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RN Wildcat fires Martlet for first time on operations

25th October 2021 - 17:30 GMT | by Harry Lye in London


An RN AW159 Wildcat HMA Mk2 fires the Martlet missile during the Carrier Strike Group 21 deployment. (Photo: MoD/ Crown Copyright)

RN Wildcat helicopters can carry up to 20 Martlet missiles for use against stationary and moving targets.

An RN AW159 Wildcat HMA Mk2 helicopter has fired a Martlet missile on frontline operations for the first time.

The successful test of the missile — designed to protect the RN's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers from attack by small boat swarms — follows testing at UK ranges.

Operating in the Pacific Ocean as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 21, a Wildcat from 815 NAS  fired the lightweight missile at an inflatable target.

In less than half a second, the missile detached from the Wildcat, proceeding to the target at one and half times the speed of sound.

The …

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