Royal Navy vessel fires Martlet missile
The Royal Navy has tested a modified ship-launched version of the Thales Martlet missile from HMS Sutherland.
The Martlet Lightweight Multi-role Missile was originally designed to be deployed from the Wildcat helicopter against small surface targets. The Royal Navy elected to test arming vessels with the new missile system, modified with a launcher fitted to the vessel’s existing 30mm automatic gun.
During the testing off the Welsh coast, the Martlet was fired against a fast-moving speedboat. After proving that the gun could fire accurately with the missile fitted and that the missile’s sensors could track its radio-controlled targets at ranges of up to five kilometres, the vessel fired four missiles.
The first firing tested the effect of the Martlet ‘blasting off’ from its launcher on the gun mounting and the side of Sutherland; and the rest were packed with telemetry to measure the missile’s accuracy.
Lt Cmdr George Blakeman, HMS Sutherland’s weapon engineer officer, 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.’
Results will now be analysed by Thales and the navy.
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