The UK Ministry of Defence and the French government have signed a deal worth £500 million to jointly develop a helicopter-borne anti-ship missile.
The 100kg Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy)/Anti Navire Léger (FASGW(H)/ANL) will be carried by the Royal Navy's new AW159 Lynx Wildcat helicopters.
Designed primarily to target vessels ranging from FIAC (Fast Inshore Attack Craft), through medium-sized FAC (Fast Attack Craft) up to large vessels such as Corvettes, it also has a surface attack capability against coastal and land targets.
This joint programme will replace legacy systems such as the British Sea Skua and the French-developed AS15TT anti-ship missiles.
FASGW(H)/ANL is suitable for blue water and cluttered littoral operations, and can engage automatically using sophisticated homing technology, or be operator-controlled, enabling mid-flight re-designation.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas said: "These state-of-the-art missiles will play their part in the maintenance of a credible Navy: not only will they provide the Fleet Air Arm with a continued battle-winning edge into the future, but they will also help to strengthen our partnership and interoperability with our good friends in the Marine Nationale."
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