Discover the Best of the AKERON LP Guided Missile

Introducing an upcoming technology poised to surpass its predecessors: Discover the Best of the AKERON LP Guided Missile. This long-range, air-launched missile, part of the Akeron LP (Akeron Longue Portée) family, is set to become a 5th Generation Tactical Combat Missile System. Currently under development by MBDA, France, as of 2024, it is intended to equip the highly advanced French military rotorcraft Eurocopter Tiger MkIII, as well as Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs), by 2027-2030.

The AKERON-MP has been operational since 2017. In contrast, the AKERON-LP is currently undergoing development, incorporating advanced technologies in optronics, warhead, RF data link, guidance, and image processing algorithms. These advancements are rooted in Artificial Intelligence principles and data fusion.

Photo Credit: MBDA / An artist’s rendition of an Akeron-LP missile launch from a Eurocopter Tiger Helicopter

Its IR/TV seeker, combined with a SAL (semi-active laser), is capable of autonomous operation in a “fire and forget” mode. However, according to the directives of the French forces, the system must have the capability to keep a “man in the loop” continuously, if required. This can be achieved either through laser guidance or the IR/TV seeker, with the images transmitted to the Tiger cockpit via an RF data link. Unlike wire-guided systems, this bidirectional data link operates in a 360° range, enabling the helicopter to manoeuvre or relocate while ensuring consistent guidance.

  • The lightweight long-range missile, optimal for Fire & Forget, Man-On-The-Loop and collaborative modes
  • Three mode seeker with TV and Uncooled IR imagery in high resolution, and SAL Channel
  • Multipurpose Munition with Anti-Tank, Anti-infrastructure and Anti-personnel selectable modes
Photo Credit: MBDA / Discover the Best of the AKERON LP Guided Missile

Operational Advantages of the Akeron LP 5th Generation Tactical Combat Missile System in the future: Based on MBDA Data Sheet.

  • A versatile munition featuring a scalable-effects tandem warhead with the capability to overcome Rolled Homogeneous Armor (RHA), all generations of Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA), neutralize concealed snipers, target infrastructure, engage soldiers deployed in the field, address light-armored vehicles, and combat mortar groups and Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC).
  • Easy to use with quick reaction operation, smart lock-on target and reversible firing sequence.
  • In any combat situation, the gunner can always select the right firing mode, missile trajectory, and lethal effect
  • Achieving elevated probabilities of hitting and killing targets in both static and fast-moving configurations, the system boasts beyond Line-of-Sight firing capability in networked operations.
  • Capable of firing beyond Line-of-Sight in networked operations and facilitating cooperative engagement with third parties.
  • Optimal gunner survivability is ensured by: Very low system signatures (sound, heat, smoke…), A stealthy data link resilient to jamming, and Firing capability towards targets behind cover.
  • Complete platform freedom of manoeuvre facilitated by a 360° RF (Radio Frequency) data link
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The Major Characteristics of AKERON LP: A Multi-Role Missile Offering Maximum Flexibility for Demanding Forces

  1. Neutralizing or destroying Main Battle Tanks (MBT), infrastructure, personnel, and Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC).
  2. Optimizing the trajectory (Flat, Lofted, Highly Diving) based on the type of target, weather conditions, and operational environment (such as cluttered surroundings and the presence of friendly air assets in the zone)
  3. Providing freedom to the operating crew during firing, allowing them to either retain full control through the double-way data link between the missile and the helicopter (Man-On-The-Loop) or shift to a fire-and-forget mode.
  4. Choosing the optimal guidance mode, whether based on infrared (IR) or visible and the Semi-Active Laser, with the possibility to shift from one mode to the other during the missile flight
  5. Choosing either to lock the seeker on the target before firing (LOBL) or to lock on it after launch (LOAL).
  6. Engaging targets designated by a third party through target designation

In February 2017, MBDA disclosed the commencement of a joint venture (JV) with the Indian conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T). The primary focus of this JV Company will be the development and supply of fifth-generation Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs), drawing inspiration from the MMP, to address the increasing potential needs of the Indian armed forces.

Quad weight: 200kg class (with ammunition), and Twin weight: 120kg class (with ammunition), both featuring a Standard 14” lug interface

AKERON LP Specifications (As of 2024)

  • Weight:  30-40 kg class
  • Length:  5.90 ft (1.8m) in the tactical canister
  • Warhead:  Tandem-charge HEAT warhead (Multipurpose with selectable mode)
  • Range:  8 to 20 km
  • Multimode seeker: Semi-Active Laser (SAL) / Television (TV) / Uncooled Infrared (IR)
  • Data link: Bidirectional Radio Frequency (RF)
  • Missile Digital System: A highly automated system for minimum operator workload, Seeker & sighting systems provide high image qualities in all bands, for optimal operator decision-making
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Photo Credit_ MBDA / AKERON LP
Photo Credit: MBDA France / An artist’s impression of an Akeron-LP missile launch from a Eurocopter Tiger Helicopter

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Photo Credit: MBDA / AKERON-LP with a next-generation MALE UAV

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