Thales will show the most recently trialled capabilities of the Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) at DSEI in London this week, highlighting the weapon’s ability to effectively engage a wide variety of target sets. This follows a year in which vigorous testing has validated the system’s performance envelope.
The LMM was fired from a drone for the first time this year, in a trial sponsored by the Royal Air Force. Flyby Technology, in collaboration with Turkish partners, designed the sophisticated Jackal VTOL drone to conduct missions such as battlefield interdiction, close air support, anti-helicopter and ground strike. Within a demanding six-week window, two operational Jackals were built, the LMM integrated and successful firing tests took place in the UK.
Separately, Thales, QinetiQ and the Royal Navy have trialled LMM (known as Martlet in RN service) fired from the Wildcat helicopter to test the missile against a variety of targets, including speedboats, jet skis and airborne drones. The trial – dubbed Titan’s Arrow – included air-to-air firings against a Banshee aerial drone target.
The trial – dubbed Triton’s Arrow – tested the Martlet missile and its ability to neutralise small, fast moving craft and drones and was also the squadron’s first ever helicopter air-to-air firings which was against a Banshee aerial drone target.
“LMM has shown in these recent ground-breaking trials that it can be adapted for emerging platforms and new scenarios and both missiles have the ability to push the boundaries of capability to provide accurate defence against ever-changing threats,” said Phil McBride, Managing Director of Thales in Northern Ireland, home to the LMM development facility.
Weighing only 13kg, with a speed of Mach 1.5, LMM was designed to be capable of integration onto a variety of firing platforms, including armoured vehicles, ships and helicopters, as well as being shoulder-launched by individuals.
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(Image: The Jackal drone fires an LMM for the first time while in the hover. Credit: Thales)