Royal Navy's new anti-ship missile bang on target in tests
THE Royal Navy’s new anti-ship missile Sea Venom was bang on target during tests.
The Anglo-French ‘subsonic speed’ weapon – which replaces the retired Sea Skua as the punch of Wildcat helicopters of 815 and 825 Naval Air Squadrons – successfully struck a target container on a trials ship in the Mediterranean.
It’s the latest ‘hit’ for Sea Venom which has been launched several times over the past three years off the Île du Levant, which is part French military missile range.
The latest firing – from a Dauphin helicopter – saw Sea Venom dropped at close to its minimum release altitude, then skim the Mediterranean on its way to its target.
The Royal Navy posted on its website: ‘As the missile neared its objective, the aircrew used infra-red imagery – fed through a live datalink – to tweak the location of the ‘bullseye’ for maximum effect. Sea Venom then manoeuvred at high subsonic speed and struck its objective.
Previous tests of the missile – known by the French as the Anti-Navire Léger – have focused on its ability to lock on to its target either while in flight or while still on its pylon aboard the trials helicopter.
The navy statement added: ‘It is one of two missile systems being acquired for the navy for Wildcat.
‘Fitted with a 30kg warhead, it’s intended to knock out patrol craft and seriously damage larger vessels.’