A Royal Navy Lynx Mk 8 helicopter recently performed air carriage and jettison trials of the MBDA-made Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile.
According to the missile manufacturer, the trials proved that the missile can be integrated onto the Lynx and Super Lynx helicopters.
Sea Venom/ANL has been developed to deliver an enhanced capability to replace existing and legacy systems such as the UK-developed Sea Skua and the French-developed AS15TT anti-ship missiles.
Working together through the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) initiative, the trials were conducted by MBDA, the UK Defence Solutions Centre (DSC), the Royal Navy and QinetiQ.
The trials were undertaken in March at the Larkhill Range at Boscombe Down, and saw a Royal Navy Lynx Mk8 successfully conduct a series of air carriage trials prior to jettisoning two Sea Venom missiles fitted with telemetry kits.
The 100 kg-class Sea Venom missile is one of the products of France and the United Kingdom’s collaboration on missile technologies. In UK service the missile is planned to be used from the AW159 Wildcat helicopter, while in France the DGA (Direction générale de l’armement – the French defence procurement agency) is currently conducting the development flight campaign for the missile on a Panther test bed helicopter.
Sea Venom is a primarily anti-ship missile designed to destroy vessels ranging from FIAC (Fast Inshore Attack Craft), through medium sized FAC (Fast Attack Craft) up to large vessels such as Corvettes from safe stand-off ranges.
According to MBDA, this missile also has a surface attack capability against coastal and land targets. Unlike legacy semi-active radar guided missiles, Sea Venom uses an imaging infrared seeker that offers ‘fire-and-forget’ capabilities in even the most complex littoral environments.