The Franco-British ANL / Sea Venom missile from MBDA qualified for the French Navy

Since the withdrawal of AS-12 missile service in the 80s, French Navy helicopters no longer had the capacity to deploy anti-ship missiles, with the notable exception of the Super Hornet, which was able to deploy the AM-39 Exocet missile, which also leaked and was withdrawn from service in 2010. It was to compensate for this failure that the French and the British agreed in 2010 to develop a new light anti-ship missile jointly, during the agreements from Lancaster House which were also about the development of the Future Anti-Ship Missile / Future cruise missile, FCAS aborted combat drone program, and the joint mine warfare program.

The design of this missile was naturally entrusted to the European missile MBDA, and took the name of ANL (for Anti-light Ship) in France, and Sea Venom in Great Britain. With a range of 20 km, this 2,5 m long missile with a mass of 110 kg, can be used by medium and light helicopters, such as the British Wildcat and the future HIL H160M Cheetah which will equip the frigates from the French Navy from 2027. It has an uncooled infrared seeker and, like the MMP anti-tank missile from the same MBDA, it allows the crew to steer the missile over the entire duration of the flight if necessary, while being able to detect its target after launch. It also offers striking capabilities on the ground, and discernment of its target in a dense environment, so as not to strike civilian ships. Carrying a military load of 30 kg, it is able to take advantage of ships the size of a corvette, but also fast ships such as missile launchers.

Close-up on the ANL missile just before impact on its target during the tests of February 20 in the polygon of the Levant Island.

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