IDEX 2023 | MBDA showcases SmartGlider munitions
Defence Redefined
Published on 22/02/2023 at 16:49

MBDA, the largest manufacturer of missile systems in Europe, is attending IDEX 2023, an International Defence Exhibition that takes place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where it showcases its latest technological innovations.

One of its main products being showcased is SmartGlider precision glide munition. According to the company, the SmartGlider family of munitions constitutes a new generation of air-to-ground tactical strike weapons. The system has two versions: light and heavy, to cover the maximum number of air-to-ground missions from Close Air Support (CAS) to Air Interdiction and Offensive Counter Air (OCA). 

Also, these munitions can perform Suppression and/or Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD/DEAD) operations.

Also read: Rafale – A Force Multiplier for HAF and the Integrated Defence Doctrine | Infographics

More specifically, SmartGlider Light is a munition that can be carried in large numbers under an aircraft. It features a long stand-off range as well as a precision strike capability against a wide range of targets from fixed targets, such as shelters, to mobile targets.

SmartGlider Light can saturate enemy air defences, while only one aircraft can engage up to 18 different targets simultaneously within a 40,000 km² area due to its Hexbomb Smart Launcher’s high payload capability (up to 18 munitions carried externally on three aircraft store points).

SmartGlider Light’s technical characteristics:

  • Weight: 120 kg
  • Length: < 2 m
  • Warhead: 80 kg multi-effect charge
  • Maximum operational range: > 100km
  • High-precision multi-mode guidance (IN/GNSS)

As for SmartGlider Heavy, this munition relies on the same glide concept as SmartGlider Light, yet it features a significantly larger warhead capable of delivering combined high penetration and blast effects. This allows for the engagement of a wide range of large-sized targets such as infrastructure.

SmartGlider Heavy’s technical characteristics:

  • Weight: 1,300 kg
  • Length: 4 m
  • Warhead: 1,000 kg class with combined high blast and penetration effects
  • Max range: much greater than 100 km
  • High-precision multi-mode guidance

Overall, through SmartGlider, MBDA showcases a next-generation munition with minimum logistic footprint, which can nonetheless support a decisive strategy for the destruction of advanced enemy Air Defence Systems.

Also read: ILA 2022 | MBDA unveils its new, stand-off surface-to-surface JFS-M missile system – VIDEO




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