Europe’s MBDA consortium is developing a new weapon for the HIMARS and M270 complexes, the Joint Fire Support Missile – aka the JFS-M cruise missile. In fact, the purpose of MBDA is to extend the range of these MLRS launchers, in the same way that Lockheed Martin is currently deploying, as they develop the Long Range Strike Missile (PrSM).
But MBDA’s approach is completely different and more interesting. The publication Defense Express spoke with representatives of the company and learned that the research process was “maximum acceleration” thanks to the active use of available ingredients.
In general, the JFS-M, which has subsonic speed, is made with just the right size: 2.6 meters in length, 1.5 meters in wingspan, and a starting weight of 250 – 300 kg, applying stealth technology. tall shape, connected to the “quite futuristic” shape of the shell. With such dimensions and weight, it is completely permissible to place 2 JFS-M cruise missiles in the HIMARS complex and 4 in the M270, which is identical to the PrSM ballistic missile.
Due to the low altitude flight, this gives a pretty good opportunity to break through the air defense system, especially the ability to overcome enemy missile defense zones – which cannot be achieved in the case of the use of air defense systems. ballistic missile. The warhead of the JFS-M missile is enough to destroy “standard infrastructure”, but not a “heavy armored bunker”. As stated in the document, the warhead makes up 30% of the missile’s mass. That is, the power of the JFS-M will approximate that of the GMLRS missile.
But the combat part can be reduced by the addition of other systems, namely an electronic warfare complex to attack anti-aircraft missile systems, or conversely, a radio technical intelligence unit. online to gather more information about the enemy.
Creating a cruise missile system capable of carrying electronic warfare or even battlefield reconnaissance is a unique European idea that has never appeared anywhere else.
The missile uses an inertial system combined with satellite navigation in the first stage, a passive thermal imaging probe that identifies objects when conducting an attack. The ability to redirect the missile after launch, as well as abort the mission in flight is also designed. Regarding the range, we are currently talking about a range of about 500 km, for some reason the manufacturer has noted that the Treaty on the Elimination of Medium and Short-Range Missiles has been terminated.
The next issue of concern is when the weapon is ready to fight, according to MBDA Corporation, even with active use of available components, it still needs 3-5 years for the JFS-M missile. ready. The Defense Express page notes that the construction of new weapons for HIMARS is beginning to take shape and could become the new standard for future guided rocket systems.
Such an approach is quite interesting, considering the consolidation and extension of the functionality of existing weapons, as opposed to creating many different separate systems that would complicate the post-production work. need – technical.