Go to section

Anti-ship MBDA Marte ER for Romanian Airbus H215M

The European consortium MBDA has signed an agreement with the Romanian company IAR Brașov to integrate the lightweight extended-range anti-ship missile Marte ER with two newly ordered Romanian maritime helicopters, the Airbus H215M.

On Thursday, May 24, 2024, the European consortium MBDA announced the signing of an agreement with the Romanian company IAR Brașov for the integration of the extended-range light anti-ship missile Marte ER with two newly ordered Airbus H215M Cougar naval helicopters for the Romanian Navy (Forțele Navale Române).

Photo: MBDA

Thanks to its excellent performance, the Marte ER will provide state-of-the-art capability for conducting anti-surface warfare missions, enabling the Romanian Navy to most effectively protect Romania’s sovereign interests. This contract represents an important step in MBDA’s cooperation with the Romanian Armed Forces.

Arnaud Rousset, Vice-President Europe at MBDA said: “As the European leader in complex weapon systems, MBDA is the best suited to tackle the challenges faced in Europe by reinforcing European decisive defence capabilities. We are proud to contribute to the Romanian Armed Forces’ strategic autonomy and we will continue to act as a trusted partner by offering a comprehensive portfolio adapted to their current and future needs.”

MBDA will collaborate with IAR Brașov and Airbus Helicopters, as well as other partners, to integrate the Marte ER weapon system and achieve full integration at the mission system level.

This contract is a new success for the Marte multi-platform missile family, which is already integrated with various platforms of the Italian Armed Forces and several export customers, including Qatar (on NH90 helicopters and for the coastal defense system).

The Marte ER trials were completed at the end of November 2021, having started in 2018. Previously, it was integrated with Eurofighter Typhoon multirole aircraft and NHI NH90 multirole helicopters. The modified missile can also be launched from a universal container launcher on a surface vessel.

The Marte ER is the third generation of Marte Mk2/S anti-ship missiles. The main modification was the replacement of the solid-fuel rocket motor with a Williams WR WJ-24-8G turbojet engine, which increased the range from 25 to over 100 km. The missile has a launch weight of 340 kg (including a 120-kg semi-piercing high-explosive warhead, instead of the previous 70-kg warhead).

Fixed fins and an additional rocket booster were added. The missile can be used in all weather conditions. It features a highly flexible mission profile, allowing for automatic and manual waypoint setting, salvo firing, and attacks on designated land target coordinates, with specific countermeasures against hard and soft ship defenses.

On January 30 of this year, the Romanian Ministry of Defense ordered two Airbus Helicopters H215M Cougar anti-surface warfare helicopters from IAR Brașov with accompanying package for 823.9 million RON (179.58 million USD). The acquisition plans were approved back in October 2022. The package was to include a small batch of Marte ER missiles. These missiles will be deployed on Regele Ferdinand (F221) and Regina Maria (F222) Type 22R Broadsword missile frigates (formerly the British HMS Coventry and London) and, in the future, on their successors.

The H215M Cougar, along with its civilian version H215 Super Puma, was developed as an upgrade of the Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma helicopter. The aircraft features advanced avionics, a 4-axis autopilot derived from the H225, a flight management system, and liquid crystal displays in the pilot’s cockpit.

The H215 performs a wide range of tasks worldwide, from firefighting missions, building power lines, and transporting soldiers to saving lives in extreme situations. These helicopters are operated by nearly 100 users in 59 countries. In July of last year, Argentina ordered 12 of these aircraft.


Nobody has commented on this article yet.

Leave a Reply