France UK Officially Launch Lightweight Anti-Ship Missile Program

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The French and British Ministries of Defense have embarked on the Eur. 50 million (GBP 35 Mil.) investment to be shared between both nations over the next 24 month initial assessment phase. This is the first step in the development of an advanced, lightweight helicopter-launched anti-ship missile to replace the British Navy‘s Sea Skua. Developed under an Anglo-French ‘Complex weapons’ program, the new weapon will be designed to meet the French requirement for a lightweight anti-ship missile known as ‘Anti-Navire Léger’ (ANL) and the UK’s Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (FASGW). The development is part of the multi-year, multi-system Team Complex Weapons (WCA) contract awarded last year to MBDA by the UK MoD on behalf of both countries.

This new missile will be operated for offensive and defensive naval missions, primarily against surface targets with a displacement of less than 500 tons, such as fast craft and patrol boats. The missile will be integrated with the naval versions of the NH-90 helicopter, as well as light helicopters such as the French Navy‘s Panther and the Lynx Wildcat operated by the Royal Navy.

Raytheon Company has been awarded a first Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract worth $93 million, to produce Standard-Missile 6 for the U.S. Navy. The company will deliver the first production missiles to the Navy by early 2011.
SM-6 began development in 2004 and is designed to meet the U.S. Navy’s requirement for an extended-range ‘over the horizon’ anti-air warfare (AAW) missile. The system will provide a defensive capability against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and anti-ship cruise missiles. The missile employs the Standard Missile family’s kinematics, while enhancing signal processing, guidance and control capabilities and offering active and semi-active operating modes and advanced fuzing techniques.