An artist's depiction of the Perseus supersonic multi-role cruise missile. Alongside it are its two effectors which have been released from the lateral bays of the parent missile.
|Type||Multi-platform launched air-launched cruise missile
Submarine-launched cruise missile
Hypersonic cruise missile
|Place of origin||France/United Kingdom|
|Warhead||A 200kg main warhead with an additional 2 x 40–50kg inertially guided effectors from lateral bays.|
|Flight altitude||Two types of attack profile are envisaged: A high-altitude approach, or a sea-skimming low-altitude approach followed by a pop-up.|
|Speed||Mach 5[N 1][dead link]|
|A multimode active e-scan radar and a laser radar. Also features a semi-active laser guidance capability.|
|Ship, submarine or aircraft.|
Perseus or CVS401 Perseus (named after the Greek hero Perseus) is a stealth supersonic cruise missile currently under development by MBDA in consultation with the Royal Navy and French Navy. The weapon was first unveiled at the 2011 Paris Air Show. CVS401 Perseus is primarily a supersonic surface-launched and submarine-launched cruise missile built around an advanced, agile and stealth aircraft airframe. A joint Anglo-French project has been launched to develop the missile, with the aim of replacing the British Harpoon and French Exocet by 2030.
MBDA describes the missile as a "unique multi-role, multi-platform weapon system" to be integrated on all major weapon platforms such as; warships, submarines, aircraft and land-based platforms.
The stealthy Perseus missile is planned to have capabilities similar to Brahmos, with a range of 300 km reaching speeds of Mach 5. It is powered by a ramjet motor. The missile is 5 metres in length and weighs around 800 kg, with a payload comprising one 200 kg main and two 50 kg subsidiary warheads that can either directly contribute to the overall terminal or be ejected from lateral bays before the missile reaches its target, in effect acting as submunitions.
This unique feature allows a single Perseus to either strike several targets in the same general area or to strike a single large target (such as an aircraft carrier) in several different areas simultaneously, with the aim of maximising damage.
"In this case, a linear attack pattern could be selected, munitions striking the forward, centre and aft sections simultaneously. If a unitary blast is required, then the effectors remain on board the parent missile to add their blast effect to the central warhead."
Two types of attack profiles are envisaged: a high-altitude approach, for engaging land based targets; and a sea-skimming low-altitude approach terminating in a 'pop-up' engagement when dealing with surface threats like enemy warships.
The missiles "skimming the sea at wave top" followed by a pop-up maneuver would only allow an estimated 3 second response time for enemy warships.
The missiles sensor suite includes;
- A multi-mode active e-scan radar with synthetic aperture radar and Doppler beam sharpening.
- A laser radar (lidar) for terminal phase imaging and target recognition.
The missile also features a "semi-active laser guidance capability." MBDA believes that this guidance method will remain important for time-sensitive targeting for many years to come. Satellite datalink is to be incorporated for "in-flight re-targeting, using thin-profile, low-observable active antenna arrays."
The missile will be VLS launched and is compatible with the American Mark 41 Vertical Launching System and the French A70 Sylver Vertical Launching System (currently fit on the FREMM of the French navy).
In the 2016 UK–France Security Summit, the two parties pledged to work on a "joint concept phase for the Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) programme to identify solutions for replacement of the Scalp/Storm Shadow missiles for both countries, Harpoon for the UK and Exocet for France."
- P-800 Oniks – a Russian supersonic anti-ship missile of the same range class.
- BrahMos – an Indo-Russian supersonic anti-ship missile derived from the P-800.
- YJ-12 – a Chinese supersonic anti-ship missile of the same range class.
- "Meteor - Ramjet - High End Missile Propulsion Systems". Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- Janes - Perseus: MBDA’s missile of the future? Archived October 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- IISS Experts' Commentary - From the Paris Air Show: Enter Perseus Archived June 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- "New British missile three times as fast as current weapons". Telegraph.co.uk. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- MBDA Systems
- "Missile systems, defence systems - MBDA missiles". Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Bayern-Chemie has already started to work on much more sophisticated future concepts that include hypersonic `Ramjet` propulsion systems. One such is the CVS401 PERSEUS"