MBDA's Enforcer missile system gears up for full-scale production for Germany
The MBDA Enforcer portable, shoulder-launched, lightweight, high-precision missile system will be ready to enter the full rate of production for the German Army soon, as the company recently finished the production of the pilot batch.
During an international media visit to the company’s Schrobenhausen facility near Munich on 29 October, MBDA Germany officials shared details of the German programme and future concepts of the Enforcer family.
The system has been pending approval by the Bundeswehr, with the full rate of production set to begin before the end of this year. Initial deliveries of the serial version of the portable weapon system have been planned for next year, according to Jochen Dehner, head of sales and marketing for army solutions at MBDA Germany.
MBDA could not divulge the precise number of Enforcers designated for the service but said the delivery of the currently contracted number would span about two years. Dehner also conveyed the expectation of an expansion in the original order quantity through subsequent 'add-on' batches in the future.
The fire-and-forget Enforcer has been purpose-built to provide deployed infantry soldiers with precise engagement capabilities at ranges exceeding 2,000m. Unlike the Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapon (NLAW), it has not been designed as an anti-tank weapon, instead focusing on addressing lighter armoured vehicles.
Missiles fired from the Enforcer launcher have a lock-on-before-launch function and can be equipped with a multi-effect warhead. They have an IR and a TV sensor, and the operator can choose which one to use before firing.
Enforcer operates with three different types of fuses: directed, directed with delay and airburst. These options give operators the ability to fire from confined spaces if required.
Air-launched and anti-tank Enforcers
During the event at MBDA's Schrobenhausen facility, Dehner unveiled details on Enforcer variants with some still in the conceptual phase, including the Enforcer X anti-tank system, which would feature almost all missile parts as in the original Enforcer except for the warhead. Some ‘changes in the manual’ are also being undertaken, Dehner noted, including the exclusion of the airburst fuse.
Another new concept discussed was the air-launched variant of Enforcer which, similarly to the anti-tank alternative, will use some parts of the original weapon system.
The air-launched Enforcer could be mounted onto helicopters, fixed wing or UAS platforms. (Photo: MBDA)
Speaking with Shephard last week, Sven-Michael Wundenberg, sales and business development manager of air systems at MBDA Germany, revealed that the company has been conducting aerodynamic tests. MBDA expected to carry out drop tests by the end of next year or sooner, with launch-on-target trials to begin in the next two to two-and-a-half years, Wundenberg added.
The engagement range on the air-launched Enforcer has been set to be around 2km, but only because ‘we haven’t figured out how to see longer’, Wunderberg explained. He added that the missile itself could engage from further and could be launched from helicopters, fixed wing and UAS platforms.
Wunderberg remarked that both the German Navy and the German Air Force have expressed interest in the system, with MBDA said to be optimistic about its potential benefits for the country’s army.
While the company has had discussions with the German MoD, the Bundeswehr has not officially set a requirement for the platform yet. Dehner pointed out, however, that there was no requirement for the original Enforcer when MBDA began its development either.
The Brazilian government and some Australian companies have also been enquiring about the concept, Wunderberg revealed.
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