Footage from the terminal phase of the first in-service night firing of Martlet has been published by 815 Naval Air Squdron

The video was recorded on an exercise on a Danish range and is the first in-service night firing from an aircraft.

Msrtlet is a lightweight, precision strike multirole missile designed to be fired from a variety of tactical platforms on Land, Sea and Air against a wide range of conventional and asymmetric threats.

The target set includes surface threats such as static installations, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), asymmetric threats, fast in-shore attack craft and UAVs.

Up to 20 missiles can be loaded onto a Wildcat HMA Mk2 helicopter. In 0.3 seconds, the missile detaches from the helicopter, accelerating to one and a half times the speed of sound towards its target.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jon
Jon
4 days ago

Did they get the 2×10 martlet wing loading sorted out on the Wildcat? Last I heard, which was probably a couple of years ago, they were restricting it to a pannier of 5 on each wing.

Frank
Frank
4 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I’ve seen them Flying Demo’s with what looks like the full load on each “Wing”.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 days ago
Reply to  Jon

All 20 can be carried. Including a mixed load out. 10 Martlets on one side. And the 50 cal heavy machine gun or sniper on the other side.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Jon

This small and compact system has the potential to be a real game changer and the systems size is small enough to be fitted onto just about anything. I heard a good while ago that the Thai navy who had fitted additional 30mm to thei batch 2 river derivative we’re exploring the option to fit martlet to them as well as the oto mlara rapid fire76mm, gun they’re also mounting a harpoon system making a a very flexible And potent vessel indeed.

Louis G
Louis G
4 days ago

With the rear guidance on the Martlet, does it cause issues if the launching platform moves from its initial position while the missile is in flight? A laser guided missile doesn’t care where its guidance is coming from, but Martlet (and Startstreak) presumably does.

Frank
Frank
4 days ago
Reply to  Louis G

It’s SACLOS I think…. but I’m no Rocket Scientist !

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
4 days ago
Reply to  Louis G

Can’t say I know but it seems unlikely: the missile needs to be able to do maneuvers to catch moving targets without sensors losing sight of the launcher, and these are probably more extreme than anything the launching vehicle could replicate.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

This system will continue to evolve and will be a regular sight on military kit in the future.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 minute ago
Reply to  Louis G

The EO head in the nose of Wildcat has a wide angle of elevation and rotation and is stabilised so aircraft movement isn’t a big issue for the 20 odd seconds of flight time at max range

Nevis
Nevis
4 days ago

As these are small cheap missiles could they be stored on a supply ship? Could a wildcat re-arm from the supply ship if so?

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  Nevis

Could they be placed upon ships transitting the Red Sea kind of like Stuft Convoys thus protecting the ship and crew but cheaper than a type 45s System of defence ?

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
4 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

That’s a really interesting idea. Like the old Sea Hurricanes that used to fly off converted cargo ships

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago

Thanks Levi it’s just a step up from the Armed merchant ships that transit past Somalia if those ships can have private security personnel with small arms up too 12.5mm for use against somali pirates then why not put Marlets on Lloyd’s flagged ships transitting the Red Sea

George
George
3 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I’m sure the launchers and associated “black boxes” can be mounted in standard shipping containers. Also, a few months ago there was a video of the RAF Jackal drones firing Martlet missiles. That would be perfect for Red Sea commercial shipping self defence. See the YouTube for the video.

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  George

Thanks George I’ll take a gander at that video on YouTube

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

A d let the company play for them

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Stick the guns from Monmouth and Montrose on them

Tommo
Tommo
1 day ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Better get a move on according to the Seafarer publication the Houthies have now stated that UK and US shipping is now a target for their forces Lloyd’s insurance will be going up or its the long way round for those vessels

Smickers
Smickers
4 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I have had the same thoughts about Martlets on a number of naval / RFA platforms as a cheaper more cost efficient way of beefing them where swarm tactics of drone and mass small boat tactics come into play.
They could also be fitted to River class B2’s as they are more or less toothless. I think a year or two they were trialed successfully on a T23 in twin canister on a 30mm Bushmaster

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  Smickers

If the speed at which ” Red tape” can be wrapped around anything that can be seen as useful by the time the go ahead is given the problem has either been resolved or the more likely scenario is Ships have been sunk which were undefended then There’d be a public enquiry dragging on and on

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
4 days ago
Reply to  Smickers

Wouldn’t we need more Wildcats? Only got 26 in operation.

Jim
Jim
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Plus 30 Merlin’s and we only have 19 escorts that can take them

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 days ago
Reply to  Jim

17 escorts. Really 16 as Westminster is sitting rotting.
Helicopter are a bit of a pinch point for the RN. There are just enough to manage if everything goes right. Ideally 2 helicopters on escorts deployed in troublesome areas would be useful.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Realistic order sizes would be better like everything else, we order in small batches.

Last edited 2 days ago by Andy reeves
Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Get some second hand Seahawks from the yanks, they’ve got quite a few decommissioned ones in storage at AMARC in Arizona

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

They could transfer some from the Army.
Like to see an Martlet-ER version as I think it’s only 8km range which seems shortish for air to surface. Also develop a ship mount with 4-6 to complement the 30mm or whatever else.

Kevin Banks
Kevin Banks
4 days ago
Reply to  Smickers

As ex RFA, the service just seems th get more & more RN orientated. Must say that it was impressive to see RFA Cadets & 3/Os at Dartmouth on my last visit. Mixed message? Yes. I’m not sure what is best for the RFA.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Banks

The RFA is almost part of the navy the way it’s being used.
No longer is supply the main role. Some could argue that Argus should be moved to the navy with the roles it’s undertaking. The bays also as they are the only amphibious ships.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Banks

There is quite a lot of stuff from the retired T23’s now in storage, the main gun, 30mm’ are in the sheds next to fountain lake jetty in Portsmouth plus the basic fittings from the ships ceptor systemsi can’t remember if Monmouth o Montrose had towed 5, if they did, jm Sure that will be there too

Last edited 2 days ago by Andy reeves
Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Banks

Guns missiles and a H.M.S PREFIX

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 days ago
Reply to  Smickers

Hello Smickers, that’s correct. @ Navy Lookout Royal Navy test-fires ship-mounted Martlet Lightweight Multi-role Missile July 16, 2019 Offering an important new defensive capability for the fleet against small boats, the Martlet LMM has been successfully test-fired from the DS30M Mark II cannon mount on a Type 23 frigate. The Thales LMM (to be called Martlet in RN service) has always been intended to arm the RN’s Wildcat helicopters and is expected to enter service next year. The cannon-mounted LMM concept has been around for some time and was first exhibited by MIS Defence Systems in 2011. It would appear… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Smickers

It was on Sutherlands DS30mm.

Last edited 2 days ago by Andy reeves
Nevis
Nevis
4 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

You’re one step ahead of me. I was thinking of another cheaper layer of defence for a CSG. A couple of wildcats that could re-arm at sea would surely be a wise move if possible. Even on a type 26 with a couple of containers of missiles in its mission bay?!

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

They are able to shoot from a DS30mm h.m.s Sutherland, so anywhere you can find the oelerekon Ds30mm you can fit martlet

Last edited 2 days ago by Andy reeves
Tommo
Tommo
2 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Thanks Andy Batch 2 Rivers Bushmaster was apparently used as a test bed for Marlet so yes a feasible Close in system

Frank62
Frank62
4 days ago

Bit disappointing the “footage” isn’t given here & the still pic has no way of guaging scale.

Ian M.
Ian M.
4 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Hi Frank, don’t know why you can’t see the video, it’s in the X, (Twatter) box, just click on the arrow.

Frank62
Frank62
4 days ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Ah thanks. I wondered if it may have been my privacy or ad blocker, but it seems on this occasion I have to create an X account & I refuse to use social media.

Peter S
Peter S
4 days ago

If it can be used against UAVs, it can presumably also be used against helicopters. I know that uparming the OPVs has been discussed many times before, but wouldn’t the multi role capability of Martlet be a low cost option?

Nick C
Nick C
4 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

I believe that the missile has been used successfully in Ukraine against helicopters. Sadly I can remember where I saw the report, I think it was on one of the YouTube channels.

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 days ago
Reply to  Nick C

The Oryx post has shown a number of Russian vehicles, helicopters and UAVs, shot down with Martlet. The claim to fame is that at least two Kh-52s have been shot down by Martlet. Though Starstreak is nearer 10.

Basically if you can keep the object within the sight. Martlet is likely to hit the target.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
4 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

I think for OPVs the first step would be Brimstone. It reaches further, contains its own guidance and has off-boresight so can be box rather than gun mounted. Brimstone also has the advantage of self-guidance for better anti-group capability, so I think Brimstone x 40mm would be the optimal armament for OPVs. A real game-changer would be a ground-launched SPEAR-3 style missile with a rocket booster to get it out of the VLS. Brimstone, which SPEAR is based off, has a diameter of 180mm and CAMM-ER is 190mm, so it might be quad-packable into Mk41. This would enable 32 to… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
4 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Certainly sea spear would be even more capable against surface targets but doesn’t ( I think) have the anti air capability of Martlet.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
4 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

I agree, Sea SPEAR is not an anti UAV weapon. However, the 40mm outranged Martlet in most scenarios and costs less per engagement. Brimstone is there to provide range and killing power.

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I have a strong feeling that due to the combination of the Kh-52 and the LMUR ATGW being fired from 10 to 14 km. SHORAD missiles like Starstreak will likely get enhanced range to combat this threat.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Basically they need to be at least doubled… and then you don’t tell anyone the true range… Lol 😁

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The system will continue to evolve and range will. Improve in time

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Can the operator paint the target at those ranges is another issue. Spotting a helicopter at 14km could be a real challenge.
What we are seeing is that to effectively counter all the air threats requires a range of systems and detection abilities. From guns, jammers for small UAVs to long range systems to given a picture of what’s happening and hit the valuable aircraft.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

I have to be careful how I respond to this, as the system is currently still in service, but also being used in anger by Ukraine. The published figures of Starstreak HVM gives it a range of greater than 7km. Which is close to the figure I know. But it still falls short of the LMUR used by the Kh-50/52. To close the gap you can make the rocket motor bigger, which is fine when carried by a vehicle or fitted to a tripod. But when carrying, weight is an issue on top everything else you carry. On top this… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi Davey, the current twin ASRAAM set up mounted on the Supacat being used in Ukraine must be able to go out well beyond 8km so they must have super optics for this and maybe also radar?

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
2 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Not much info on the asraam/supacat combo.
I had wondered if Australias Asraam stocks are available for Ukraine. I don’t know what they did with them.
Supposedly some are calling for Australia to donate its taipan NH90 helicopters instead of destroying/burying them. Seems to be one side saying they are useless while others say there’s nothing wrong with the actual aircraft it’s the way spares were sourced, modifications, safety updates applied and a dislike for it from the government. Or something like that.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
2 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Evening MS, sorry I don’t know anything about the Aus ASRAAMs. Not sure if they’re used on the F18 and or F35s.or both. With the Taipans, looks like they’re getting disassembled for spares and then what’s left will be broken up and buried some where. Seems like a colossal waste and a wasted opportunity for a very significant donation to Ukraine. And being a European helicopter too that maybe could have been fixed up a bit. We won’t know the truth but I believe the final decision has been made not to send. They could donate the Tigers ATHs too.… Read more »

Last edited 2 days ago by Quentin D63
Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Put it on the mighty archers 😃

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Again, I have to be careful what I say. ASRAAM as a surface launched missile will have more range and a higher terminal speed than Sidewinder used by Avenger units and NASAMs, due to its bigger rocket motor. I will say that ASRAAM in this condition, will easily reach the horizon. Bearing in mind ASRAAM and CAMM share the same rocket motor. When air launched from a Typhoon, ASRAAM falls into the grey area category where it touches on beyond visual range (BVR), whilst still being more than capable in the within visual range (WVR) category. ASRAAM does not have… Read more »

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
2 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

That’s good to know. There really is some fantastic kit that with an modernisation/upgrade could really improve them further.
With the miniaturisation of equipment I wonder if we will see multiple seekers being adapted on more items. For starstreak that could be difficult due to the 3 smaller darts but for the other missile that’s one missile perhaps(I forget the name).
Cost obviously being an issue different missiles for different targets is another area that could be expanded.

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Weight wise you could soft launch Spear 3. Though it would still need rocket assistance to help get the missile up to speed due to the tiny turbojet.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
4 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Yes, that’s what I thought
There’s little point launching the thing upwards in an effort to reduce engagement range if all you do is then push it with a booster sideways. ESSM style operation would suffice.
I would rather extend the range by 30% than halve the minimum range; extending layers out is more useful than overlapping with the gun layer.

Julian
Julian
3 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Spear 3 has a pretty significant range though – over 140km according to Wikipedia – but of course a lot of that range comes from a lot of kinetic energy already imparted on it by the airborne launch platform. I suspect that a VLS Spear 3 without a booster (so as not to compromise minimum engagement range) would still have a pretty respectable maximum range just nowhere near the >140km range of an air-launched version. To soft launch even if it didn’t have a booster it would still need the small 4-direction thrust vector ring to do the initial orientation… Read more »

Julian
Julian
3 days ago
Reply to  Julian

Actually potentially scratch that – before DaveyB comes and does it anyway. Are you (DaveyB) saying that without the kinetic energy imparted by a fast moving launch platform the turbojet simply couldn’t generate sufficient acceleration to get a “naked” (without booster) Spear 3 up to a stable aerodynamic state?

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 days ago
Reply to  Julian

Consider the diameter of Spear 3, then consider the diameter of the micro-turbojet that has to fit this space. The specific impulse of the jet engine must from a standing start accelerate the mass of the Spear 3 to a speed where the wings generate enough lift to sustain flight (literally after it leaves the canister). But also keep accelerating it towards its cruising speed, which is a high subsonic speed. It might be possible for the tiny jet engine to do this. But in doing so, it will use up a substantial amount of fuel. This will significantly decrease… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Could you stick Brimstone on the end of a long booster? Say, a Meteor? So it flies all of the way to the target then pops off when required and conducts its attack?

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Another choice would be to use the GMLRS rocket. It’s wider in diameter at 227mm compared to Spear-3’s 180mm. Which therefore means you could fire a ground launch Spear-3 from M270 and HIMARS.

In theory you could also quad pack GMLRS/Spear-3 in a Mk41 VLS cell.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
2 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

MBDA’s proposal for the LPS GMLRS replacement was essentially a very long Brimstone (rocket sized) to give 80km+ range. If that sort of thing could be made to launch vertically and turn over, it would make an excellent answer to my proposal and allow uniformity with the Army. However, I think MBDA also made CGI of a SPEAR based LPS, so the inverse applies to the Army.

Julian
Julian
3 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Didn’t MBDA produce some CGI renders of a Spear 3 being launched from a VLS silo quite a few years back and I’m pretty sure that the accompanying narrative indicated that the concept was for soft-launch. Obviously a CGI render is almost as far away from a deployable weapons system as you can get (“we’ve never even thought about it” being even further away) but it does at least show that MBDA had considered it at some point nd presumably done at least back-of-envelope calculations to assess feasibility before commissioning renders to show publicly. Sailorboy already mentioned diameters but in… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

These have been tested attached to the ds30mm cannon on a T23(Sutherland). videos of it are on the net in a few places the Thai navy have fitted two extra Ds30mm cannon aft of the bridge wings harpoon is also being fitted. They ha also put a 76mm gun on the shipHTMS Krabi making the ship.a formidable vessel martlet fitted to those additional 30mm’s will do the job.

Last edited 2 days ago by Andy reeves
Andy reeves
Andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Be interesting to see how effective it is. When faced by a swarm of boats