The Royal Navy has successfully tested a new missile designed to protect warships from attacks by swarms of small boats.

The Royal Navy say here that during operations in the Pacific Ocean with the UK Carrier Strike Group, HMS Defender’s Wildcat helicopter of 815 Naval Air Squadron fired the Martlet lightweight missile at an inflatable target in the sea – known in the navy as the big red tomato.

“It is the first time this type of missile has been launched on frontline operations by the Royal Navy after rigorous testing at ranges off the UK coast by the Yeovilton-based Wildcat Maritime Force last year.

In 0.3 seconds, the missile detached from the Wildcat HMA Mk2 helicopter, accelerating to one and a half times the speed of sound towards its target. The purpose of the missile system is to add another layer of protection around the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, with the Wildcats able to carry up to 20 of the laser-sensor missiles that can be used against stationary and moving targets.”

Captain James Blackmore, Carrier Strike Group’s Air Wing Commander, said in a news release:

“Martlet is a new air to surface lightweight multi-role missile recently introduced into service for the Wildcat helicopter and provides an offensive and defensive capability against small boats and maritime targets that may pose a threat to the Carrier Strike Group.

The Wildcat is a phenomenally versatile aircraft and the inclusion of up to 20 missiles on each of the four embarked aircraft adds yet another potent capability to the Air Wing and the Carrier Strike Group. This first firing during an operational deployment not only gives confidence in the end to end weapon kill chain but also offers an overt demonstration of one of the many strike capabilities provided by the Air Wing from within the Task Group.”

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John Clark
John Clark
17 days ago

Excellent, it’s a superb naval helicopter, perhaps the RN should also invest in the plug and play dipping sonar sets, to back up the rather small Merlin fleet.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

It would seem to be sensible considering the size of the merlin fleet and new role it now has.

Challenger
Challenger
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yep that would be great. Seems a data link is finally on the way and a few dipping sonars would be another big improvement. It would provide a rudimentary anti-submarine capability for the T31’s eventually deployed East of Sussex for example.

Personally i’d shift most-all of the Army Wildcat’s across to the RN as i still don’t really understand what function they currently fill. Leave the AAC with the new Apache’s as the combat platform and something very cheap/off the shelf to replace the Wildcat’s and Gazelle’s as a basic recce and liaison capability.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

East of Sussex! 🤣

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago

Gotta laugh from me too, that’s my home county…
I do love the English sense of humour…

Trevor
Trevor
16 days ago

Perhaps the T31 operational range is rather less than advertised?😀

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
16 days ago
Reply to  Trevor

Sounds like Priti Patel may be getting tougher with refugees.

Challenger
Challenger
16 days ago

Oh dear! Clearly didn’t spot that typo. Perhaps because it’s my home county. Obviously meant Suez.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

I know mate, but it was still hilarious.

Andy P
Andy P
16 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

I assumed it was deliberate as it was a good one. I’ll borrow it if I may.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago

I don’t think the crew of a T31 would survive a night out in Hastings. 40% would be admitted as inpatients with SOAHID (Sudden Onset Acute Hastings induced depression). 10% would have become HIDAs ( Hastings induced drug addicts) and need addiction therapy and anti Hastings workshops. 20% would have suffered HISOPH ( Hastings induced sudden onset parenthood) 10% would be having treatment for needle stick injuries After stumbling drunk into Alexandra park under the false impression the grass was safe to sit on. 10% Would be having blood tests due to the bit marks they got from fighting the… Read more »

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I rather enjoyed my week in the old part of Hastings this year, the ‘new’ part is I agree worth missing and hope it misses you.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

We enjoyed it in 2005, maybe it has declined since. We stayed in St Leonards.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago

It’s a bit of an unfortunate place, has one of the worst suicide and mental health rates, deprivation ratings are really bad as is employment, education and IV drug use. I had to do a number of site visits of mental health and physical health settings in hastings and it was on the fare edge of my patch for monitoring and investigating deaths from harms. Like many old forgotten end of the line Victorian resort towns the old parts have a frontage that’s is pleasing to the eye but behind the elegant facades tend to be bed sits and run… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Crikey, we thought Bognor and Littlehampton were bad.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago

If you make a distillation of LA (littlehampton):and Bognor, then spice it with a flavour of whitehawk your close but to really get the full experience you need to move it to a place in the arse end of nowhere with no job opportunity or easy links….then you have hastings.

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago

I promise I’m not Challenger in disguise!

geoff
geoff
16 days ago

Morning Daniele-which does of course technically extend to Suez 🙂

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
16 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Maybe a naval attack on Paris is on the cards if the threatened sanctions bite.

Ralf Karlsson
Ralf Karlsson
15 days ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

Last time the Royal Navy had close encounters with Exocets it ended badly. Not adviced.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Morning geoff. 😀

Crabfat
Crabfat
16 days ago

Let’s be more precise – east of Three Cups Corner…

John Clark
John Clark
16 days ago

With an eventual aim of deploying South of the Isle of Wight 😂

Good grief, were sounding like the German Naval deployment strategy now, go round and and round the Baltic until you get dizzy and head back to Kiel for tea and medals….

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I’m not sure I would even go south of the Isle of Wight to be honest and the only reason to keep up links to the Isle of Wight is as an easy source of foreign holidays to keep all the kids happy. Otherwise I think we should consider a north of the Solent policy.

John Clark
John Clark
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

After the disaster of our resent deployments, your caution is rightly justified Jonathan, I stopped at Milford on Sea a little back and the locals looked a little twitchy to me, so keeping away, North of there is probably a good plan!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
16 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Its very possible that the T31 will get a TA sonar that is kitted to fit on 11m workboats.
The 11m workboats are getting a whole plethora of mix and match optional fits to go on them

John Clark
John Clark
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

By TA sonar Gunbuster, do you mean an Army Reserve soldier, intently listening with an old stethoscope against the hull?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi Gunbuster, The sense I get is that the introduction of autonomous platforms is that they will give our escort force considerable additional flexibility and operational choices. I could see a T31 using its workboat(s) / towed array to provide an ASW ‘barrier’ while it got on with something else e.g. evacuation or raiding mission with RM. Long endurance XLUUV’s could be ‘sowed’ choke points to monitor adversaries submarine movements, again allowing the escort to undertake other tasks while the autonomous platform was on task. This tech and the new platforms that will deploy it will change how the RN… Read more »

Steve
Steve
16 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

My issue with this is it costs money to do right. Yes you can theoretically create an umbrella around an area or task force using drones, each with low power sensors all communicating to a mothership, however you need them in large numbers to do so, and that comes with a cost, at which point the question has to be whether just using conventional methods would be cheaper/more effective. I fear we will use cheap drones to one for one replace more capable traditional assets and therefore lose capability rather than gain it.

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

What sort of size array are we talking about here? Only it’s a fairly hefty bit of kit to lug about as you know, even in Schweppes slimline form!
What would they do with the incoming data, am assuming that it’s transmitted to the host ship for processing and displaying?

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Along with the sonar, some S-100s armed with Martlet to compliment the Wildcat’s swing role. I don’t understand why these things aren’t protecting RN vessels already. Are they waiting until 2030 for a rotary drone?

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
16 days ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

There is going to be one trailled in the Gulf soon. RN wants a SAR radar as well as EO/IR and targeting, and Thales are faffing around trying to shoehorn the i-Master from Watchkeeper onto a S-100 and give it a maritime mode. Makes sense really, radar and targeting means you can use it to find and track small targets and cue your over the horizon assets like a Wildcat or AshM.

Last edited 16 days ago by James William Fennell
Julian
Julian
16 days ago

Some previous groundwork has been done on i-Master integration hasn’t it? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen pictures of an S-100 with an i-Master installed, maybe even in Thales or Schiebel marketing materials. I think the payload of an S-100 fuelled for 6 hour endurance is somewhere around the 30kg range isn’t it? I think the weight of the i-Master alone is 30kg so I suppose the challenge is weight-optimising the whole SAR/EO/IR/targeting package so as not to lose an unacceptable amount of endurance when carrying it. If a weight-optimised comprehensive sensor & targeting package can be developed that would be… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
15 days ago
Reply to  Julian

I think that is the primary reason why S100 hasn’t been picked by the RN so far! It can’t carry both a quality EO turret and a decent radar. There’s no real easy way to increase the aircraft’s payload, without effecting its endurance. As fitting a bigger engine, will eat into the fuel quicker and thereby decrease its endurance. The Schiebel S100 is a real handy size for a ship based VTOL UAV. Its small enough where you can stack them in a hangar but still get a Wildcat in for example on a T23. If only it could lift… Read more »

Julian
Julian
15 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Would a 4 blade foldable rotor be another way to increase lift? On “full sized” helicopters foldable rotors definitely have their downsides since high-level access is required to fold and unfold (I assume) but according to the Wikipedia spec the S-100 stands only 1.12m tall so someone standing on the ground/deck could easily get to a foldable rotor mechanism to fold/unfold it. Going back to my fantasy of a UK-developed slightly bigger drone I note that Wikipedia gives the footprint (length and width) of an S-100 of 3.11 metres x 1.24 metres. If one wants to maintain the capability to… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
15 days ago
Reply to  Julian

Is a four bladed rotor disc doable for a S100, yes definitely. However, it won’t provide as much lift as a coaxial design! The reason for this is the rotation of the blades leading edges all being in one direction. It doesn’t matter if the aircraft is flying forwards or hovering. A single rotor design will always have the following problem. If the aircraft is hovering in still air (no wind). The aircraft should develop similar lift on all its blades. If we now throw in a wind, the blades advancing into the wind perpendicularly will develop more lift. Which… Read more »

Julian
Julian
15 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Wow. Thanks for the amazingly helpful and detailed explanation. Apart from these next-gen S-100 (or similar) discussions I now also understand why that design was chosen for Ingenuity. Given Mars’ super thin atmosphere I suspect such a coaxial design was absolutely essential in order to get enough lift to get the thing to fly at all, plus a crazy high rotational speed on the rotors as well I believe.

Deep32
Deep32
15 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Alternatively, buy some more Merlin’s and update the Wildcats with some dipping sonar sets just like the SK versions have.

John Clark
John Clark
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I’m sure the RN would love another 8-10 Merlins, it must be a logistical nightmare trying to keep sufficient airframes in the forward fleet and juggle maintenance and upgrades with a total of only 30 aircraft. It’s not going to happen unfortunately. The affordable option is to add the plug and play already developed dipper to the Wildcat. It may not be as effective as Merlins, but it’s available now and an affordable upgrade option, that’s importantly already matured, developed and fielded. No matter how you look at it, the AAC examples are of ‘far’ greater use to the RN.… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
15 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yes, I don’t disagree that it’s not going to happen, but , we really need all 3 to happen! Would be nice if we choose the AW149 as a Puma replacement to add some 10-14 Merlin’s onto the order – alas that wouldn’t be happening either? As our new ships T31/26 start coming online and we get LSG (N +S) up and running we are going to need more cabs.nI suspect that the Puma replacement will fill some of that capability, but the army needs some assets too, and, as always assets can’t be in two places at once. An… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
16 days ago

They need to fit these to the side of the 30mm mounts on ALL vessels give every ship a capability boast.

John Clark
John Clark
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Some great points guys, absolutely agree with them all…. We’ve often debated the rather pointless Army Wildcat, the ‘Recce helo’ with no Recce equipment, or data link, or ability to protect itself…. The glorious 20 minuters from Black Adder goes forth comes to mind…. It would be a death trap for its crews against a well armed enemy. I would also give the AAC examples to the RN, 20 upgraded to full Naval spec and the remainder sold off to try and Kickstart the abysmal foreign sales… I would buy more AH64E’s for scouting and an off the shelf light… Read more »

Challenger
Challenger
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yep, the AAC Wildcat in it’s current form doesn’t seem to have a role. Move them to the FAA and leave the Army with Apache for the shooting and a cheap platform from the civilian market for recce and light utility away from the front-line. Up-threat surveillance can/should be done with drones and any heavy lift is covered by the RAF’s rather large helo fleet.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

I am not very familiar with the AAC Wildcat. Wikipedia describe it as designed to serve in the battlefield utility and anti-surface warfare roles, with SAR presumably being done by the FAA Wildcats. Some army assets support SF. Surely with their Martlet missiles they have a precision ground attack capability?
I doubt you could restrict recce and utility duties away from the front line – the former by definition, is well forward.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I believe they are looking at installing the Sea spray 7000E Radar into the army wildcats to bring them up to the same standard as the Navel wildcats as ISAR platforms. You also have to remember all the Wildcat airframes are all navilised and so even the army Wildcats can operate from ships. in regards to protect itself the wild cat does have a very good passive and self defence suit. I managed to have a good chat with a guy who oversaw he crash protect systems and he was pretty clear that I’d your going to crash in a… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by Jonathan
Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

If I had my way, I’d move all of them over to the RN – none of this upgrading a few and quietly cutting some like we saw with both Merlin types. I’d upgrade all to full naval spec and add data link. I’d update some (~15) to also carry martlet/venom as additional force protection assets for our current and future escort fleet, potentially allowing T45 and other large escorts to carry two helicopters. I’d retain 7 as they are, as recon flights for RFA vessels deployed on disaster relief or for future use on a replacement for HMS Protector,… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
16 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

I can’t pick a hole in that idea Lusty, excellent and utterly common sense….

Therefore, no chance it will happen….

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hi John,

I read somewhere recently that there is a possibility the AAC Wildcats might get a modified version of the SeaSpray radar optimised fo rover land use.

This would make the AAC Wildcat a valuable recce asset for the Army which is already being gutted.

What we really need is more airframes, but I think that is unlikely at least until UAV’s mature into something really useful. That might happen sooner rather than later, but we’ll see.

Cheers CR

Andy a
Andy a
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Apparently it didn’t work great and RN decided capabilities wasn’t worth the cost

Steve
Steve
16 days ago

Good to see the capability hull closed at last, should never existed in the first place. Next up is upgunning the army wildcats/marine merlins.

David
David
16 days ago

What happens if the Wildcat is lost or suffers mechanical failure and can’t get airborne? Relying on a helicopter solely for protection against swarm attacks with Marlet is risky in my opinion. Why not also fit it to the 30mm gun mounts that have already been tested? Things went mysteriously quiet post test. There is no way the RN budget couldn’t afford that and it would add another layer of protection for little in the way of investment.

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
16 days ago
Reply to  David

I notice ‘Andy a’ gave an answer to this above, first reference I have heard to the results of those tests, might explain why nothing has been actioned don’t know if there is anything else to add from him. Paul below has introduced another reason mind.

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick
16 days ago

I don’t think you will see the Martlet fitted to 30mm mount short of an actual conflict in the next 3-5 years. The reason is I think the RN is about to phase out the 30mm in favour of the 40mm as fitted on the type 31. If my theory hold then expect to see the batch 2 type 26 fitted with the 40mm and not the 30mm. This will entail integrating it with the artisan rader. Once this is done expect to see 40mm fitted to the Queen Elizabeth class carriers instead of the 30mm, which are conspicuous by… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

And may your theory come to pass. ABT they put some extra defensive armament on the carriers…

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Maybe this is a bit of a silly question but the Marlet’s max launch range 8km(?) considered safe from modern ship 57-76mm AA gunnery?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Or even 40mm?

Trevor
Trevor
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

Being of a certain age, I think it would be wonderful to see the Bofors 40mm back on RN ships (even if “slightly” updated!)

Challenger
Challenger
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

I do hope so. I’m not a fan of the current proliferation of different calibers. Consolidating down to 40mm, 57mm and 127mm would be great, although sadly i can’t see something bigger replacing the old 20mm’s on things like the Echo’s and various RFA’s whilst the Mark 8 will probably soldier on with the T45’s until their OSD’s and Phalanx doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon.

T26 with 4x 40mm guns instead of 2x 30mm and 2x 20mm Phalanx….yes please!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

There are suddenly a lot of CTA 40mm cannons around that are not needed for Warrior and guess what…the MSI mount can take a 40mm gun…

Martlet on a 30mm had massive blow back issues when fired.
On a T23 immediatley behind the mount if its trained outboard at Red or Green 90 is a magazine. Flames and magazines are not a good combo. When trained aft the blow back would toast the sea boat. When trained fwd the blow back would have toasted anyone in the midships cross passage.

Ian M
Ian M
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

CT40, high rate of fire, programmable airburst ammunition, great for small craft.

Steve
Steve
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

You would have thought they would have identified that issue before they tested it on an actual ship, sounds a bit sloppy. A bit of a shame, as it looked like a smart solution to upgunning the lightly armed vessels for cheap

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Perhaps it was never intended for present T23s but for future platforms were such problems could be designed out. Obviously tests would be required from a representative naval platform however, even if they are not safe to use operationally from them.

Steve M
Steve M
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

thats good to know i wonder how much gas pressure you would need to eject a 13kg missile out like they do with Sea Ceptor? have the tubes offset at 30-45 degrees eject missile few meters out before motors ignite would prob do wonders for the range to reducing the inertia load on the rockets

Daveyb
Daveyb
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

I really don’t get what Thales did with LMM/Martlet! It was supposed to be based on the Starstreak, but ended up as a new missile. With Starstreak you have a two stage motor. The 1st stage fires for less than a second, then burns out before the missile has left the tube. This launches the missile sufficiently enough to not only get the missile out of the tube but also safely away from the operator. Then the second stage kicks in when it’s about 5m away. This means the operator is not in the exhaust plume, when the main rocket… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
16 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

or even maybe apply KISS process how big a spring would you need to generate about 70N of force which would chuck it well away from mount?

Ron5
Ron5
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yes that’s exactly why the army can’t fire them from tripods … no wait a minute …

Dangerous blow back? No.

Daveyb
Daveyb
15 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

This is what GB was alluding to The above attached image is of HMS Sutherland with the 5 round missile mounted to the DS30M weapon system. As shown in the image, the missile is still in the tube when the main rocket is fired. As opposed to being thrown clear before firing the rocket. I’m not sure why there is a difference, between the one fired from the tripod and the one fitted to the 30mm mount? In the attached video of the Wildcat firing the Martlet, it also shows the missile’s rocket igniting whilst still in the tube. So… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
15 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Daveyb
Exactly that.
in the LH picture the door behind the mount if trained at red/green 90 is the 30mm mag.
Train the mount aft and all that lovely flame hits your GRP and rubber RIB Sea Boat.
As it is in the picture the only place it would not toast something is with the exhaust pointing at the cross passage. Even them it might be a bit iffy as the RAS gear is there with the fuel ras hose rigged.

DaveyB
DaveyB
15 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Initially, I thought bugger being on deck nearby, when that thing fires! But having watched a few videos of it, the still image of Martlet being fired from Sutherland is a bit misleading. Still wouldn’t like to be near when it goes off though! Watched the RM video of them firing Martlet from a tripod. In it, the missile’s 1st stage rocket is clearly fired when still in the tube, producing a flame as per Sutherland’s and the Wildcat firings. Funny, you don’t see anyone standing behind the firer! Once out of the tube the 2nd stage rocket kicks in,… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
15 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

To be honest a seperate launcher would be the solution, putting it on the Hangar roof. No issues up there and the optical tracker could stay where it is as its dual use for the 30mm.
FOD could be an issue though.

Ron5
Ron5
14 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

At DSEI 2021 MSI showed a dedicated LMM launcher ..

comment image

Frank62
Frank62
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

I never understood why after the Falklands war the lesson of better AAA was learnt, then more recently we replaced AA capable light guns with these 30mm Bushmasters with negligable AA capability(V low rate of fire). 40mm will be a huge relief. Make it so!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Force protection against asymmetric surface threats is a bigger issue than the outside chance of being bounced by some FGA’s with rockets, cannons and bombs.

Ohhh… I just reverted to a threat assessment brief for an ADEX 323 low level beat’em up !

Last edited 16 days ago by Gunbuster
Frank62
Frank62
16 days ago

Good for that job, but when is the interim AShM being selected & introduced & why can’t our Merlins carry missiles like other nations do?

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

There ASW helicopters, so not really used in the ‘Maritime Attack’ role, so they either carry depth charges or Sting Ray’s whilst the Wildcats can carry Small and Medium Anti-ship missiles (Martlet and Sea Venom). They can probably, if needed carry Hellfire, Rockets or pretty much anything the Apache carries (potentially even Air-Air Stingers!) However, I’m sure that Merlin could mount any Helicopter-Launched missiles,rockets or even bombs but as its a mainly ASW helicopter with Sonar, it doesn’t need to. Wildcat doesn’t have a sonar, but could also act as ASW helo with Ships sensors, and a payload of Sting… Read more »

DJ
DJ
16 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

I fail to see what being an ASW helicopter has to do with it. Even the RNZN ASW helicopters manage to operate both torpedoes & Penguin AShM. A naval combat helicopter should be capable of more than one role (not necessarily at the same time). Merlin is a little like the T45, overspecialised. Great at what it does do. Too much it can’t do (but in most other navies it would be doing). If there are no submarines to chase, it should be doing something else.

Steve M
Steve M
16 days ago
Reply to  DJ

Yeh but the trouble is T-45’s, T-23’s and future vessels only carry one or other! So as none of our surface ships have torpedos unless the ship is patrolling Norh Atlantic on dedicated ASW patrol with no threat of swarm attacks anything going elsewhere will only be able to take Wildcat because at least that can carry torpedos and missle to cover both threats. for CSG half a dozen ASW Merlins on QE and Wildcats on escorts especially for deployments South of Cowes

AlexS
AlexS
15 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

There ASW helicopters, so not really used in the ‘Maritime Attack’ role

Italian Merlins are ASW and carry Marte anti ship missile.

https://www.mbda-systems.com/product/marte-er/

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

It appears we are not the only ones!

The Brazilian Navy has received the first of its H225M helicopters to be configured to carry the Exocet anti-shipping missile.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/brazil-receives-first-exocet-armed-h225m-helicopters

Brazilian-Navy-H225M-friring-an-Exocet-AM39.jpg
Rob N
Rob N
16 days ago

Good news. But I would have liked to see a fire and forget missile rather then one the helicopter needs to hang around to illuminate. It also means you can only attack a target at a time. Hardly a plus when going after swarming attack boats…

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
16 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

When your mate in the next boat disappears in a black cloud of smoke and shrapnel its going to test your resolve. With the range of the missile, its speed and the average speed of approach of a speed boat a Wildcat can take out a lot of threats before they get near to the ship. Whilst all that is happening the ship will be manoeuvring hard and at speed to cause a big wake that will flip boats and also be joining in with possibly Ceptor , 4.5″, 30mm, 50 Cal, Mini Gun , GPMG and SA80…. Thats a… Read more »

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

What happens if the boats are autonomous a capability that I suspect the likes of Iran will have not too distant into the future considering their arial drone capabilities and the progress of such weapons generally. With billions of dollars worth of Russian weapon (and who knows what tech) imports about to be agreed that doesn’t help matters either as Im sure Russia (and China) would just love to help and encourage them to tweak western noses in any way they can.

Ron
Ron
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi Gunbuster, Yeep old school works, I still wonder every now and then if we should have for asymetric threats/policing duties a modern County class. Still in my opinion one of the best ships the RN had post WW2.

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
16 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Makes you wonder why it needs to (potentially) carry so many if that is the case, be lucky to survive before it has released very many in that scenario unless the threat around it was very basic indeed.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
15 days ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

From experience aiming a mounted GPMG whilst rocking and rolling in a RIB in a seaway doing 15 knots is almost impossible. You fire goes all over the place. Trying to fire a MANPADS, RPG or a 50 cal at a manoeuvring helo that may well be running parallel to you course at 3+Km away would be almost impossible. Even if you did succed to get a IR lock on a missile the Wildcat has all the goodies fitted such as IR jammers and chaff and flare launchers It doesn’t matter if the boat is manned or unmanned its just… Read more »

simon
simon
14 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Wasn’t this one of the issues that the Iraqis found with there FAC’s in gulf war 1, they were bouncing all over the place and couldn’t get a radar lock on

Ron
Ron
16 days ago

Good to see the Wildcat getting more claws. I agree with several comments made that it would be nice if we could equip dipping sonar to some of the Wildcats. We know it is possible as the South Korean Navy has this version. What would also be good to see is twin helicopter hangers for our surface combat vessels. T45s and T31 twin hangers for Wildcat,Wildcat/Apache combination or a single Merlin and three RUAVs. The Type 26 twin hanger for Merlins, or any combination. The RN is speaking about PODS, well we could have containerised towed array, Thales has CAPTAS… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago
Reply to  Ron

That’s something I’ve been banging on about for a while. T45 can accommodate up to two Wildcat in the hangar. My personal view is that the space should be utilised to help generate additional availability – particularly with the missiles now being available.

T26 can take up to two Merlin and at least three Wildcat, depending on the configuration of the hangar and mission bay. The amount of helicopters that could be deployed and supported by one kind of reminds me of the very last cruisers operated by the RN.

Angus
Angus
16 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Its ok having the space but we need airframes to fill them and there simply is not enough of anything in the box to make it work while. The FAA managed to get the CSG away but left not much at home to fill up the second flat top and of course the escorts. FAA should double in size (lets have the AAC units to start with as we already have the main operating unit NAS 847 showing the way with the Navy fit of weapons (50 Cal as against a GPMG) and adding the missiles will make them a… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago
Reply to  Angus

I don’t think anyone here is more passionate than old Lusty about acquiring more assets for the FAA. Daniele can attest to that! If it were up to me, I’d do what I suggested above for Wildcat and bring the mothballed Merlin back into service. If I recall, there are only 8 HM1 airframes left and 2 HC3. In an ideal world, I’d have the 8 serve as the dedicated AEW asset and upgrade the other two to HC4 standard for some additional SAR/disaster relief/commando support. I’d also look to incorporating the new medium-lift capability into the RN, either by… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
15 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Alternatively if we choose the AW 149 to fill the new medium lift capability, why not add a Sqn worth of Merlin’s in the order???

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

T26 can take up to two Merlin and at least three Wildcat,”

I did not realise that. Crikey, that is some space, Merlin is a beast!

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago

Yeah! It’s all thanks to the mission bay, which connects directly to the hangar. It’ll likely be used for sea boats and PODS for routine operations, but it can be used for rotary-wing assets if needed

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
15 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

The WAFUs would outnumber the crew!
Its also a lot of air equipment spares to store. Sonobuoy’s etc if merlin is onboard.
You would need a big magazine for the air weapons. Sting Ray, Venom, Martlet and all the other pyros and smokes they use. You would need something possibly twice the size of a T23 air weapons mag and all the associated gubbins that ships staff bomb heads like me used to provide such as FIAM, trolleys, supply and prep teams,

Lusty
Lusty
15 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

My apologies for being a WAFU! 😉😂😂

One has to give you seamen something to do.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
15 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Next comments will be what’s a WAFU….

Lusty
Lusty
15 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I vote we don’t say.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
15 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

👍⚓

Ron5
Ron5
14 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Problem is that Wildcat with sonar and a torpedo is so heavy the endurance is under an hour. Too short.

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
16 days ago

My feeling is that the world is now becoming an increasingly dangerous place, and that the design software now available is enabling small countries to bring some very effective technology to market. So – watch the UK defence and science budget start to expand – especially after AUKUS.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
16 days ago

Given the Martlet is laser-guided, How many targets can be engaged simultaneously ?

Ron5
Ron5
14 days ago

One

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
15 days ago

Ok, so Marlet requires laser guidance, In a scenario where a swarm attack is happening how does that work? , how would you quickly fire at multiple targets? I read that Marlet will detonate if it loses the tracking beam for more than 1.5 seconds.

Last edited 15 days ago by Bringer of Facts
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
15 days ago

Its a beam rider so its immune to any countermeasures. You keep the target on the screen in the cab and the laser and guidance system do the rest . You can select targets from the radar and slew the PID (Passive Identification Device which is TV system, THIM and Laser in the ball in the nose) onto them or do it by hand from the screen. The PID has an insane look/see range far greater than martlet so you can lock up the target well before you need to close to fire. Flight time is less than 10 seconds… Read more »

Jamo
Jamo
13 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

It’s a backwards looking beam rider so it’s immune to countermeasures. Well at least the (world leading) Starstreak was.
Don’t get why it was 8 years late, being based on Starstreak. Actually, the initial version may have a forward looking sensor ??