MBDA, in collaboration with the UK Defence Solutions Centre, the Royal Navy, and QinetiQ, successfully conducted air carriage and jettison trials for the SEA VENOM/ANL anti-ship missile on the LYNX Mk 8 naval helicopter in March. Air carriage trials preceded the jettisoning of two SEA VENOMS fitted with telemetry kits: the outcome is a de-risking of integrating the missile on both LYNX and SUPER LYNX helicopters for the export market.
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. In British service the 100kg-class missile will be operated from the AW159 WILDCAT helicopter, while in France the Direction générale de l’armement (DGA, the French defence procurement agency) is currently conducting a development flight campaign for the missile on a PANTHER test bed helicopter. The new trials on board the LYNX Mk 8 validate the missile’s easy integration onto any platform.
SEA VENOM is a modern, primarily anti-ship missile designed to destroy vessels ranging from Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC), through medium sized Fast Attack Craft (FAC) up to large vessels, such as corvettes, from safe stand-off ranges. It 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.