MBDA has unveiled a concept for a new ramjet powered surface attack missile capable of attacking ships and land targets with multiple smart warheads.
The CVS401 Perseus is conceived as a weapon in the 800kg (1,760lb) class with a range of 300km (162nm). The weapon would replace missiles such as the Boeing Harpoon and the Exocet, as well as cruise missiles such as the Scalp EG and Storm Shadow.
It was conceived by MBDA's Concept Visions project, which every year unveils a weapons concept for deployment in 2030 or beyond. It developed the Perseus concept with input from the British and French navies.
"To replace the current generation of heavy anti-ship and cruise missiles, a new system will be required that is capable of launching anti-ship strikes, land attacks and engaging time-sensitive targets such as relocatable missile launchers in an ever more complex tactical environment and with the minimum risk of collateral damage," said MBDA.
"This new system will also have to be modular and deliverable from a maritime environment, namely from a surface vessel, a submarine, a carrier-based platform or a maritime patrol aircraft."
Perseus would have a stealthy airframe and be able to travel at Mach 3. Upon reaching its target it could deploy two "effector" vehicles, each with a 50kg warhead. The effectors would maintain a datalink with the missile itself, which would also carry a warhead - if desired, users could choose to have the warheads remain together for a unitary impact.
"This revolutionary solution, at the very edge of propulsion technology, opens up the possibility of developing a smaller airframe with more energetic efficiency," MBDA said.
"This airframe will make Perseus an unrivalled penetrator of enemy defences and an effective weapon for use against fast-moving, relocatable targets that it will be able to reach in a matter of minutes even at ranges of up to 300km."