Thales is pleased to announce its highly-effective Lightweight Multirole Missile will be on display at this month’s Defence & Security Exhibition in London after a remarkable year in which the system has achieved a number of notable ‘firing firsts’.
During 2023, the LMM system was successfully fired for the first time from a new versatile drone system capable of combat missions over land, sea and air, to bring the potential of unmanned air combat a step closer to reality.
Also, in a separate trial, the Royal Navy, Thales and QinetiQ recently completed a demanding series of firing tests with the Navy’s formidable Wildcat helicopter to test LMM to its maximum capability against a range of threats, including speedboats, jet skis and airborne drones.
Weighing in at only 13Kg with a speed of Mach 1.5, LMM was designed and built in Belfast to be capable of integrated onto a variety of firing platforms, including armoured vehicles, ships, helicopters and shoulder-launched by soldiers.
In a trial sponsored by the Rapid Capabilities Office of the Royal Air Force, the LMM proved its versatility further still when it was fired from a drone for the first time in a joint collaboration with drone experts from Flyby Technology.
Flyby had designed and built a sophisticated drone with Turkish partners called JACKAL, capable of vertical take-off and landing, to carry out battlefield air interdiction, close air support, engaging helicopters in flight and taking out key land targets, to denying the use of runways and roads.
Asked to brief the RAF, the Flyby team also contacted the Thales team in Belfast. Within a demanding six week window, two operational JACKALs were built and LMMs were integrated and successfully fired from the drone in a UK-based trial.
The formidable combination of a JACKAL armed with LMM will be on display on the Thales stand at H6-310.
Meanwhile, in an extensive firing trial in Wales, the Royal Navy’s experts in tactical development put the in-service missile through a series of demanding tests and scenarios to test the limits of its versatility and effectiveness.
Known as Martlet in Royal Navy operational service, the LMM was fitted to a Wildcat helicopter flown by 825 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) with 815 and 744 Squadrons in a trial organised by the Operational Advantage Centre (Maritime Warfare).
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 will be at DSEi alongside the formidable STARStreak high velocity missile, another Belfast designed and manufactured system which is capable of Mach 3 and is the fastest type of missile of its kind in the world.
Philip McBride, Managing Director of Thales in Northern Ireland said: “Both LMM and STARStreak are operational proven and are proving to be best-in-class which is a testament to the skills we have invested in Northern Ireland.
“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.”
DSEi 2023 runs from September 12-15th and is held at the Excel Centre in London. It is a global showcase for innovation and capability for the defence and security industries.
— Defensehere (@defensehere_en) September 11, 2023