Thales Launches Light Missile as UK Lynx Wildcat Makes Progress

 - April 8, 2011, 10:30 AM
The UK has purchased 1,000 Thales lightweight multirole missiles for the Lynx Wildcat helicopter, scheduled for delivery later this year.

Thales UK announced that its lightweight multirole missile (LMM) has been confirmed for maritime strikes by the UK Lynx Wildcat helicopter. The launch order is for 1,000 missiles with guidance by laser-beam rider to meet the UK’s future anti-surface guided weapon (Light) requirement.

The LMM was first revealed in 2008 as a development from Thales’ Starstreak lightweight surface-air missile. Alternative warheads and seekers are being developed to make the LMM equally suitable for air-ground and ground-ground strikes, according to Thales. The company said that its concept of a lightweight, low-cost family of missiles was “unique” and was attracting “a very high level of interest.”

Meanwhile, AgustaWestland has signed a contract to develop an integrated training system for the AW159 Lynx Wildcat in the UK. The package includes the training of maintainers as well as aircrew. Indra of Spain is supplying two full mission simulators.

Three Lynx Wildcat test aircraft are now flying, and the first production delivery is due late this year. The UK has ordered 62 of the six-ton multirole helicopters for the Army and the Royal Navy, to replace earlier versions of the Lynx.