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France completes qualification firings trials of MBDA Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile.

| 2020

According to a press release published on November 26, 2020, the MBDA Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile has completed its qualification firings trials, with a successful final firing at the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) test site at Ile du Levant on 17 November.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 A dummy Sea Venom missile and hermetically sealed Martlet LMMs in their a five-cell launch pannier on display at Farnborough. (Picture source Pinterest)

Soon to start equipping the Royal Navy's AW159 Wildcat and Marine Nationale's H160M Guépard shipborne helicopters, the Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile is a co-operation project developed under the Lancaster House treaty between France and the United Kingdom. The Sea Venom/ANL missile is the first program to take full advantage of the cross-border centers of excellence on missile technologies launched by the Lancaster House treaty, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary this month.

The final qualification trial tested the missile's advanced target discrimination within a complex and cluttered naval scenario.

Éric Béranger, the MBDA CEO, said: "I want to congratulate the UK-French teams across both MBDA and our governments for the commitment they have shown in meeting this qualification milestone amid the disruption caused by Covid-19. Together they have proven that through co-operation we can jointly overcome adversity and deliver leading-edge military capabilities."

Previous trials have tested the missiles launch envelope, release envelope and engagement modes, such as its low-altitude sea-skimming flight, lock-on after launch (LOAL), lock-on before launch (LOBL), operator-in-the-loop, and aimpoint refinement.

Sea Venom is an Anglo-French lightweight anti-ship missile developed by MBDA to equip the French Navy and the Royal Navy. The missile is known as Anti-Navire Léger (ANL) in France and Sea Venom (formerly Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy) in the United Kingdom. Initial operating capability is expected with the Royal Navy in 2022.

The Sea Venom is designed to attack surface targets, such as fast in-shore attack craft (FIACS) ranging in size of between 50-500 tonnes, as well as larger surface targets of up to corvette size. With its 30 kg warhead, the missile is also capable of inflicting significant damage to larger vessels through precision aim point selection, and can also attack static land-based targets. It has an operational firing range of 20 km. 

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