France and UK welcome test firing of anti-ship missile
Defence – Success of the first qualification firing of the lightweight anti-ship missile/Sea Venom – Press release issued by the Ministry for the Armed Forces
Paris, 6 March 2020
At their meeting in London during the High Level Working Group (HLWG – senior bilateral committee in charge of cooperation on capability development), the UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, and the Délégué général pour l’armement [head of defence procuement], Joël Barre, welcomed the success of the first qualification firing of the lightweight anti-ship missile (ANL in France and Sea Venom in the United Kingdom).
The firing was carried out on 20 February at the DGA (Direction générale de l’armement) missile test site off the Ile du Levant (Var), from a test bench helicopter from the DGA Flight Test centre.
The missile will equip UK AW-159 Wildcat helicopters and the future French Guépard.
ANL/Sea Venom, a major Franco-British cooperation programme, was launched in 2014, in accordance with the commitments made in the Lancaster House bilateral treaty of 2010.
This firing in the run-up to the treaty’s 10th anniversary follows the development firings of 2017 and 2018 and marks the completion of a major step towards the commissioning of a new anti-ship capability in the French Navy and Royal Navy.
The scenario was a long-range flight of the missile at very low and then medium altitude and automatic engagement of the target in mid-course (Lock On After Launch – LOAL). It was an opportunity for the innovative “man-in-the-loop” capability to be set in motion for the first time. The helicopter crew was able to observe the image of the target retransmitted by the missile and modify the point of impact on the target.
In addition to the ANL/Sea Venom missile, France and the UK maintain a broad portfolio of cooperation programmes, foremost among them the Future Cruise and Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) and Maritime Mine Counter Measures./.