Perseus (missile)

  (Redirected from CVS401 Perseus)

Perseus or CVS401 Perseus (named after the Greek hero Perseus) is a stealth hypersonic cruise missile concept study being undertaken by MBDA[1][2] in consultation with the Royal Navy and French Navy.[3]

CVS401 Perseus
MBDA's Perseus.jpg
An artist's depiction of the Perseus hypersonic multi-role cruise missile concept study. Alongside it are its two effectors which have been released from the lateral bays of the parent missile.
TypeMulti-platform launched air-launched cruise missile
Submarine-launched cruise missile
Anti-ship missile
Land-attack missile
Hypersonic cruise missile
Place of originFrance/United Kingdom
Production history
WarheadA 200kg main warhead with an additional 2 x 40–50kg inertially guided effectors from lateral bays.

EngineRamjet motor.
300km class
Flight altitudeTwo types of attack profile are envisioned: A high-altitude approach, or a sea-skimming low-altitude approach followed by a pop-up.
Maximum speed Mach 5[1][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.

The concept study was first unveiled at the 2011 Paris Air Show.[4][5] CVS401 Perseus is primarily a supersonic surface-launched and submarine-launched cruise missile concept built around an advanced, agile and stealthy airframe.[6] A joint Anglo-French project has been launched to develop the missile system formally called Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) with the aim of replacing the British Harpoon and French Exocet by 2030.[7]

Perseus was just a concept study by 10 engineers working on the design for six months.[8][9]


MBDA describes the missile concept 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.[10]

The stealthy Perseus missile concept is planned to have capabilities similar to BrahMos, with a range of 300 km reaching speeds of Mach 5.[citation needed] 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."[3]

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.[3]

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.[5]

The missiles concept sensor suite includes;

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."[3]

The missile will be VLS launched and is compatible with the American Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (to be fitted on the Royal Navy's Type 26 frigates) and the French A70 Sylver VLS (currently fitted on the FREMM of the French navy).[10]

Potential operatorsEdit

  United Kingdom

In the 2016 UK–France Security Summit, the two parties pledged to work on a "joint concept phase for the 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."[11] In the 2018 United Kingdom-France Summit, the FC/ASW programme was further affirmed. [12]

See alsoEdit

  • 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.


  1. ^ a b "Meteor - Ramjet - High End Missile Propulsion Systems". Archived from the original on 19 July 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  2. ^ "13th Report - Future Anti-Ship Missile Systems: Joint inquiry with the Assemblée nationale's Standing Committee on National Defence and the Armed Forces" (PDF). UK House of Commons Defence Select Committee. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Janes - Perseus: MBDA’s missile of the future? Archived October 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ IISS Experts' Commentary - From the Paris Air Show: Enter Perseus Archived June 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Harding, Thomas (21 June 2011). "New British missile three times as fast as current weapons". Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  6. ^ MBDA Systems Archived 2013-05-12 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "France & UK Launch Next-Gen Missile Project with MBDA to Replace Harpoon/Scalp/Exocet by 2030". Navy Recognition. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Defence Committee, Commission de la Défense Nationale et des Forces Armées, Oral evidence: Future Anti-ship Missile System – Joint Inquiry, HC 1071, Q118". UK House of Commons Defence Select Committee. 24 July 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  9. ^ "13th Report - Future Anti-Ship Missile Systems: Joint inquiry with the Assemblée nationale's Standing Committee on National Defence and the Armed Forces" (PDF). UK House of Commons Defence Select Committee. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Missile systems, defence systems - MBDA missiles". Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  11. ^ "UK-France Summit 3rd March 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  12. ^ "2018 United Kingdom-France Summit Security and Defence" (PDF). Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  1. ^ "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"

External linksEdit