Sea Venom/ANL FASGW(H)
Sea Venom Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon - Anti-Navire Léger (FASGW-ANL) is a purpose-built anti-ship missile for the French and UK navies’ shipborne helicopters, and is suitable for a wide range of platforms. The Sea Venom anti-ship missile is designed to destroy small, medium and large vessels, using an imaging infrared seeker that offers full ‘fire and forget’ capabilities in all environments would equip the Royal Navy’s Wildcat Helicopters.
In UK service the missile will be deployed from the AW159 Wildcat helicopter, while France will operate the missile from its future Light Joint Helicopter. Sea Venom is designed to destroy vessels ranging from fast inshore attack craft, through medium-sized fast attack craft up to large vessels such as corvettes. Unlike previous semi-active radar guided missiles, Sea Venom uses an imaging infrared seeker which offers ‘fire and forget’ capabilities.
The Sea Venom helicopter launched anti-ship missile would enable Royal Navy and French Navy helicopters to prosecute a wide range of surface threats, from fast inshore attack craft up to corvette-sized vessels, including in coastal environments. Sea Venom has both ‘fire and forget’ mode as well as a ‘man in the loop’ capability, which allows full missile control until target impact.
The Sea Venom would weigh around 100kg and would be armed with a 30kg warhead and guided by an imaging infrared seeker. The missile is designed to destroy targets ranging from small, fast attack craft through to full-sized corvettes, while also allowing for a land attack capability if required. It is designed to be ‘fire-and-forget’, but an embarked two-way datalink would “enable capabilities such as in-flight re-targeting, aimpoint correction/refinement, and safe abort; semi-active laser guidance, if enabled, would allow for the engagement of targets outside the line of sight in concert with third-party laser designation”.
They are called "seekers" and are infrared trackers and would be those developed by Finmeccanica-Selex ES that would be integrated into the Future Air to Surface Guided Weapon (Helicopters) / Anti Navire Léger - FASGW (H) ANL - missile system that would equip new generation helicopters. The activity would be carried out under a contract signed by Finmeccanica -Selex ES with MBDA France and SAGEM.
Sea Venom/ANL is the new generation medium range anti-ship missile developed for shipborne helicopters of the Royal Navy and the French Navy. Sea Venom/ANL has been designed from the outset as an anti-ship missile to provide true maritime strike capability, synchronized precision effects, and the ability to be deployed in complex littoral environments. It features state-of-the art uncooled imaging infra-red (IIR) seeker technology with advanced algorithms to accurately select the correct target in dense shipping scenarios; and a robust two-way data link to allow ‘Man Above the Loop’ full supervision of the engagement from the cockpit.
The ability to select a very precise aim point provides the operator with a full range of lethal and non-lethal proportionate options – such as disabling main armaments, sensors, or propulsion/steering equipment. This means the system can be used within complex Rules of Engagement (RoE) constraints. The system is being integrated on the Royal Navy’s AW159 Wildcat helicopter as the principal Anti-Ship weapon, and will equip the French Navy’s future maritime helicopters. Its utility and dependability, and the incorporation of standard interfaces, mean it can be considered for integration on a wide range of military airborne platforms, including manned helicopters, RemotelyPiloted Air Systems and Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Options also exist for surface-to-surface variants.
It would safely engage hostile vessels amongst civilian assets, even in congested littoral environments and would defeat a broad spectrum of targets including small fast-moving craft through to larger ships – at sea or in port – as well as coastal land targets. The UK Royal Navy would use Sea Venom/ANL on its AW159 Wildcat, replacing Sea Skua, while France’s Marine Nationale would operate the missile from its future Guépard Light Joint Helicopter (HIL – Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger).
MBDA is developing Sea Venom/ANL, an helicopter-launched, over-the-horizon anti-ship weapon system, jointly funded by the UK and French Governments. It is the next generation multi-role surface attack weapon. Capable of defeating the most challenging target set presented by today’s open water and littoral maritime operations, the new weapon features significant advances on both Sea Skua and AS15TT. The new design would maintain some of the characteristics of Sea Skua and AS15TT and retain compatibility with existing logistic footprints, thereby allowing current users of these systems to upgrade easily.
According to MBDA, Sea Venom “will maintain some of the characteristics of Sea Skua [ … ] and retain compatibility with existing logistic footprints, thereby allowing current users of these systems to upgrade easily” and offers the following advantages: Reduced modifications to existing ship storage and handling equipment; Minimal impact on logistics and through-life costs; and Increased platform survivability against defended targets due to stand-off range and two-way data link.
Sea Venom/ANL offers:
- Reduced modifications to existing ship storage and handling equipment
- High helicopter load-out
- Minimal impact on logistics and through-life costs
- Effective against a wide target set, both sea and land
- Increased platform survivability against defended targets due to stand-off range and two-way data link
- Selectable target aim point for tactical flexibility
- Suitable for a wide range of helicopter platforms including Wildcat, Panther and NH90
- Minimised through-life costs for existing Sea Skua and AS15TT users
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|