans to life. This is evidenced by all previously implemented projects of the company. Not so long ago, the company MBDA began production for the UK new burglar munitions called Fire Shadow. According to Steve Wade, who is the representative of MBDA in the UK, the test launches of the hovering missiles are fully completed. At the same time, the Fire Shadow rocket successfully hit several moving and stationary targets. As previously reported, the Fire Shadow rocket was launched into mass production in 2012, this rocket was created on the order of the British military.

Fire shadow

According to Steve Wade, this sophisticated ammunition was created by MBDA in close cooperation with the UK Department of Defense. It was possible to implement the project in a relatively short period of time. The first information about the start of work on the creation of a “hanging” rocket appeared in 2007 in the framework of the program Team Complex Weapons.

It is reported that the Fire Shadow guided missile weighs no more than 200 kg., Has a cruising speed of 270-550 km / h, the range of the missile is up to 100 km. A barrage shell may rise to an altitude of up to 4600 meters and soar over a combat area for 6 hours. During the flight, the rocket transmits its coordinates and visual data to the operator’s console. As noted, “hovering” rocket is able to be effectively used in conjunction with attack helicopters and modern UAVs.

Barrage missiles, like the Fire Shadow, significantly increase the mobility and firepower of the ground forces. They have a real opportunity to wedge small units into the enemy’s defense on the move, without waiting for the deployment of their own artillery units and air support. The saturation of the battlefield with anti-missile guided missiles makes it possible to quickly deal with armored vehicles and various enemy fortifications, as well as to conduct fast offensive operations that demoralize the enemy.

Information sources:
-http: //
-http: // 2012 / 03 / 26 / 482775
-http: //
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  1. xetai9977
    xetai9977 2 July 2013 08: 10
    The technique is becoming more and more "smart" and at the same time expensive. Of course, these systems are capable of a lot, but not many are able to afford this pleasure.
    1. Ross
      Ross 2 July 2013 11: 34
      Quote: xetai9977
      The technique is becoming more and more "smart" and at the same time expensive. Of course, these systems are capable of a lot, but not many are able to afford this pleasure.

      This is more and more like a piece of weapons and most likely against a weak enemy, there will not be enough money for a mass release.
  2. Dima190579
    Dima190579 2 July 2013 09: 11
    The prestige of the EW war profession is growing in the army
    BARKAS 2 July 2013 09: 13
    A fundamentally new missile is still loudly said rather the further development of cruise missiles.
  4. omsbon
    omsbon 2 July 2013 10: 06
    The history of the development of rocket science shows that soon a system will be devised to nullify this new notion.
    The main thing is that we would have something to defend ourselves and how to respond.
  5. Specialsog
    Specialsog 2 July 2013 10: 46
    Wasn’t it something like the R-P-800? Distribution of targets in a grouping between missiles.
  6. Nayhas
    Nayhas 2 July 2013 10: 47
    The claim that a GPS signal is easily hammered by more than speculation. Everyone uses only the civilian GPS channel, while the US military has its own channel, which is protected from interference.
    “The GPS III satellites are designed to replace the aging vehicles of previous generations with 3 times better accuracy, 8 times better noise immunity and longer in-orbit life than their predecessors. In addition, they received an additional improved commercial navigation channel. The United States plans to order a total of 32 GPS III devices. " LM is already building the first four satellites and has received an order for eight satellites in total.
    Why did the MBDA refuse to use GPS in its ammunition? It is doubtful that due to poor noise immunity, the GPS unit does not have large dimensions, therefore, complete with ANN and lidar it would not be out of place to increase accuracy, the presence of several guidance systems still increases noise immunity. In addition, the increased saturation of the front line by electronic warfare equipment is doubtful ...
    1. Andrey Skokovsky
      Andrey Skokovsky 2 July 2013 11: 23
      Quote: Nayhas

      Why did the MBDA refuse to use GPS in its ammunition? It is doubtful that due to poor noise immunity, the GPS unit does not have large dimensions, therefore, complete with ANN and lidar it would not be out of place to increase accuracy, the presence of several guidance systems still increases noise immunity. In addition, the increased saturation of the front line by electronic warfare equipment is doubtful ...

      Europeans seem to want to be a little more independent from their overseas "friends". again, weapons must be sold and not the fact that future customers will also be "friends" with the USA, maybe quite the opposite ...

      and even a couple it seems to me that target designation on the relief of the area has already been used and more than once we have a pancake.
      only Europeans tactfully forget such moments ......
      1. Nayhas
        Nayhas 2 July 2013 14: 00
        Yes, it is used in Tomahawks and our Iskanders. In this case, not photographs, not digital maps, but relief maps made by lidar are used, as far as I understand ... The question is that lidar is quite susceptible to weather conditions (snow, rain, fog), smoke, dust, in general , which will lead to the scattering of laser radiation ...
    2. anomalocaris
      anomalocaris 2 July 2013 17: 21
      Clogs up and is very simple. The only question is mass. In general, any satellite constellation, in case of war between countries comparable in terms of development level, will be rendered within a few days. This is without the use of nuclear weapons. And with the use of nuclear weapons, all GPS is a dead poultice.
      1. Igarr
        Igarr 2 July 2013 19: 52
        Well that's all.
        And any lidar will die because the strip of hostilities will already be open. Preliminary.
        Construct new ... imitators. Slides, forests, mounds. pits and buildings.
        If you started to produce inflatable tanks, how long do you make an inflatable hill?
        Yes, the same smoke curtain? Aerosol clouds.
        Chasing Tuaregs in the desert can be a good idea. Gouging offshore oil rigs. The Statue of Liberty, say - is easily tied along the coast. Looking around Fuji, across the bridges of San Francisco is a dream ...
        But in the conditions of the Central Russian plain, with hills and ravines, copses and destroyed sheds - I’m not sure.
  7. abc_alex
    abc_alex 2 July 2013 11: 16
    And what is fundamentally new in the rocket? I certainly understand, the word "lidar" sounds nice, but the combination "autonomous correlation-extreme optical homing head" also inspires, means the same thing (guidance over the landscape image) and has long been implemented in the Iskander rocket.

    The article should be titled: “Europe has decided to make its own Iskander. There is less pathos, but closer to the topic :)
    1. anomalocaris
      anomalocaris 2 July 2013 17: 24
      It only gets worse. Iskander's speed is higher.
  8. _KM_
    _KM_ 2 July 2013 11: 38
    As far as I understand, GPS belongs to the Americans, and Matra is a European company. Maybe they want to reduce their dependence on Uncle Sam?
  9. individual
    individual 2 July 2013 13: 33
    For each "poison" created his antidote!
    In this case, the role of electronic warfare is increasing.
  10. lucidlook
    lucidlook 2 July 2013 14: 05
    And why is this "fundamental innovation" fundamentally newer than Tomahawk Block IV? Two engines (cruising F415 and rocket ARC MK 135), GPS + TERCOM + DSMAC, the ability to change the flight mission after the start and other goodies.
    1. sub307
      sub307 2 July 2013 15: 38
      That's it. I was going to write, but saw this comment.
  11. Black
    Black 2 July 2013 15: 07
    And if after barrage the goals are not found? Self-elimination?
    1. Igarr
      Igarr 2 July 2013 19: 58
      "..targets not found? Self-destruction? .."
      Nah, friend Chyony.
      Robbery and misuse of entrusted property - a fight!
      No target was found - the rocket returns back and ... softly explains to the gunner so that he was wrong.
      Suggests to search target.
      In life.
      In a new incarnation.
  12. USNik
    USNik 2 July 2013 16: 09
    test launches of the "freezing" rocket are fully completed
    After reading the first thing, I thought that they installed the Windu rocket repeat And so, all these are expensive developments for bullying in popuas, tk. all "loitering" missiles will be very quickly shot down by normal air defense.
    1. Igarr
      Igarr 3 July 2013 07: 51
      I even imagined an account of the tests - ".. The rocket stuck tightly. Restart did not help, I had to reflash the BIOS and change the power supply unit. The tests were successful."
      Hey hey.
      At one time, in 1979, he made a report at a scientific and practical conference among related universities - on the Tomahawk rocket and guidance system.
      Thirty years have passed - and it turns out - super-duper news.
      Ah yes business.
  13. Leisure
    Leisure 2 July 2013 18: 59
    Hmm, in the sky will not disperse soon. Unmanned aerial vehicles "patrolling" missiles, airplanes, helicopters, balloons. Everyone climbed into the sky and are looking for someone to "spud".
  14. Asan Ata
    Asan Ata 3 July 2013 00: 32
    The rejection of GPS speaks more about preparations for a global war in which European countries can be against the United States. Germany, for example, is quietly reviving the militaristic spirit. Recently the series "Fathers" was released, it seems, it is called, which was funded by the government, about, among other things, the heroes of World War II.