MBDA has successfully completed the first firing of its Sea Venom / Anti-Navire Léger (ANL) anti-ship missile at the Île du Levant test range in France.

The 100kg-class MBDA missile has been designed to offer an enhanced capability, and will replace several existing and aging anti-ship missile systems such as the UK-developed Sea Skua missile and the French-developed AS15TT missile.

The test firing of Sea Venom / ANL was carried out from a Dauphin test bed helicopter owned by the French defence procurement agency Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA).

Sea Venom project deputy head Paul Goodwin said: “Although a first firing this was in no way a cautious one.

“The system was pushed to the very edge of its range capability, a bold step showing our confidence in the design maturity and making success all the more sweet. The next step is to exercise the systems’ operator-in-the-loop capabilities.”

"When it enters service Sea Venom / ANL will provide a major increase in capability to the French and UK armed forces."

MBDA Sea Venom / ANL programme head Frank Bastart added: “When it enters service Sea Venom / ANL will provide a major increase in capability to the French and UK armed forces.”

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The Sea Venom / ANL was jointly ordered by the UK and France in 2014, and the project has been designed collaboratively on a 50/50 basis by the two nations.

The missile system is is known as Sea Venom in the UK, and is intended to be used from the country’s AW159 Wildcat helicopter, while France will operate its ANL missile from the new Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger (HIL).

Sea Venom / ANL missiles are capable of being deployed from a wide range of platforms, and the system has been put through air carriage trials to prove its compatibility on legacy Lynx helicopters.

Image: Sea Venom / ANL anti-ship missile has successfully completed its first firing. Photo: courtesy of MBDA.