Successful First Firing for MBDA’s Sea Venom Missile
PARIS — MBDA’s Sea Venom/Anti-Navire Léger (ANL) anti-ship missile completed its first firing at the Île du Levant test range in France, the company said in a July 4 release.
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 U.K.-developed Sea Skua and the French-developed AS15TT anti-ship missiles.
The trial of the 100 kilogram-class missile was conducted from a Dauphin test-bed helicopter owned by the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French defense procurement agency.
“The missile trial was a complete success, and is a proud moment for the company and all those involved in the project,” said Frank Bastart, head of the Sea Venom/ANL program at MBDA. “When it enters service Sea Venom/ANL will provide a major increase in capability to the French and U.K. armed forces.”
Jointly ordered in 2014, the Sea Venom/ANL project has been developed 50/50 between the United Kingdom and France and has played a key part in the creation of shared centers of excellence on missile technologies in both countries — a move that will provide significant benefits to both nations.
“Although a first firing this was in no way a cautious one,” said Paul Goodwin, deputy head of the Sea Venom project. “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 U.K. 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. 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.