Surface Forces: Brazil The Missile Master


May 16, 2012: Brazil is refurbishing the older Exocet MM40 Block 1 anti-ship missiles with upgraded electronics and new rocket motors. Brazil recently successfully tested an Exocet equipped with a rocket motor developed and manufactured in Brazil. Since Brazil can also develop and manufacture the electronics needed for Exocet type missiles, it is now possible to design and build anti-ship missiles in Brazil.

The MM40 is the Exocet version that is launched from ships or shore. Most Block 1 MM40s are nearly 30 years old and are no longer reliable. The rocket motor and electronic components degrade with age and you must either replace the aging parts or dispose of the missiles. The MM40 Block 2s came out in the mid-1980s, with better electronics and more accuracy. Any updated Block 1s basically become Block 2s. The Exocet manufacturer is willing to assist nations that wish to refurbish their older Exocets themselves. That is what Brazil is now doing, with locally made components.

Exocets weigh 670 kg (1,500 pounds), have a 165 kg (363 pound) warhead, and a range of 70 kilometers. The older models of the American Harpoon RGM-84 are similar in size to the MM40 Block 1 but have more than twice the range.



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