AKERON | Under the sign of European cooperation
Defence Redefined
Published on 27/01/2023 at 15:25

The AKERON MP, the only fifth-generation combat-proven missile in the world, continues its way on a road paved with success. 

Proof is the planned delivery, by 2025, of a total of 1950 missiles to the French Armed Forces (for reminder, the 1000th MMP was delivered to the Armed Forces in November 2021, the 1st one in 2017). Apart from its commercial and technical success, AKERON (former MMP) is also a symbol of European cooperation, with the success of the European BLOS (Beyond Line of Sight) firings in Cyprus at the end of 2022 in the framework of LynkEUs and with the recent launch of MarsEUs.

The missile, in use by French forces since 2017, has also been selected by several countries worldwide. The latest batches ordered are contracts placed by Luxemburg, which has notified its first AKERON contract during the 2022 summer, adding the Grand Duchy to the list of the European countries working with MBDA, and the French DGA which just ordered AKERON missiles again, to be delivered before the end of 2025. 

Also read: Landmark delivery of 1000 MMP missiles to the French Armed Forces and the relationship with Cyprus

AKERON is the only combat-proven fifth-generation missile in service in the world, and has been fired more than 250 times. Operationally tested and proven in extreme climates, it is a multi-role system providing maximum flexibility to the warfighter with one missile for all terrains and all combat. It is safe to fire from enclosed spaces – essential in urban combat and has ‘fire and forget’ and ‘man-on-the-loop’ capabilities. Deployable by mounted and dismounted troops, AKERON MP has a lightweight firing post that can be mounted on a range of platforms including light and armoured vehicles and naval platforms, also providing a capability for amphibious operations.

Akeron MP Firing from a fast patrol boat

Thanks to its position and digital communications capabilities, AKERON MP can engage both targets visible to the shooter and those beyond his direct line of sight. In the latter case, the shooter chooses a type of trajectory before firing then, then designates the target during the flight, and refines the point of impact thanks to the color or infrared image feedback from the seeker. Firing tests beyond line of sight, performed with a drone, were crowned with success at the end of September as part of the European Lynkeus project.

AKERON also proves to be a fantastic tool for cooperation, around which are based the works on a Beyond Line of Sight capacity by the members of the PESCO BLOS initiative (Cyprus, Belgium, Sweden, and France) LynkEUs. Selected by the European Commission on July 2020 as part of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) 2019, the LynkEUs project aims to define, then test, a preliminary concept of operations for a European BLOS capability and demonstrate the proof of principle through a full-scale firing campaign, as well as identifying axes of evolution and improvement of the whole BLOS functional chain. This project is the first technological contribution to the objectives of the capability project EU BLOS, endorsed on 19 November 2018 within the framework of the permanent structures cooperation (PESCO), which aims to develop a family of ‘man-on-the-loop’ BLOS missile systems with back image. 

Also read: MBDA | Successful firings with AKERON MP of the LynkEUs program in Cyprus – VIDEO

The two LynkEUs firings were finally held on a National Guard firing range in Cyprus on the 28th and 29th of September 2022. They were carried out using a full configuration of the BLOS functional chain with the battlefield missile system AKERON MP and resulted in two successes. The two missiles were fired from an IMPACT turret integrated onto a SHERPA vehicle, engaging a target designated by a micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) via a cyber-secure link. It is also the first time that a BLOS firing was performed from a vehicle. More than just a technical success, the two firings revealed to be a major step in the definition of an initial operational concept for a European beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) capability.

AKERON will continue being a central tool for European cooperation in Defence. Indeed, the MarsEUs project was launched in Brussels on January 11 by the members of the BLOS PESCO. The project will capitalize on the successes of LynkEUs to consolidate a European operational concept that is based on the BLOS capabilities of close and collaborative combat missiles.  It will also provide an opportunity for identifying and testing new emerging technological solutions that could contribute to the future development of these weapons systems architectures and it will be rounded off with examples of application on various platforms. 

Similar to LynkEUS, MARSEUS MarsEUs concepts, integration, and testing will rely on the entirely European-controlled AKERON MP and LP family of missile systems to ensure autonomy of use, security of supply, and scalability. 


Growing geo-strategic instability is making it ever more important for European States to develop and control these ground combat capabilities independently.


MBDA and its thirteen partners from Belgium (Ecole Royale Militaire, John Cockerill Defense, FN Herstal, and Xenics), Cyprus (Additess and SignalGenerix), France (Novadem, ATOS, ARQUUS, and DELAIR), and Sweden (SAAB, BAE Hägglunds, and Exensor), as well as their eight subcontractors from eight countries, are now entering a phase of negotiation of the grant agreement with the European Commission.

This project has received funding from the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) under grant agreement No EDIDP-NGPSC-2019-014-LynkEUs.

Also read: MBDA | Network-Centric-oriented Philosophy in EXOCET, MISTRAL, MMP – Partnership with Cypriot Companies in the Background




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