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Second test success for MBDA's Sea Venom missile
Sea Venom/ANL missile in flight. © DGA

Second test success for MBDA's Sea Venom missile

MBDA’s Sea Venom missile — known as ANL in France — has successfully completed its second development firing from a Panther test helicopter at Ile Du Levant in southeast France.

MBDA’s Sea Venom missile — known as the Anti-Navire Léger (ANL, Light Antiship Missile) in France — has successfully completed its second development firing from a French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) Panther test helicopter at Ile Du Levant in southeast France.

The firing, which took place on 18th April 2018, highlighted the missile’s lock on after launch (LOAL) capabilities. It also validated its aptitude for low-altitude, sea-skimming flight, the effectiveness of the data link between the missile and helicopter and the autonomous guidance capability, using images from its infrared seeker.

Sea Venom/ANL is part of an Anglo-French programme linked to the Lancaster House treaty agreed between the UK and France in November 2010. The missile possesses a ‘fire and forget’ mode along with ‘operator above the loop’ capability to maintain control over the entire missile trajectory.

It has been designed for use from the widest range of platforms; in UK service the missile will be used from the AW159 Wildcat helicopter, while France will operate the missile from its future Light Joint Helicopter (HIL - Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger).

The missile is designed to enable the helicopters of both countries’ navies to deal with a range of threats including fast moving patrol boats, corvettes and coastal targets.

MBDA was awarded the production contract for Sea Venom/ANL in March 2014. The joint programme is the first to take full advantage of mutual dependency arrangements agreed under the ‘One Complex Weapons’ initiative designed to consolidate the Anglo-French missile industry around MBDA.

The first Sea Venom test firing took place in July 2017.

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