Successful Thales Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) firing from Aselsan MILAS turret


Monday, 11 July 2016 22:36

The Thales Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) and Aselsan Missile Launcher System (MILAS) have completed a successful qualification firing exercise by engaging a naval target representative of a fast inshore attack craft.


Successful Thales Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) firing from Aselsan Missile Launcher System (MILAS). Picture: Thales

Read full article: HERE


Aselsan and Thales UK




Turkish systems house Aselsan and Thales UK have signed an agreement to jointly develop and co-market shipborne launcher systems for Thales’s Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) low-collateral precision weapon. The two companies cemented their relationship in a signing ceremony at IDEX on 22 February. The agreement covers a lightweight four-round LMM Missile Launching System and a larger eight-cell variant.

Building on the pedigree of the existing Starburst and Starstreak surface-to-air missiles, LMM has been designed by Thales as a low-cost, laser-guided missile able to engage a wide range of air, land and sea targets out to ranges of about 8km. The initial variant uses laser beam-riding guidance.

In the maritime role, Thales (Stand 08-A08) believes that LMM is well matched to counter small fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) threats. The missile’s laser proximity fuze, using low-cost gate technology set at the point of launch, is designed to ensure that the missile can successfully engage very-low metal, semi-solid targets, such as rigid inflatables, which many rockets pass through before detonating, while the 3kg blast fragmentation/shaped charge warhead has been designed to combine localised effect with good penetration. Posted25 February 2015 “Launcher team aims to boost surface firepower [IDX15D3]”

Lightweight Multirole Missile

The LMM is a relatively new missile although it draws heavily on the older High Velocity Missile/Starstreak family.

Starstreak was derived from a requirement for a short range air defence system that could be man portable and vehicle mounted. The system continued on from Blowpipe and Javelin designs.

Starstreak is an extremely sophisticated system; post launch, the first stage booster falls away and the missile accelerates to a high speed of Mach 3.5.  When this second stage is expended three dart sub munitions are released towards the target.


Thales Starstreak Missile

In May 2011 the MoD placed a contract with Thales “development, qualification and initial production” including the manufacture of 1,000 laser beam riding missiles.

The 2011 press release from Thales included this;

Thales UK and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) have today 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.

It didn’t take the brains of Einstein to work out what this meant.

The ADAPT contract was modified and used to initiate development of LMM, i.e., at the expense of HVM.

Or, put another way, the Royal Navy requirement for a missile to counter fast attack craft was seen as a higher priority that the Army’s requirement for air defence.

Perhaps the HMS Cornwall incident accelerated thinking on the matter.

Qualification took place last year and production will commence this year (if not already) with an in service date of around 2015 that matches Wildcat.


Because it does not carry or need a wide diameter shaped charge warhead the missile is quite slender and thus aerodynamically efficient. This translates into quite a good range of 6-8km, with a minimum range of only 400m which compares quite well with guided rockets.

A slower speed of mach 1.5 also contributes to its longer range, especially compared to the HVM on which some of its components are based.


Thales Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)

At 13kg, the missile is relatively light, certainly much lighter than the next rung up the air to surface ladder that is the 50Kg Hellfire/Brimstone.

The insensitive warhead is a relatively simple 3Kg blast/fragmentation type and a laser proximity fuse that allows the missile to be used against low metal content targets like inflatable and semi inflatable small craft. Compare the warhead weight to the 9kg on a Hellfire and 8.4kg on a Javelin.


Thales Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)

The laser beam riding guidance system is derived from the HVM/Starstreak, this is simple, difficult to counter, suitable for the maritime environment and cheap but it is not without disadvantages, attacking multiple simultaneous targets is not possible for example.


LMM Missile Launching System (MLS)


The LMM Missile Launching System (MLS), developed to provide defense for refineries, seaports and naval bases against variety of surface threats, is a customized compact and lightweight solution for Fast Interceptor Boats (FIB). It has been designed to have minimum weight and impact on FIB speed and maneuverability.
The basic system configuration comprises a lightweight stand alone stabilized Electro Optic (EO) Suite, a stabilized weapon turret and Fire Control subsystem distributed on the boat. Laser Transmitter Unit required for Laser Beam Guiding and other EO units for target detection and tracking are located inside the stabilized EO Suite.
MLS can automatically slew to the target coordinates assigned by EO Suite supported by FIB radar. The system can be operated using its own operator panel located in the wheelhouse. 

General specifications of the System are:

  • 4/8 ready to fire Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM)
  • Two-axis gyro stabilized turret
  • Automatic target tracking by EO Suite
  • Laser Range Finder for target ranging
  • High hit performance with fast reaction time
  • High level system automation for ease of use
  • Ease of integration into existing and new build FIBs
  • Flexible system architecture meeting different customer requirements
  • Low maintenance cost and high reliability



Image by AZRUL NAIMI March 21, 2015


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