Following three years of development, Thales UK's Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) will now move forward into full development, qualification and initial production following contract award by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Qualification testing will take place during 2012 with production starting at the end of the year, and deliveries scheduled to commence in 2013. LMM will first enter service with the UK Armed Forces aboard the new Wildcat Lynx helicopter.
Specific activities covered under the MoD contract include the design, development and qualification of the laser beam rider version of LMM, together with production of an initial quantity of 1,000 missiles.
LMM is a low-cost, lightweight missile, the development of which began in 2008. It has been designed to be launched from a variety of air, sea and land platforms against a wide range of threats.
The LMM programme has made significant progress since its launch. Development is at an advanced stage and Thales has conducted successful guidance control firings in recent months, including for the first time a semi-active laser (SAL) version.
In parallel with the UK MoD programme, Thales plans to continue the development of the LMM suite of missiles for land, sea and air launched applications.
Thales has a long association with air defence missiles, such as Javelin, Starburst and Starstreak, and LMM is part of the company's plan to enter in other lightweight missile sectors.