MBDA’s Sea Venom / ANL anti-ship missile has successfully completed its first firing at the Île du Levant test range in France.
Conducted in June, the first firing is a major milestone for the Anglo-French missile; 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). The missile has been designed for use from the widest range of platforms, with air carriage trials having been conducted to demonstrate compatibility of the missile on legacy Lynx helicopters.