Royal Navy Wildcat Helicopter Tests New Martlet Missile for Defence Against Small Boat Attacks
The Royal Navy has successfully tested a new missile system designed to protect the UK’s new aircraft carriers from attacks by swarms of small boats. 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.
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.
Captain James Blackmore, Carrier Strike Group’s Air Wing Commander, said: “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.