Denel Dynamics to test Marlin BVR missile technology in September


Denel Dynamics will conduct missile flight tests of its new Marlin missile system in September and November this year ahead of a first guided test flight in November 2016, where it will be demonstrated against a moving target.

At the moment Denel Dynamics is working on a technology demonstrator missile, and plans to conduct a fly-over test in September and a seeker head test in November, according to Jaco Botha, Chief Programme Manager.

The 80-100 kilometre range Marlin radar-guided air-to-air missile is being developed by Denel Dynamics under an Armscor/Department of Defence technology demonstrator contract. Denel Dynamics will be using a dual pulse rocket motor on the Marlin (this uses two fuel chambers and one exhaust nozzle) for extended range.

Ultimately Denel Dynamics aims to combine the Marlin and A-Darter missiles into a multirole airborne weapons system containing infrared and radar seekers and most likely with a ram rocket motor. This would be realised in around a decade’s time.

Marlin can also be configured into an all-weather surface-to-air missile. Common subsystems will be used for the different variants of the weapon, with some components derived from the A-Darter and Denel’s Umkhonto surface-to-air missile.

Although Marlin is fully funded by the Department of Defence via Armscor, Denel Dynamics is looking for an international partner to collaborate with during the future development programme. The company said it is currently talking to a few interested parties.

Denel Dynamics is also busy with the final qualification of the A-Darter fifth generation infrared guided air-to-air missile, which has been integrated onto the South African Air Force’s Gripen aircraft and is being integrated onto its Hawks. Going forward, the company wants to do incremental upgrades on the A-Darter, including a mid-life update.