Weapons and Kit

WATCH: Royal Navy Tests New Anti-Ship Missile

A Royal Navy warship has tested a new anti-ship missile, originally designed for a helicopter. 

The test, carried out in the Irish Sea, was done to see whether it could be fired from a ship as well as a helicopter.

Footage released by the Royal Navy shows the weapon being fired from HMS Sutherland.

The fast-travelling target speedboat took a direct hit.

The Martlet missile was designed to be fired from Wildcat helicopters towards small boats.

Also known as the Lightweight Multirole Missile, it was fitted to the existing 30mm automatic gun on the side of the ship, bolstering the resistance to threats from small craft.

HMS Sutherland's Weapon Engineer Officer, Lieutenant Commander George Blakeman, said: "The current defence against fast inshore attack craft, the 30mm gun, is highly effective for closer range engagements.

"By adding the missile to the gun mount it is anticipated it will extend the reach of the ship’s defensive systems – key to successful defence against fast craft using swarm attack tactics."

The Martlet fitted to 30mm gun on HMS Sutherland.
The Martlet fitted to 30mm gun on HMS Sutherland (Picture: MOD).

The Navy said the weapon was tested on the ship following "recent incidents where both merchant and military shipping have been attacked by manned and unmanned surface and air systems armed with explosive devices".

During the test, high-speed threats hurtled toward HMS Sutherland at Cardigan Bay, off the west coast of Wales.

Four Martlet missile were fired by the ship at the target at 1.5 times the speed of sound.

HMS Sutherland's Commanding Officer Commander Tom Weaver said:

“The impressive result of this trial was achieved through the hard work and cooperation" between industry and defence partners."

Thales, the developers behind the technology, said they were proud of their "high capability" and "cost-effective" work alongside the crew.

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