The exercise, UNITAS LXII, ran from September to October and was organized by the Peruvian Navy. They were joined by the Air Force, Coast Guard, Special Forces and 5,000 sailors from 20 countries. The aim of the exercise was to improve interoperability among allied forces and further strengthening cooperation measures. For this edition, the 4th Fleet of the U.S. Navy and SOUTHCOM, a unified command composed of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Marine Corps assisted the Peruvian Navy.
Of all the actions organised during this large-scale exercise, the most emblematic and complex was to conduct the Missile Launch Exercise (Missilex), carried out at sea, 90 nautical miles from the coast. However, this was an opportunity to put MBDA’s Exocet AM-39 and MM-40 Block 3 (B3) to the test. The first, the AM-39 from a Sea King SH-3D helicopter to a surface target, and the second, the MM-40 B3 from a Lupo-class frigate to the same target.
For Peru, a long-standing partner of MBDA since it purchased its first MM38 Exocet in 1973, and therefore sees the country and the company celebrate a 50th anniversary of a fruitful cooperation next year , the two firings were further proof of the reliability and longevity of MBDA’s products and the technical expertise of the Peruvian Armed Forces.
The two firings broke two range records. With a target hit at a range of 19 nautical miles, the Exocet AM-39 set a new national range record, breaking the previous record of 17 nautical miles set by the Navy in August 2021. The Exocet MM-40 B3 then made headlines again, hitting the target at 92 nautical miles, 11 more than a firing of MBDA’s Otomat by Peruvian armed forces in 2008. In this firing, it is not only a national record, but also a world record, a new proof of the excellence of the Peruvian Navy and its complete mastery of MBDA products.
For MBDA and the company’s teams that work on the Exocet programmes, it is a real source of pride to see their International partner continue to use the famous missile with ever-greater precision and performance. Exocet, with the first generation developed in the late 1960s, has never ceased to evolve, and is a flagship weapons system produced by MBDA, available in surface-to-surface, air-to-service, and sub-surfaced launched versions.
Exocet MM40 B3 had seen the missile its range increased up to 200km, thanks to the addition of a turbojet, while being able to acquire coastal targets using GPS.
The latest generation – Block 3C – is equipped with a radio frequency seeker developed by Thales. It is also equipped with Coherent Radar Processing (CRP), from which the “C” of “Block 3C” is derived, enabling the missile to detect small speed deltas. It is also capable of recognizing surface ships, enabling it to identify a target ship in the middle of a fleet and is more robust against jamming systems.