Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The MBDA Missile Systems' medium-range missile was successfully deployed in Mali by the French Army for the first time, the company announced.
The Picardy Battle Group used the missile, called the Missile Moyenne Portée, or MMP, for the first time in a combat environment in December, MBDA announced Wednesday.
A six-person crew delivered the system by armored car, then installed it at the top of a ridge in southeastern Mali's three-border region and successfully fired it, MBDA said in a statement.
With a range of nearly three miles, the missile can be used as an anti-personnel and anti-tank weapon. It is also regarded as an "anti-infrastructure" missile, useful in the Sahelo-Saharan Strip, where the some rock faces are sometimes used as shelter by terrorist groups.
"To switch from anti-personnel missile to infrastructure missile mode, I just go to the MMP drop-down menu and select the relevant box," the leader of the crew, identified as Sgt. Nicholas, said in explanation of its ease-of-use.
"The core of the system is located in the missile, so once the round is launched, my gunner sees in his scope what the missile sees. He can change the target at any time, thanks to the fiber-optic data link to the console. The missile is equipped with a camera with day and night vision of outstanding quality," Nicholas said.
MBDA, a pan-European defense contractor headquartered in suburban Paris, successfully tested the naval version of the weapon in Djibouti in November. High-speed, rigid-hull inflatable boats were used in the demonstrations.