Surface Forces: Lightweight Multi-Role Missile

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May 26, 2013: A British and a Turkish firm are collaborating to offer a ship mounted remote control launcher for British-made LMM (Lightweight Multi-role Missile) weapons. The Aselsan Missile Launching System (MLS) has eight LMMs in sealed containers, plus some sensors. The launcher can be mounted on small warships, shore installations, or oil rigs.

The LMM is a 13 kg (28.6 pounds) missile with a range of eight kilometers that uses laser (beam riding) guidance. It can be fired from the air or the ground. Small missiles like this are more common. Three years ago the U.S. introduced the 15.6 kg (34.5 pound) Griffin in Afghanistan, fired from UAVs and gunships. The Griffin came about because the existing small missile (Hellfire) was often too big.

The Hellfire II weighs 48.2 kg (106 pounds), carries a 9 kg (20 pound) warhead, and has a range of 8,000 meters. The Griffin has a 5.9 kg (13 pound) warhead which is larger, in proportion to its size, than the one carried by Hellfire. Griffin has pop-out wings, allowing it to glide and thus has a longer range (15 kilometers) than Hellfire. UAVs can carry more of the smaller missiles, typically two of them in place of one Hellfire. There are similar arrangements for LMM. The LMM is believed to have the same design approach as the Griffin, including a fairly large warhead (over 5 kg).

The British Royal Navy has become the first customer for the LMM, ordering a thousand of them two years ago for its new Lynx Wildcat helicopter. The LMM will enter service by 2015.

 


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