MBDA in first test firing of Anglo-French anti-ship missile Sea Venom/ANL

Missile manufacturer MBDA announced it has completed the first test firing of the Anglo-French anti-ship missile Sea Venom/ANL at the Île du Levant test range in France.

The missile is being developed to deliver an enhanced capability and replace existing and legacy systems such as the UK-developed Sea Skua and the French-developed AS15TT anti-ship missiles.

The trial of the 100 kg-class missile was conducted from a Dauphin test bed helicopter owned by the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement – the French defence procurement agency).

Frank Bastart, head of the Sea Venom/ANL programme at MBDA, said: “The missile trial was a complete success, and is a proud moment for the company and all those involved in the project. When it enters service Sea Venom/ANL will provide a major increase in capability to the French and UK armed forces.”

Jointly ordered in 2014, the Sea Venom/ANL project has been developed 50/50 between the UK and France and has played a key part in the creation of shared centres of excellence on missile technologies in both countries – a move that will provide significant benefits to both nations.

Paul Goodwin, deputy head of the Sea Venom project, added: “Although a first firing this was in no way a cautious one. The system was pushed to the very edge of its range capability – a bold step showing our confidence in the design maturity and making success all the more sweet. The next step is to exercise the systems’ operator-in-the-loop capabilities.”

In UK service the missile is planned to be used from the AW159 Wildcat helicopter, while France will operate the missile from its new Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger (HIL).

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