European missile house MBDA has announced successful air carriage and jettison trials of its Sea Venom/ANL missile using the Lynx naval helicopter.
During trials that took place in March – only days before the retirement of the Royal Navy Lynx HMA8 version – ZF558 conducted a series of air carriage trials before jettisoning two of the weapons over the Larkhill Range at Boscombe Down. The Sea Venom missiles were both fitted with telemetry kits.
While 815 Naval Air Squadron has withdrawn the final Lynx HMA8 helicopters from service, with a formal decommissioning ceremony at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton on March 23, the Lynx and Super Lynx remain in frontline service with many customers worldwide. The Sea Venom will also arm the Royal Navy Wildcat HMA2.
The Sea Venom and the French ANL equivalent will replace existing and legacy systems including the British Sea Skua and the French AS15TT anti-ship missiles.
As part of the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) initiative, the latest trials at Boscombe Down were conducted by MBDA in collaboration with the UK Defence Solutions Centre (DSC), the Royal Navy and QinetiQ.
Meanwhile, in France the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA, the French defence procurement agency) is conducting a development flight campaign for the missile using a Panther test bed helicopter.