MBDA has unveiled a data and high-performance computing centre in Le Plessis-Robinson near Paris, France, to support its future missile development projects.
The company will use the facility for the development of future missiles, including the Air-Sol Nucléaire de 4eme Génération (ASN4G) hypersonic missile.
The ASN4G or air-to-surface, fourth-generation nuclear weapon will be powered by an innovative scramjet technology. Preliminary studies of the technology are in progress with the support of French Aerospace Laboratory ONERA.
With a planned in-service date of 2035, the ASN4G will boost France’s nuclear deterrence, which is implemented by the Strategic Air Force (SAF) and by the Naval Nuclear Air Force (FANu).
The investment in the new data centre significantly enhances MBDA’s computing power.
The data centre has a computing power of up to 1,000 teraflops, which is 20 times more than the existing capability at MBDA.
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According to the company, the centre will enable aerodynamic simulations of missiles in subsonic to hypersonic speed domains. This will help validate the company’s future products, particularly the future ASN4G missile.
ASN4G will replace France’s ASMP-A nuclear missile, which is deployed on the Dassault Mirage 2000N and Rafale F3 fighter jets. MBDA is the prime contractor for the ASMP-A missile.
In December 2017, DefenseNews reported citing details from a book titled ‘The President and the Bomb’ that France was studying two projects exploring concepts for the fourth-generation missile.
Based on France’s requirements, the missile would require a range of more than 1,000km and should be able to travel at speed greater than Mach 5, the report added.