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MBDA's Sea Venom missile undergoes air carriage test from Lynx helicopter

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The Lynx Mk 8 naval helicopter has successfully conducted air carriage and jettison trials of Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile. An MBDA photo

LONDON (BNS): European missile maker MBDA has successfully conducted air carriage and jettison trials of its Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile on board a Lynx Mk 8 naval helicopter of the UK Navy.

The trials, conducted in March  at the Larkhill Range at Boscombe Down in partnership with the British Royal Navy, have validated the missile's ability to be integrated onto the Lynx and Super Lynx naval helicopters.

The rotorcraft remain in frontline service with many customers worldwide.

The Sea Venom/ANL weapon system has been developed to deliver an enhanced capability to replace the existing and legacy systems such as the UK-developed Sea Skua and the French-developed AS15TT anti-ship missiles.

The trials conducted in March saw the Royal Navy rotorcraft successfully conducting a series of air carriage trials prior to jettisoning two Sea Venom missiles fitted with telemetry kits.

"The outcome of the trials has been a de-risking of the integration process of Sea Venom on both the Lynx and Super Lynx helicopters for the export market," MBDA said in a statement.

The 110 kg-class missile, having an operational range of 20-km and carrying a 30-kg warhead, is one of the products of French-British collaboration on missile technologies.

In UK service, the missile is planned to be used from the AW159 Wildcat helicopter, while in France, the DGA is currently conducting the development flight campaign for the missile on a Panther test bed helicopter, the statement said, adding that the new trials on board the Lynx Mk 8 validate that the missile can be easily integrated onto any platform.

According to MBDA, the Sea Venom missile is designed to destroy small, medium and large naval platforms ranging from FACs to corvettes, from stand-off ranges. The weapon also has a surface attack capability against coastal and land targets.

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