First production contract for Thales’s Lightweight Multi-role Missile announced
07:20 GMT, April 7, 2011
Thales UK and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) have recently announced an innovative approach to contracting under the principles of Team Complex Weapons (TCW). The two parties have agreed to ‘re-role’ previously contracted budgets to facilitate the full-scale development, series production and introduction of the Lightweight Multi-role Missile (LMM) into service for UK Armed Forces.
Specific activities covered under this contract amendment include:
- design, development and qualification of the laser beam rider version of LMM
- production of an initial delivery quantity of 1,000 LMM
- precision-guidance system that will deliver a highly accurate performance against static and mobile targets and with low-collateral damage
The multi-role aspects of LMM mean that the UK will have the ability to use a single family of weapons to take on a variety of roles, including:
- maritime role – LMM will be integrated as the Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon Light FASGW(L) missile on the new Wildcat Lynx helicopter platform under a parallel programme with the UK MoD.
- ground-to-ground role – the dual-effect warhead of LMM (blast fragmentation and shaped charge) makes it suitable for a wide range of ground targets including light/medium armour;
- air-launched role – the modular design of the missile permits the future development and introduction of alternative warheads, seekers including a semi-active laser (SAL) version for precision strike surface attack roles;
Speaking at the announcement, David Beatty, Managing Director of Thales UK’s Belfast facility, where LMM will be manufactured, said: "This is a clear demonstration of MoD and industry working in partnership to ensure that we deliver the products that our Armed Forces require in a timely and affordable manner."
"This contract also helps broaden our UK design, development and manufacturing capabilities that specialise in lightweight and short-range missiles, such as our Starstreak and VT1 air defence products and the NLAW anti-armour weapon."
"LMM is unique in that it’s the first lightweight weapon family to be specially designed to have a wide range of operational roles. We firmly believe that this is what Armed Forces require now and in the future as it not only can provide adaptability in the battlefield but also major benefits in whole life costs by having one weapon family with a highly cost-effective associated logistic support."