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Additional order for EXOCET MM40 Block 3C missiles for French Navy.

According to information published by the French MoD on May 24, 2024, the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) notified MBDA of a new order for EXOCET MM40 Block 3C (MM40 B3C) anti-ship missiles. These missiles are intended to equip the French Navy's frigates in line with the Military Programming Law (LPM) 2024-2030.
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Exocet MM40 Block 3C firing from the frigate Alsace. (Picture source: French MoD)

This order adds to the existing inventory of MM40 B3C missiles, deliveries of which began in January 2024. Additionally, MBDA is currently upgrading the MM40 B3 missiles in service to the B3C version.

The B3C variant aims to enhance the operational capabilities of the MM40, offering improved range, accuracy, and resistance to countermeasures. The production involves a broad network of subcontractors across France, with final assembly taking place at MBDA's facility in Selles-Saint-Denis, Loir-et-Cher.

The EXOCET missile family, known for its high-subsonic speed, can be launched from various platforms including naval, aerial, and land-based systems. Its development has progressed through successive standards: Block 1, 2, 3, and now 3C.

With a range exceeding 200 km, the new B3C version incorporates a digital radio altimeter and a new seeker, enhancing its capabilities against modern electronic countermeasures and stealth ships.

The EXOCET MM40 Block 3C has already begun equipping the French Navy's frigates, such as the multi-mission frigates (FREMM), air defense frigates (FDA), and in the future, defense and intervention frigates (FDI).


The EXOCET MM40 Block 3C introduces a digital radio frequency seeker by Thales, which enhances its resistance to modern jamming systems and improves target recognition and engagement accuracy.

This seeker can differentiate between small velocity changes, allowing it to effectively identify and target specific ships within a group. Such precision is vital in high-intensity conflict scenarios where electronic countermeasures are prevalent​​.

Strategically, maintaining a robust anti-ship missile capability like the EXOCET MM40 Block 3C helps the French Navy project power and protect national interests in key maritime areas. Given France's extensive maritime boundaries and overseas territories, such capabilities are vital for safeguarding economic zones and ensuring freedom of navigation​.

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